Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44
  1. #1
    Trail Rider
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,407

    Water filtration vs Water purification

    What are you guys experiences with water filters and water purification?

    More specifically, I'm looking to get something that can give me clean(enough) water quickly. So I'm not really looking into pills that will take 4 hours, or even 30 minutes. Mostly I'm looking into some of the smaller water filters like the MSR Sweetwater microfilter and the Katadyn Hiker Pro vs a Steripen of some sort.

    I ride in the South-East. At this point, all of my bikepacking trips have been in Florida. I don't think viruses are a huge problem here. Aside from springfed rivers, most of our rivers are tannic.

    How do the steripens handle tannic water? Waters clear, but red... Does that affect how affective the UV lights work?

    Do the tannins in the water clog the filters on the MSRs and Katadyn filters?



    What about if I'm riding nearer to the coast. Some of these freshwater rivers run into the gulf and ebb and flow with the tides... you can catch marine fish several miles upstream. I can only assume there's some saltwater influence in these creeks and rivers. Do the steripens(doubtfull, but I'll ask) and water filter systems deal with salinity at all?

    I've asked a couple outdoor shops about the tannins and salinity, and they had zero input. Both shops leaned toward filters, but one leaned towards MSR(did not carry Katadyn) due to it being servicable and reliable. The other shop leaned towards Katadyn(and carried both brands) due to it being a much simpler design and more reliable than the MSR. It seems the MSR will filter out smaller particles though...

    Anyway, thanks for any help

  2. #2
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,411
    If you get a filter that is offering adequately high pressure, you get freshwater pretty much no matter what you start out with.
    4 bar is a good starting point.

    I have no clue as to how to press the water through though, as my knowledge come from using reverse osmosis in the medical field.


    Magura

  3. #3
    Climbs = necessary evil
    Reputation: rogerfromco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    500
    Sweatwater's work great and if you need to filter water out of a murky steam to remove fines, add the pre-filter.

    To avoid carrying an extra peive of gear, consider this hydration pack with the added inline filter.

    Amazon.com: Geigerrig G1 1200 Hydration Pack: Sports & Outdoors

    Amazon.com: Geigerrig In-Line Water Filter: Automotive

    You can fill the bladder from the stream/lake and the inline filter cleans the water before you drink it. The pressurized bladder rocks too and can be helpful in cleaning dishes when camping or spraying out wounds if you crash.

  4. #4
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
    Reputation: SingleTrackLovr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    673
    I don't believe any backpacking filter will remove salt. That requires a distillation process.
    Cloudy water will reduce a steripens ability to mess with the bugs reproductive systems.
    The bugs are still alive they just can't have baby bugs and it does nothing for clarity.
    Yum protein in my water.

    If you want your water to be clear and taste good the MSR mini Works is the best I've found but it is also the heaviest.
    My backups are tablets yuk and boiling for 3 minutes with a small alky stove,

    As a recreational bikepacker one of the things I enjoy is to filter all my water for a given trip.
    I like the idea that my water is not filled with chlorine from my city water system.

    Last edited by SingleTrackLovr; 11-28-2012 at 07:00 AM.

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  5. #5
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,411
    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    I don't believe any backpacking filter will remove salt. That requires a distillation process.
    A pressure filter sure will remove salt. It's simple osmosis.

    I know such filters are available, as I have used them for a different purpose in my lab.
    Some are pretty small. I've seen them used for aquariums.


    Magura

  6. #6
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
    Reputation: SingleTrackLovr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    673
    Everything you ever wanted to know about water filtering and types of filters used in the backcountry.
    This is a great read and a site well worth bookmarking.

    After spending several days studying this website and scaring myself half to death haha
    I settled for the MSR miniWorks.
    The quality of my water when bikepacking is very important to me.
    It might not be as much for you.

    Zen Backpacking - Water Purification, Filtration and Treatment

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    415
    Your average hiking filter will not desalinate seawater. Reverse osmosis is required and because of the nature of the membranes used, water often has to be pre-treated and may not be useable for freshwater applications as well. There are products that can do that, many used for military applications, but they are rather expensive. This Katadyn "Survivor" costs $900 and process 1.2 gallons/hr.

    Amazon.com: Katadyn Survivor 06 Desalinator: Sports & Outdoors

    Desalination plants are extremely expensive for municipalities to build and that is why we do not see very many of them. If it were cheap, you can bet Los Angeles wouldn't be pumping water from the Colorado River all the way out there.

    If seawater is all one has access to, there is always the simple method of recapturing transpiration using a tarp and collecting that. But as far as a filter and drink on the go, there are not really any affordable seawater purification systems out there.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmmorath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,052
    This type is my favorite. It's a gravity system. Simple, works almost as fast as pumps, and you don't have to do anything. It is subject to clogging but flushing is easy enough and pre-filtering with some cloth has given me no issues. I have the Platypus version, which is the exact same filter but different style bag. I would recommend this one over the Platypus. Using you own bladders/bottles you already have can shave weight too.
    MSR Autoflow Gravity Filter | Backcountry.com

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flumphboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    102
    In the Northern Rockies i use this system: Mike C's ULTRALIGHT TIPS - treating water - YouTube

    Simplest, lightest, smallest, and quickest method I've found to treat clear water.
    Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
    http://greenecasey.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Renruthsoj's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    16
    Lot of great info here. Paramount is knowing your region and what you're up against. I'd like to add my fav to the mix considering we roll on similar terrain(Ga) even though I consider Florida a foreign territory for a number of reasons. Sawyer squeeze is hard to beat in my mind. It can be used as a gravity filter at camp - immediately at the source via included bags - inline using a camelbak - claims 1 million gallons with backwashing - is under $50 - and weighs a scant 3oz.

    That said, stick with the conventional wisdom and bring aqua mira as back up. Also, buy from REI so you can return if need be.

    Fun fact: Jason Lewis, in his 13 year circumnavigation of the world using only MANPOWER, used the desalinator wahday mentioned above while PEDALING his sea kayakamajig across multiple oceans. Blows my mind every time I reread the story.
    Last edited by Renruthsoj; 11-29-2012 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Corrected name of dude thanks to wahday

  11. #11
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,411
    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    Your average hiking filter will not desalinate seawater. Reverse osmosis is required and because of the nature of the membranes used, water often has to be pre-treated and may not be useable for freshwater applications as well. There are products that can do that, many used for military applications, but they are rather expensive. This Katadyn "Survivor" costs $900 and process 1.2 gallons/hr.

    Amazon.com: Katadyn Survivor 06 Desalinator: Sports & Outdoors
    Wow that's expensive for that.
    The filter costs like 50$, add another 20 for a filter housing, and throw in the first and best small pump you can find.
    I'd say a real reverse osmosis water filtering gizmo could be made for like 100$.

    Magura

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    Wow that's expensive for that.
    The filter costs like 50$, add another 20 for a filter housing, and throw in the first and best small pump you can find.
    I'd say a real reverse osmosis water filtering gizmo could be made for like 100$.

    Magura
    And you're just the guy to do it! That would be a very cool DIY/MYOG undertaking and would have a lot of interest I suspect. I haven't looked around at any DIY filter projects but I find that many of the survivalist websites have some interesting ideas for these kinds of things. That's how I first learned about the beer can alcohol stoves. Some of the discussions of the end of the world are a little too extreme for my taste, but some cool ideas nonetheless.

    And just for clarity, I read the article on the guy that pedal-boated around the world. Totally amazing! But Graham Bensinger is the guy who wrote the article and interviewed the traveler, not the guy who circumnavigated the world. The adventurer is named Jason Lewis (a Brit). Credit where credit is due... Thanks for sharing that link - super cool!

  13. #13
    i'm schralping yer thread
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    605
    +1 for the Sawyer Squeeze. Super-light, pretty much maintenance free, and great flow.

  14. #14
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
    Reputation: SingleTrackLovr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    673
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    Wow that's expensive for that.
    The filter costs like 50$, add another 20 for a filter housing, and throw in the first and best small pump you can find.
    I'd say a real reverse osmosis water filtering gizmo could be made for like 100$.

    Magura
    I'd be interested in making one. I think it would be great to have for the bug out bag.
    It would have to be a pretty strong hand pump. High pressure low volume. RO filter membranes are quite small. A very good pre filter to prevent clogging the RO would also need to made.

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  15. #15
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,411
    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    And you're just the guy to do it! That would be a very cool DIY/MYOG undertaking and would have a lot of interest I suspect.
    I'd say anybody could pull that off.

    A simple pump, a couple of fittings, a filter and a housing. That ought to be a cosy afternoons work.

    Amazon.com: 75 GPD Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane (removes fluoride): Home Improvement

    Even cheaper than expected.

    Those are the filters that millions of households are using.
    A nice tried and tested solution.

    Magura

  16. #16
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,411
    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    I'd be interested in making one. I think it would be great to have for the bug out bag.
    Cross posting. See above


    Magura

  17. #17
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,411
    A couple of pump options:

    Online Pumpshop :: Pond & Garden :: HAND WATER PUMP

    Amazon.com: Magnum Fuel Pump - Hand Crank: Toys & Games

    I trust you to find the housing and fittings yourself

    Magura

  18. #18
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
    Reputation: SingleTrackLovr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    673
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    A couple of pump options:

    Online Pumpshop :: Pond & Garden :: HAND WATER PUMP

    Amazon.com: Magnum Fuel Pump - Hand Crank: Toys & Games

    I trust you to find the housing and fittings yourself

    Magura
    Thank you for the links. That hand pump looks awesome.
    I though I would look at the housing this filter was made for and adapt the fitting accordingly.
    Add a fishtank foam prefilter and maybe an inline paper filter should allow the RO membrane to last a long time.

    I hope the OP is taking notes this is a lot cheaper than 900 Katadyn although it might not be as robust..

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  19. #19
    Flow like water
    Reputation: DavyRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    712
    I carry a pump filter, used to be Pur Hiker, now Katadyn I think. Backup is Aqua Mira drops.

    The filter does many things well. You can pump water from tiny seeps which are too small to dip a pot or cup into. They remove mud. You can pump directly into your water container.

    Aqua Mira works well. I go ultralight with just that sometimes. I have to wait for the chemical reaction. I get to drink dirty water. I don't worry about the residue, as I don't drink this stuff all the time. I have to think which water bottle has had dirty water in it, and whether it has been purlfied.

    All in all, I prefer to take a pump filter with a tube.

  20. #20
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,106
    Don't have experience with the MSR filters. Have found the Katadyn Pocket FIlter to be more than sufficient filtering water in nearly all conditions. One aspect that really impressed me was when we had to cross a cedar bog and filter water. The water started a thick murky black and ended up looking similar to a light ice tea tint. If we made a second pass filtering the water I think it would be clearer. Another nice feature is they are all metal with no plastic to break in rough conditions. It is a little on the heavy side but it has been reliable.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    688
    Another vote for the Sawyer. I use one with the inline kit and love it. Getting clean water is as easy as filling my bladder and drinking as normal. And it's only 3 ounces! You'd be crazy to get anything else.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Aushiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    161
    Quote Originally Posted by Renruthsoj View Post
    Sawyer squeeze is hard to beat in my mind. It can be used as a gravity filter at camp - immediately at the source via included bags - inline using a camelbak - claims 1 million gallons with backwashing - is under $50 - and weighs a scant 3oz.


    As Sawyer Squeeze user I thought I would share my thoughts/experience. I purchased the Sawyer Squeeze to use on my 3,000 km Chasing the Dirt tour.

    What I learnt:

    (1) Sawyer Products don't tell you on their website well they didn't when I purchased the Squeeze that they DO NOT warrant the pouches. I found this out via a piece of paper in the box after I purchased the product. For me I found this quite disturbing and in my view shows a lack of integrity on the behalf of Sawyer Products. I guess I am used to consumer laws which would not allow this to happen.

    (2) Sawyer Products will, if you put the pressure on them, allow for the return of damaged pouches for inspection; however keep in mind that their standard response appears to be that damaged is caused by users, i.e., squeezing too hard. If they come to this conclusion then you have wasted your time sending the pouches back. I haven't bothered with mine as I don't trust Sawyer Products to properly inspect the pouch.

    (3) I made an error of judgement and took only one pouch with me which failed with minimal use (seam started leaking). I don't believe I squeezed it to hard and in fact I am struggling to see how one can do that without standing on it or something along those lines. So I would suggest if you are using the Sawyer Squeeze pouches take spares.

    (4) Because I only took one pouch I had to go without filtration (my bad).

    (5) The filter itself is easy to use and seems to work well based on my use. Put it this way I didn't get sick

    (6) I have since learnt that should one buy one of these Sawyer Squeeze systems that the smart thing to do is dump the pouches and replace them with Evernew Water Carry pouches. Something to keep in mind when considering the purchase.



    Personally I will keep using mine but with Evernew Water Carry pouches as I have the filter but I wouldn't purchase from Sawyer Products again. Their "ethics" just don't sit well with me.

    It seems that what I experienced is not uncommon going by the discussion at BackpackingLight forums.
    Regards
    Andrew

  23. #23
    Trail Rider
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,407
    Thank you all for the great information, if there's more, keep it coming!

    Definately going to get something this Christmas to make my water needs easier(at this point I'm carrying water and planning my trips around resupply points).

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    I'd say anybody could pull that off.

    A simple pump, a couple of fittings, a filter and a housing. That ought to be a cosy afternoons work.

    Amazon.com: 75 GPD Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane (removes fluoride): Home Improvement

    Even cheaper than expected.

    Those are the filters that millions of households are using.
    A nice tried and tested solution.

    Magura
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    A couple of pump options:

    Online Pumpshop :: Pond & Garden :: HAND WATER PUMP

    Amazon.com: Magnum Fuel Pump - Hand Crank: Toys & Games

    I trust you to find the housing and fittings yourself

    Magura

    The reverse osmosis filter linked above is for super-purifying already-clean and safe water. Desalination requires RO pressures on the order of 1000 PSI, while the linked filter is tested at 65 PSI. (Not even sufficient for brackish water.) Which is mostly moot, because there's no way those hand cranks will get anywhere close to the required pressure. Sometimes things are expensive because there's a conspiracy to keep people from getting the cheap & easy alternative. Other times, things are expensive because they are hard. This is one of the latter. The best you'll get with this solution is equivalent to a $50 backpacking filter, but with greater bulk & weight.

  25. #25
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
    Reputation: SingleTrackLovr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    673
    So does this mean we are back to distilling or the $900 buck pump filter to make saltwater drinkable?

    Second note: I saw a guy drop his squeeze bag, it hit a boulder and burst open at the seam.
    Thank goodness he had a platypus spare bag and the filter fit it as well.

    I was really sold on the Geigerrig pressurized bag system after watching the youtube video of the guy throwing one out the window of a car at 90mph and it did not break.



    However after less than a year of service one of my bags developed a leak from simple rubbing in my pack. I have since switched back to nalgene bottles.
    They have never let me down, some of my bottles are 7 years old, and have seen every abuse from freezing to warping from being to close to the fire to rolling down a hill, dropping, etc.

    Last edited by SingleTrackLovr; 11-29-2012 at 07:46 AM.

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •