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Re: General question on water treatment

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  • Andy Mytys
    I don t think we should be too harsh in terms of criticizing the 4-hour wait time on the tablets. This isn t a case of a bad product - I suspect this is a
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2007
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      I don't think we should be too harsh in terms of criticizing the
      4-hour wait time on the tablets. This isn't a case of a bad product -
      I suspect this is a case where we're using a product outside of its
      intended market.

      If I was someone from the McNett company, I'd be thinking "We have a
      product for backpackers that treats water quickly, it's called Aqua
      Mira." Personally, I think we're trying to fit a square peg into a
      round hole here.

      I see the tablets as something that folks like canoers would be
      interested in, where they fill up a large water container (it's a
      canoe, weight isn't an issue until you portage), toss a couple of
      tablets in, and then after a few hours they've got water for the
      everyone. Since you're in the canoe, you can easily have a gallon or
      so of treated water on the side to use while you wait the requisite
      4-hours.

      In light of this, I think reports should focus on things like ease of
      use, aftertaste of water, etc. rather than "how I got around the
      4-hour wait time by carrying way more water than I would have needed
      to if I was using a filter, boiling, or some other chemical
      alternative." Focusing on using this product while backpacking makes
      us look like idiots, IMO, because we've selected the wrong product in
      the first place.

      Of course, this is just MY view.

      --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Will Rietveld"
      <willi_wabbit@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Tim. I am the Monitor for this test. I'm amazed that they take 4
      > hours to work. The regular Aqua Mira only takes 15 minutes. Anyway,
      > dealing with this issue is part of your test strategy and reporting,
      > and as the tester you need to work this out. If the 4 hour wait is a
      > problem and requires that you carry a backup system, then put that in
      > your report. Or if you find a good strategy to deal with the 4 hour
      > wait, then put that into your report. Have fun!
      >
      > Will Rietveld
      >
      >
      > > I have a question... I am testing the McNett Aquamira tablets. My
      > > initial report will show that I am very impressed by my initial
      test.
      > > They actually do work well. Here is my question though...
      > >
      > > I currently carry a filter. Filter, hoses, stuff sack etc. all
      > > combined weigh close to a pound (estimate) and take a whole pocket in
      > > my pack. However, I can easily refill from any stream at lunchtime
      > > with no worries. I would like to lighten my pack and these tablets
      > > seem like a good solution. Here's my problem, the tablets take four
      > > hours to work. If I hit my water hose at 1:00 in the afternoon on a
      > > hot day, and hear that familiar gurgling noise that means I'm nearly
      > > out, then what? If I just carry enough water to go all day then I'm
      > > carrying more weight than the filter, so that's a no win either.
      > >
      > > I'd be interested to hear from the group your input on this.
      > >
      > > Tim
      > >
      >
    • chcoa
      Obviously I m not involved in this test but I thought one of Andy s comments was not completely accurate and I decided to toss my 2 cents in. I don t think
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2007
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        Obviously I'm not involved in this test but I thought one of Andy's
        comments was not completely accurate and I decided to toss my 2 cents
        in. I don't think waiting 4 hours for a water treatment to work is
        something outside of the backpacking relm. An example of such is
        quite common here in the desert where we regularly hike for several
        miles in dry country to end up camping at a water source. With a
        situation like this the water treatment happens at camp so waiting 4
        hours is not all that big of a hardship.

        I do agree with Andy that the testers shouldn't focus so much on why 4
        hours is a PITB, though. This is just how this product is designed to
        work. A comment or two on having to wait might be appropriate but not
        anything beyond that.

        Jamie D



        --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...>
        wrote:

        > In light of this, I think reports should focus on things like ease of
        > use, aftertaste of water, etc. rather than "how I got around the
        > 4-hour wait time by carrying way more water than I would have needed
        > to if I was using a filter, boiling, or some other chemical
        > alternative." Focusing on using this product while backpacking makes
        > us look like idiots, IMO, because we've selected the wrong product in
        > the first place.
        >
        > Of course, this is just MY view.
        >
      • pamwyant
        I m going to step in here too. I am surprised none of our water treatment gurus have spoke up. Nearly all chemical treatment methods may take up to 4 hours
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 1, 2007
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          I'm going to step in here too. I am surprised none of our water
          treatment gurus have spoke up. Nearly all chemical treatment methods
          may take up to 4 hours for protozoa/cysts, depending on water
          temperature and clarity. Read the back of Aqua Mira drops. I don't
          have any on hand, and can't find it readily on the website, but as I
          best recall it states it can take up to four hours for cysts. Read
          the labels of Iodine treatments. From the Potable Aqua
          website: "Potable Aqua is not effective against cryptosporidium
          cysts."


          Compare apples to apples. Potential long treatment time is one
          drawback of chemical methods.

          Pam Wyant
        • Andy Mytys
          Actually, the only thing that Aqua Mira says is that If water is very cold, cloudy or tinted let stand 30 minutes. I can t say for sure if its affective
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 1, 2007
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            Actually, the only thing that Aqua Mira says is that "If water is very
            cold, cloudy or tinted let stand 30 minutes."

            I can't say for sure if its affective against cryptosporidium,
            tapeworms, or viruses. I do know it works against Giardia.

            I must admit that I find it more that slightly troubling that I can't
            find any official information on the web as to what exactly Aqua Mira
            is good for, beyond making water "taste better" in some cases,
            preserving stored water, and killing bacteria in water.

            I wish that these chemical oompanies had disclosure to the level of
            filters, where you're told what the product works on and, more
            importantly, what it doesn't work on.

            --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "pamwyant" <pamwyant@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > I'm going to step in here too. I am surprised none of our water
            > treatment gurus have spoke up. Nearly all chemical treatment methods
            > may take up to 4 hours for protozoa/cysts, depending on water
            > temperature and clarity. Read the back of Aqua Mira drops. I don't
            > have any on hand, and can't find it readily on the website, but as I
            > best recall it states it can take up to four hours for cysts. Read
            > the labels of Iodine treatments. From the Potable Aqua
            > website: "Potable Aqua is not effective against cryptosporidium
            > cysts."
            >
            >
            > Compare apples to apples. Potential long treatment time is one
            > drawback of chemical methods.
            >
            > Pam Wyant
            >
          • S
            It s easy to tell what exactly can be caught by a filter making filter disclosure easy. Either the critters are bigger than the filter or they re not. For
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 1, 2007
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              It's easy to tell what exactly can be caught by a filter making filter "disclosure" easy. Either
              the critters are bigger than the filter or they're not. For instance, giardia are pretty huge,
              so just a filter works well grabbing most of them. There's going to be more variability with
              the chemical treatments: which chemical treatment is used, water temperature, pH, water
              chemistry. Iodine is really common, I've used it a bunch, but it tastes gross. In addition to
              tasting better than iodine treatments, chlorine dioxide solutions (e.g. Aqua Mira) are
              actually quite effective against cryptosporidium, unlike the iodine products. When you get
              down to the tiny viruses, typical filters are useless. Even chemical treatments aren't great.
              In fact, many viruses survive even big city chemical treatment plants. They are best
              inactivated by boiling the water, if viruses are even a problem where you're hiking (they're
              no biggie in the Sierras). Sorry, I know nothing about tapeworms. Maybe the eggs are big
              enough to get caught in a typical 0.2 micron filter?? UV treatment kills off all sorts of stuff.
              I take advantage of that by filtering surface water from lakes (or just under the surface if
              there's a lot of pollen or other floaties). A nice double-death-whammy.


              --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Actually, the only thing that Aqua Mira says is that "If water is very
              > cold, cloudy or tinted let stand 30 minutes."
              >
              > I can't say for sure if its affective against cryptosporidium,
              > tapeworms, or viruses. I do know it works against Giardia.
              >
              > I must admit that I find it more that slightly troubling that I can't
              > find any official information on the web as to what exactly Aqua Mira
              > is good for, beyond making water "taste better" in some cases,
              > preserving stored water, and killing bacteria in water.
              >
              > I wish that these chemical oompanies had disclosure to the level of
              > filters, where you're told what the product works on and, more
              > importantly, what it doesn't work on.
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