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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.

Chlorine

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.

Iodine

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.

Oxidizers

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
Chemical Water Purification System Products

Pocket Microfilter$369.95
Pocket Microfilter The Katadyn Pocket Filter is the most rugged, longest lasting microfilter available. This robust water filter made of heavy duty materials is ideal for long lasting continuous use even under extreme circumstances. The silver impregnated ceramic element is effective against bacteria and protozoa. The Katadyn Pocket is the only water filter with a 20 year warranty.
TRK Drip Ceradyn Filter$317.95
TRK Drip Ceradyn Filter The TRK Drip Ceradyn Filter from Katadyn is simply a water container with a built-in filter; requires no pumping. Does not contain activated carbon - that is the difference between the Ceradyn and Gravidyn filter.
TRK Drip Gravidyn Filter$294.95
TRK Drip Gravidyn Filter The TRK Drip Gravidyn from Katadyn is similar to their Ceradyn Filter. It includes activated carbon to reduce chemicals, and improves the taste and smell of water - that is the difference between the Gravidyn and the Ceradyn filter.
Jerrycan 10,000UF Water Filtration Bottle$279.95
Jerrycan 10,000UF Water Filtration Bottle Keep your whole family safe with a LIFESAVER jerrycan, which can produce 10,000 litres of clean, safe drinking water, the equivalent to 2 1/2 years of safe drinking water for a family of 4 people. The LIFESAVER jerrycan is ideal when needing a larger water supply when out on leisure or travel activities. Able to store and carry 18.5 litres of water at one time, the jerrycan is easy to lift and attach to, or store in overland vehicles. Wash with sterile, clean water from the jerrycan. One of the unique features of the LIFESAVER jerrycan is the flow rate of water, up to 3 litres per minute. Fast water flow rate means that washing and showering with the jerrycan becomes possible with use of the optional shower attachment. When you have 10,000 litres of sterile water there is no need to wash in potentially unclean sources, particularly important when washing cuts and open wounds. The shower attachment is easy to use and can be attached in seconds. 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 jerrycan 10000UF comes pre-installed with a ultra-filtration (UF) cartridge which has the capacity to produce 10,000 litres of clean water, instantly, wherever and whenever you need it. The 10000UF cartridge will last approximately 9 years 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 available to be brought separately, and can be used in conjunction with the LIFESAVER jerrycan 10,000UF. They 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 resulting in clearer and more natural tasting water. Each LIFESAVER jerrycan activated carbon processes 500 litres of water before a replacement is required. Please note, the activated carbon filter is not required in order for LIFESAVER's ultra-filtraion cartridge to operate. 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. LIFESAVER International Warranty: The LIFESAVER jerrycan 10000UF comes with a 2 year international warranty when purchased directly from LIFESAVER systems ltd or from an authorised LIFESAVER reseller. Avoid purchasing LIFESAVER products from any other supplier. LIFESAVER products sold from alternative suppliers can be defective, used, expired or unfit for use, and as such, will not be covered under LIFESAVER system ltd manufacturer's warranty.
Combi Microfilter$219.95
Combi Microfilter The Katadyn Combi combines a silver impregnated ceramic element and a refillable, activated carbon cartridge. It is effective against bacteria and protozoa and also reduces chemicals and bad taste. With the optional Faucet Mount Adapter (sold separately) the Combi can be connected to a water faucet for multifunctional use in campers, cottages or boats. Includes: Prefilter, bottle adaptor and carry bag
Pocket Replacement Filter$199.95
Pocket Replacement Filter Katadyn Pocket Replacement Filter.
Expedition Filter Element No. 4$174.33
Expedition Filter Element No. 4 The Katadyn Expedition Filter provides fresh and natural tasting drinking water without using chemicals. Microporous Ceramic retains suspended solids and safely traps all harmful bacteria and parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Silver Quartz inside the element controls any possible re-contamination through the tab outlet.
4,000UF Water Filtration Bottle$164.95
4,000UF Water Filtration Bottle 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.
4,000UF Replacement Cartridge$146.95
4,000UF Replacement Cartridge The LIFESAVER 4000UF bottle replacement cartridge has a service rating of up to 4000L. When you have reached the filtration capacity, your filter will need replacing with a new one. Easy to assembly and fit, the LIFESAVER 4000UF cartridge ensures you can continue filtering water for another 4000L.
Jerrycan 10,000UF Replacement Cartridge$133.95
Jerrycan 10,000UF Replacement Cartridge 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.

Related Information:

Water Impurities

Water Purification


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