Hiking Water Treatment
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Chemical Water Purification Systems
The most common chemical water treatments used by hikers and backpackers for drinking water purification are some form of chlorine, iodine, or oxidizing agents. All of these chemical water purification options require time for the chemicals to do their job. As a general rule you should wait at least 20 minutes after adding the chemical treatment - longer for colder water since the chemicals work more slowly in colder temperatures. Remember to loosen the cap on your water container and slosh some of the treated water onto the threads of the cap and bottle to eliminate contaminates that may be trapped there.
Having to wait is probably the biggest drawback to this type of water purification. With a filter of some type you can arrive at a water source, filter, and drink immediately. With chemical water treatment when you arrive at a water source you first have to fill your container, add the treatment, wait 20 or more minutes - then you can drink. But because it is such a light weight solution to the almost universal problem of water purification, even if it is not used as the primary means of water treatment, carrying some form of chemical water purifier as a back up to a filter is a good idea for extra safety. A good item to carry on day hikes too even when you think you're carrying plenty of water just in case you end up staying out longer or get thirstier than you expected.
Probably the least effective, chlorine is somewhat unstable, adds some taste to the water, and leaves behind some chemical residue now associated with a small cancer risk.
Household Liquid Bleach that contains 5.25% sodium hypo chlorite can be used. Do not use scented, color-safe, or bleaches with added cleaners. Add about 3 to 6 drops of bleach per quart of water, mix thoroughly and allow to sit for approximately 20 minutes.
More effective than chlorine, but deteriorates when exposed to sunlight, and leaves behind an unpleasant taste, iodine is another option. It may not be suitable for people with certain types of thyroid conditions. The unpleasant taste of iodine can be countered by adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the treated water, but this should only be added after having waited the recommended amount of time for treatment because it neutralizes the effectiveness of the iodine as well as the taste.
There has been some concern about possible adverse effects from using iodine over prolonged periods, but medical studies including one where prisoners used iodine over a period of several years has not proven this to be the case.
Liquid Tincture of Iodine sold in pharmacies is one possible source. Add several drops per quart of water mix thoroughly and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. More convenient for hikers are iodine tablets sold specifically for water treatment.
Possibly the fastest acting chemical water purification option, oxidizers adds the least taste, and produce the least undesirable chemical residues, but they also generally more expensive than chlorine or iodine. This is the type of water treatment used by many municipal city water systems.
Hiking & Backpacking
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Used and recognised globally, the LIFESAVER 4000UF bottle was the first LIFESAVER product to be invented by Michael Pritchard, Inventor - Founder of LIFESAVER systems. The LIFESAVER water bottle produces clean, safe water incredibly easily - simply fill, pump, drink. LIFESAVER technology: The LIFESAVER technology is the world's first and only portable water filter to filter out ALL waterborne viruses, bacteria, cysts and parasites. It achieves this by filtering down to 15 nanometers / 0.015 microns in size and as a result LIFESAVER technology removes the smallest known waterborne virus; parvovirus at 18 nanometers / 0.018 microns in size and the smallest known bacteria at 400 nanometers / 0.4 microns in size. With LIFESAVER technology, you can be 100% confident that you will only ever drink safe, clean water. LIFESAVER technology does not require chemicals, power, mechanically advanced disinfection or UV light to operate. LIFESAVER ultra-filtration cartridge: The LIFESAVER 4000UF bottle comes pre-installed with a ultra-filtration (UF) cartridge which has the capacity to produce 4,000 litres of clean water, instantly, wherever and whenever you need it. The 4000UF cartridge will last approximately 3 years and 7 months before a replacement cartridge is required. This is based on the user filtering 3 litres per day; as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for drinking water recommendations. LIFESAVER activated carbon filter: The LIFESAVER activated carbon filters are made of high specification activated carbon block which reduces a broad spectrum of chemical residues including pesticides, endocrine, disrupting compounds, medical residues and heavy metals such as lead and copper. It also eliminates bad tastes and odours from contaminates such as chlorine and sulphur. Each bottle activated carbon filter will process 250 litres of water before a replacement is required. LIFESAVER complies with International Drinking Water Regulations: LIFESAVER systems ltd complies with all British, US and European drinking water regulations for microbiological reduction as tested and certified by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
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The LIFESAVER technology is the world's first and only portable technology that removes all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens without the aid of any foul tasting chemicals like iodine or chlorine or the need for any power or UV light. Drinking Water Regulations: LIFESAVER systems ltd complies with all British, US and European Drinking Water Regulations for Microbiological Reduction as tested and certified by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Science behind LIFESAVER: LIFESAVER technology filters down to 15 nanometres, that is 0.015microns. We are the world's first and only portable technology that is patented worldwide, to filter down to this level. With the smallest virus known being Polio at 25 nanometers, you are safe in the knowledge that LIFESAVER filters all bacteria, viruses, cysts and all waterborne pathogens from your water.