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  1. #1
    Registered User Juice's Avatar
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    Default Aqua Mira VS Bleach

    Hi everyone,

    A recent thread on filtration systems made me wonder why I should choose Aqua Mira when Bleach is much cheaper and readily available? What's your experience?
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  2. #2
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    Refer to the EPA study "Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants Guidance Manual" section 4. (Warning Big PDF file!)

    http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/mdbp/altern...s_guidance.pdf

    Here's the Cliff Note version:

    "Chlorine dioxide is regarded as a strong disinfectant that is effective at inactivating bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens" 4.4.3.4. (Yep, you read that right)

    The study also addresses the cryptosporidium controversy and cites studies using 30, 60, and 120 minute contact times on infectivity rates and inactivation.


    The Cliff Note version for Chlorine (Section 2) is this- It's extremely effective for inactivating bacteria and a highly effective viricide. However, chlorine is less effective against Giardia cysts and cryptosporidium oocysts are highly resistant to chlorine. Refer to 2.8.2 Summary Table.

    Lots of BS floating around regarding what each can and can't do. Mostly based on innuendo and anecdotal evidence. Read up then decide what you feel more comfortable using.

    Lots of thru hikers are now using gravity filtration like the Sawyer 3 Way filter. Maybe that's an option for you to look at too?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Spokes; 02-24-2012 at 18:35.

  3. #3

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    As you probably read in the other thread I prefer using bleach to aqua mira for the obvious reasons that you stated. Gravity filters are cool too if you don't wanna use chemical treatment. They have less moving parts than pumps so should not break as much, but if it stops filtering as desired you won't know til your "peeing out your butt" so to speak. Also not all pumps/filters are created equal, meaning some won't give you viral protection. Check the size of particles the filter claims to stop before buying. I just like that 2 drops of bleach compared to the 14 drops(7 per bottle I believe) that aqua mira takes for the same amount. And you have to wait twice the time with aqua mira due to having to mix the two liquids before hand. I'd try both if I was you. I started with aqua Mira but as you can't get it in every state it kinda a pain and switched over to bleach.

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    2 drops per liter of 4-6% chlorine is for use in "clear" water. Double that amount if murky, cloudy, or colored water or if the water is extremly cold.

    http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/...sinfection.cfm

    BTW, chlorine and chlorine dioxide are two completely different chemicals.

    http://www.frontierpharm.com/faqs.php


    Cheers!
    Last edited by Spokes; 02-24-2012 at 19:26.

  5. #5
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    Don't forget that certain water microfilters and purifiers are able to remove chemicals from the water, something that bleach or AquaMira obviously won't do. If you are going to be hiking in certain areas out west or in the developing world then you will probably appreciate not having pesticides or DDT in your coffee. Just a thought if anyone is considering going that route.

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    I'd use both,and if I had a light I'd use that too,cause I'd rather treat and hike,than be ill all over the woods.But thats me.Not doing long distances affords me that option.other wise Aqua mira sounds pretty good.
    I hike for hikin'

  7. #7
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    I've been back and forth on this one and finally today tossed the 4 oz Aquamira for a Clear Eyes bottle filled with bleech. I started counting the number of drops in the 1 oz bottle, got to 200 and quit. I'm guessing about 500 drops in a Clear Eyes bottle or about 250 liters of water...should get me to ME. Saving that 3 oz will allow me to take a real coffee cup.

  8. #8
    Garlic
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    I dumped my filter years ago and have used AM since, but increasingly sparingly. On my AT hike, I used maybe a third of a set, treating about 10 gallons the whole way, only in pastoral areas or from ponds. Appalachian water must be among the best on Earth--it seemed a shame to dump chemical into it. I see plenty of people using bleach, but I don't know--it just scares me a little. There's no obvious taste for me from the AM and that makes me feel better, regardless of the chemistry.

    As some people like mechanical gadgets and electronic thingies that have lights and go "beep", maybe I enjoy mixing the drops in the little cup and watching it turn yellow and then seeing the little swimming things go belly-up.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #9
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    Its funny as the bottle of Aqua Mira water treatment says "Kills odor causing bacteria & enhances the taste of stored potable water"...so we are treating water from theoretically unpotable water to potable water. Why not list it for what it is most used for, purifying water. Is this a way around some EPA rule?

  10. #10
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    Been thinking about getting rid of the filter some of the time myself, but the AM wait of 4 hours on the package is not reasonable when I'm thirsty. Does regular old bleach kill giardia with a few more drops and say a half hour wait? Giardia is really all I really worry about anyway.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemon b View Post
    Been thinking about getting rid of the filter some of the time myself, but the AM wait of 4 hours on the package is not reasonable when I'm thirsty. Does regular old bleach kill giardia with a few more drops and say a half hour wait? Giardia is really all I really worry about anyway.
    Honestly, there is no one good solution to water treatment, but no, bleach does not kill giardia, even after many hours of wait time. If giardia is your only worry, a cheap filter will get it (protists are much larger than bacteria). IMO people who use bleach and don't get sick would not get sick if they didn't treat at all (as a large number of people do).
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  12. #12
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    Bleach has a rather strange taste to it, while Aqua Mira kills more of the bad guys in water and you can add a powder drink to it for taste and all is well in the world.
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

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    Quote Originally Posted by turtle fast View Post
    Its funny as the bottle of Aqua Mira water treatment says "Kills odor causing bacteria & enhances the taste of stored potable water"...so we are treating water from theoretically unpotable water to potable water. Why not list it for what it is most used for, purifying water. Is this a way around some EPA rule?
    It has more to do with who holds the primary EPA registration for the main ingredient In the product and the claims made. In this case it's the bulk chemical provider. AquaMira is in process to change that. Dennis Brown the COO addresses it in a letter here:

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...to_post=431585

    The wheels of Federal bureaucracy move slow......

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sddavis View Post
    I've been back and forth on this one and finally today tossed the 4 oz Aquamira for a Clear Eyes bottle filled with bleech. I started counting the number of drops in the 1 oz bottle, got to 200 and quit. I'm guessing about 500 drops in a Clear Eyes bottle or about 250 liters of water...should get me to ME. Saving that 3 oz will allow me to take a real coffee cup.
    Good luck with that. Remember, chlorine is extremely effective for inactivating bacteria and a highly effective viricide. However, chlorine is less effective against Giardia cysts and cryptosporidium oocysts are highly resistant to chlorine according to the EPA.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    2 drops per liter of 4-6% chlorine is for use in "clear" water. Double that amount if murky, cloudy, or colored water or if the water is extremly cold.

    http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/...sinfection.cfm

    BTW, chlorine and chlorine dioxide are two completely different chemicals.

    http://www.frontierpharm.com/faqs.php


    Cheers!
    +1

    They are NOT the same. Aqua Mira also gives water a lemony taste or nothing, whereas bleach can make water taste just like . . . diluted bleach (aka public swimming pool). Not for my tea, thank you very much.
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  16. #16
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    I've never noticed a taste from Aqua Mira, and my hiking buddies (who both filter and would *never* use chemicals) admit that my water tastes the same as theirs.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lemon b View Post
    Been thinking about getting rid of the filter some of the time myself, but the AM wait of 4 hours on the package .
    Four hours for what? Mine says it's ready in 15 minutes unless the water is very cold or very cloudy.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfoot View Post
    Four hours for what? Mine says it's ready in 15 minutes unless the water is very cold or very cloudy.
    The tablets say 4 hours to get everything. The drops (last time I checked), 1/2 hour.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by double d View Post
    Bleach has a rather strange taste to it, while Aqua Mira kills more of the bad guys in water and you can add a powder drink to it for taste and all is well in the world.
    you can add flavoring to bleached water as well.

  20. #20

    Lightbulb A good little dispenser...

    Quote Originally Posted by sddavis View Post
    I've been back and forth on this one and finally today tossed the 4 oz Aquamira for a Clear Eyes bottle filled with bleech. I started counting the number of drops in the 1 oz bottle, got to 200 and quit. I'm guessing about 500 drops in a Clear Eyes bottle or about 250 liters of water...should get me to ME. Saving that 3 oz will allow me to take a real coffee cup.
    1 US ounce= 456.0129 drops

    At 3 drops of bleach per quart of water, you could purify 152 quarts (38 gallons) of water. That's 143.85 liters for those who use that backwards metric system!

    I use old sinus spray bottles. I peel off the labels and I remove the spray top, pulling off the attached tube, clean them out and refill them with bleach. Then put the spray top back on the bottle minus the tube. I also use them for dish soap/hand cleaner (the Palmolive brand can be used for either purpose), shampoo, or whatever. I guess you could even use them for condiments for cooking, although I have never tried this. A one ounce bottle probably could hold about two ounces as the bottle is not filled to maximum capacity when sold. Be sure to clearly mark the bottles so you don't end up spraying bleach up your nose!
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    Last edited by atraildreamer; 03-19-2012 at 15:55.
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