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The Climbing Club • View topic - Aquamira Water Treatment

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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 Post subject: Aquamira Water Treatment
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:08 am 
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Dr. Crevasse
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:30 am 
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Alpine Slogger
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Thanks for the info Jim.

Question, how long do you need to wait before drinking the water after treating?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:30 am 
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giving spoon
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Interesting Jim, thanks for the post. Right now I don't use anything for water filtration as I'm pretty sure I'm immune to Giardia and tend to be pretty picky about what water sources I drink from (I had to loosen my standards on Elephant butte though - two weeks and all clear :D ). I really should carry something with me in case I can only find dodgier water sources.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:41 am 
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Longshanks
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The treatment time is 15 minutes for clear water, and 30 minutes if it is murky. add to Jim's list a fourth item for why Aquamira is awesome:
It weighs practically nothing. each bottle weighs one ounce when full (2 oz total), and provides enough chemical to treat 120L of water.
Grace and I used this system exclusively while we were in Kenya.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:55 pm 
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receiving spoon
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Yea, that's what I've been using lately too. It kind of leaves a peculiar aftertase, in a strangely tasty/good way though. I just buy mine at pro mountain sports (which happens to be like a 2 min walk from my house)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:58 pm 
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receiving spoon
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Also, I should probably add that you should probably keep your bottle out of intense sun and heat while the aquamira is doing it's thing (for "best results"). It's in tiny script somewhere on the bottom of the instruction card included.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:45 pm 
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I agree that occasionally you can sense a slight aftertaste, which to me usually tastes something like citrus, as though someone had put a little lemon in the water. Hardly a deal breaker.

I've been using this product happily since Jim introduced it to me on Thompson a couple months ago.

I've come up with what I think is a handy addition to any aquamira kit. When you purchase the product, you get only 1 mixing cap, which is sometimes annoying if you want to fill multiple water containers at the same time. I wouldn't recommend trying to put 21 drops of each bottle into the same cap then hoping that you can pour a third of the total solution into three separate nalgenes. To combat this problem, I've started carrying a spare contact lens case in the ziplock bag I keep the aquamira in. That way I have three small basins for mixing the drops (including the mixing cap), plus the contact cases are necessarily water tight, so you can seal them and carry them if you want to keep moving without worrying about spilling. They have more than enough space for 28 drops of each solution in each side.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:26 pm 
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UW Climber
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This tread convinced me to try aquamira out mainly because I was tired of carrying a water filter around. I went to their website and decided to try the drops as well as the tablets. A word of warning about the tablets; water treatment time is 4 hours and not 15 minutes. I assumed that if its the same reactant it would take the same time to treat the water. Also, there are numerous toxicity warnings and the tablets are sealed in bombproof packaging.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:43 pm 
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I personally love my platypus filter, just cause I love the way that mountain water tastes untreated. Its more bulky then drops or uv pens or whatnot, but it also comes with 2 collapsible 4L reservoirs making it really handy if you're in a group or three or four.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:29 am 
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I'm curious to read through more literature/studies, (and I like hearing personal stories too), to determine how well chlorine does actually work to protect against Crypto. The CDC's ultimate recommendation seems to be either boiling water for at least 1 minute or using a filter that has an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller, or one that has been NSF rated for "cyst removal." I havn't read anything yet, which states other than that the thick shelled spores MAY be resistant to chlorine.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:47 am 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Lissa, I noticed that too. Under their , they list chlorine dioxide as being effective against crypto, while chlorine and iodine are not. I'm not sure why they say something slightly different under the water treatment section.

The World Health Organization has a nice (right click and download the pdf. It didn't want to load in my browser) that summarizes many of the studies performed with certain disinfectants. They claim that "Chlorine-based disinfectants are generally not effective at inactivation of Cryptosporidium..." However, it seems as though chlorine dioxide disinfectant methods different from chlorine) are successful, but the effectiveness seems to be highly dependent on pH and temperature. They quote long waiting times on the order of 30 min - 1 hr and flow rates, so I'm not sure quite how this translates to disinfecting in the small doses used by backcountry travelers.

Before heading to Nepal, I talked with an engineer at Aquamira about crypto. The chlorine dioxide tablets are rated as an EPA purifier, which basically means they must kill everything including crypto (there is a significantly more technical definition). The chlorine dioxide drops are doing the exact same thing, but are not rated as an EPA purifier because the production facility is not currently rated to produce purifiers by the EPA. The facility currently meets all the standards, but receiving the rating requires regular and expensive inspections by the EPA. Aquamira is currently pursuing the EPA purifier rating and the engineer speculated that they would have the money to go after it in the 2010/2011 time frame depending on costs.

If your searches turn up other information, let me know. I'd love to read it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:06 pm 
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UW Climber
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The way I understand it is that chlorine dioxide has a 4 hour treatment time [u]because[u] it kills crypto and that both iodine and chlorine dioxide will have the same effect against giardia in 30min. It seems like giardia is a lot more common around here. My only basis for making that statement is that I have never heard of someone getting sick from crypto though maybe thats because the symptoms are similar.

What do you guys think about freshly molten snow as a source of clean drinking water since giardia and crypto need animal hosts to get into water? I guess those frisky marmots might make this a little iffy?

-Andrew


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Powdered Ascorbic Acid, also known as Vitamin C, can be purchased bulk in small quantities and is a very tasty treatment for Iodine-treated or Chlorine Dioxide-treated water. Tastes "just like" chewable Vit C tablets. I think Fred Meyers was where I got my last.

Evan's scintillatingly brilliant use of a contact lens case as a mixing chamber for 2 solutions removes the biggest drawback I had with Clorine Dioxide. You mix 14 drops Part A and 14 drops Part B in the provided mini shot glass and wait 10 minutes....... you have to wait 10 minutes in cold conditions for the solution to activate. Only after waiting 10 minutes can you then add the solution to the water in your bottle. For 10 minutes you can't move, you're waiting with your mini shot glass.

If you're really organized then what you could do is after finishing a bottle of water, add the two parts, Part A and Part B, inside your empty water bottle. Next stream or lake you encounter just add water. But typically it never happens like that. You'd have an empty bottle, find some water and fill it up, then sit on your butt while 10 minutes crawled by, holding your mini shot glass.

That's why iodine tablets were so handy! Find water, fill up your bottle, add several tablets, keep on hiking. Few minutes later shake it up and loosen the cap and dribble some water out the threads, tighten the cap and keep on hiking.

Evan's personal solution is everybody's dream. Find some water, fill up your bottle, fill up 1 chamber or both chambers of the contact lens case, hike 10 minutes, add solution(s) to bottle(s).

Chlorine Dioxide also comes in tablet form. No fluids. No mini shot glasses. No contact lens case. Just simple single tablets. Aquamira has this product and Katadyn also has this product.

Chlorine Dioxide in tablet form (not sure if the treatment times are different for solution form)
15 minutes for viruses and bacteria in 60F and visually clear water
30 minutes for crypto and / or giardia in 60F and visually clear water
4 hours for crypto in 39F and dirty water and acidic (or low pH)
This info obtained from the Katadyn Micropur Chlorine Dioxide tablets product info online, FWIW

Jim, thanks for doing the legwork and sharing your results and sharing your personal experiences. Bravo.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Longshanks
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Side note: Turns out that the phosphoric acid (part B) is really corrosive to rubber and nylon. Mine has apparently been leaking (very slowly) over the past several weeks. It ate holes through the stuff sack it was in, and has attacked the rubber cladding of the GPS unit that occupied the same bag. Keep that shit away from your climbing gear! I recommend some sort of secondary containment.


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