PDA

View Full Version : Clorox for water?



ScottP
12-15-2007, 22:26
A transplant from the PCT-L. I don't know anything about the poster or his qualifications.


"The water to be treated which is listed by Clorox is (potable) water,
not wilderness water. Organisms which are listed within http://www.clorox.com/products/faqs.php?prod_id=clb
don't include any of the protozoa and bacteria which cause our
problems in wilderness water.

Problem causers include: Giardia lamblia and Giardia l. cysts,
Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba, and Taxoplasma cysts (these don't all
occur in one location).

In past testing, a few drops of chlorine bleach has had little effect
on the resistant cyst stage of Giardia, for example, which is found in
stream water. I would expect that this is still true.

Polar Pure is one manufacturer of a kind of treatment based on a
nascent Iodine (aqueous) solution, and this works given sufficient
dwell time and a water temperature which is not too cold. It is sort
of ferocious and can penetrate the hard cyst, killing the Giardia
organism. However, this treatment may miss the goal if things don't
work out perfectly."

Bob S
12-16-2007, 00:24
Boiling water cost nothing (wood stove) and it kills everything.

River Runner
12-16-2007, 01:43
Boiling water cost nothing (wood stove) and it kills everything.

Might be a little unhandy to crack out the wood stove & fire it up several times a day. Many hikers do not want to carry a full day's supply up and down the mountains of the AT. :eek:

Fiddleback
12-16-2007, 12:57
Nothing new here. Bleach does some good but it's at the bottom of the chemical treatment list for effectiveness.

This does not; however, diminish the reputation of chlorine dioxide treatment. The difference is stunning and chlorine dioxide (not bleach) is one of the most effective chemical treatments available.

If you do rely on bleach for treating water, make sure you use the unscented kind...no need to ingest those extra additives...

FB

dessertrat
12-16-2007, 13:07
After a lot of going back and forth on this question, I would rather not wait even a half an hour for my water. It makes it hard to "camel up" at the source. I would rather filter or take my chances (gasp) than use chemicals which may or may not work.

Nokia
12-16-2007, 13:23
1 five ounce bottle of bleach lasted me 2 months at time. Admittedly I don't treat on the AT all the time, so it lasted longer. The only place I got a bug was in a town.

minnesotasmith
12-16-2007, 14:20
Chlorine dioxide (i.e., Aqua Mira), NOT the same thing as bleach/hypochlorite has IMO replaced it.

take-a-knee
12-16-2007, 17:15
Chlorine dioxide (i.e., Aqua Mira), NOT the same thing as bleach/hypochlorite has IMO replaced it.

Yes, they aren't the same thing, but they both leave a chlorine residual, and that is what kills the microorganisms, hopefully.

Lone Wolf
12-16-2007, 18:59
why would anyone wanna put bleach for clothing into perfectly pure mountain water then drink it? :-?

mudhead
12-16-2007, 20:26
Cuz they miss city water.

Tennessee Viking
12-16-2007, 20:57
Also doesn't bleach treating drinking water put a strain on the kidneys and liver after long exposure.

booney_1
12-16-2007, 20:58
bleach will kill bacteria. And some sources say it will kill giardia.
I wish there was a definitive source of information. chlorine dioxide tablets that are available now, are advertised as being effective against crypto...but it takes 4 hours.

A reasonable compromise and money saver would be to treat flowing spring water with clorox. At night in camp use chlorine dioxide tablets, that would do a great job with purification over night. I think the cost of the tablets is about 50 cents/liter.

I often lead boy scouts backpacking and the cost is an issue. We usually hike the AT in the summer, and we drink A LOT of water. I think we would end up spending more on water than food at 50 cents/liter.

In NC and Virginia, most of the water sources are nice springs.
(except lately when a lot of them have run dry!!!)

Anybody have a definitive source on what clorox will kill??
(red cross and fema reccomend it in times of emergency)

River Runner
12-16-2007, 21:01
Cuz they miss city water.

LOL. That's funny there! :D

minnesotasmith
12-16-2007, 22:06
bleach will kill bacteria. And some sources say it will kill giardia.
I wish there was a definitive source of information. chlorine dioxide tablets that are available now, are advertised as being effective against crypto...but it takes 4 hours.


The tablets are a slightly more convenient and substantially (like 120% more) expensive way of doing the same thing the liquid does. On a thruhike or long section hike, the cost difference adds up. I only use the liquid version for water treatment during hikes, finding the process for mixing, waiting, and adding the two components to be a restful time.

envirodiver
12-17-2007, 12:30
Iodine and Chlorine are effective at killing a number of the problem causers. They are effective with bacteria, viruses and Giardia. They are not as effective with the thicker cyst Cryptosporidium. The equation to determine kill rates = Concentration x time. So theoretically you can add less and give it more time to get the same kill rate. As long as you add enough to provide a bit of residual, which ensures that enough was there to kill all the bad guys. Your original question about chlorine bleach is that it will work (except crypto). It is sodium hypochorite, which is not as quick as chlorine dioxide, but will work with more time.

Giardia is 5-15 microns in size and crypto is 2-5 microns, bacteria is much smaller 0.2 microns and up. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria. The difference in a filter and purifier (as defined by EPA) is that purifiers will remove or disable all of the items noted above and filters do not . Most filters will remove bacteria and the protozoans (Giardia and Crypto), but not viruses. To the best of my knowledge, the first need filter is the only filtration system that is a purifier, due to it's small pore size. But, it is heavy (almost 1 pound)

The only item that has been shown to get everything effectively is UV. UV damages the DNA of the bad guys and they can't reproduce and make you sick. The steripen mixes the best of a filter (no waiting) with chemical treatment (eliminates viruses). But, the water needs to be fairly clear for the UV to be effective.

the_iceman
12-17-2007, 12:37
Read the package. It says makes stored water taste better. Nowhere does it says kills the bad stuff. But heck, I used it and did not get sick. When I got home I realized the last batch I bought in Maine expired 2 years ago. Maybe I was just lucky.

The Cheat
12-17-2007, 13:43
Read the package. It says makes stored water taste better. Nowhere does it says kills the bad stuff. But heck, I used it and did not sick. When I got home I realized the last batch I bought in Maine expired 2 years ago. Maybe I was just lucky.

From Aquamira.com:

EPA Registered Purifier, Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets contain a patented chlorine dioxide formula that produces a powerful germicidal agent when released in water. When used as directed, Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets meet the EPA guidelines for Microbiological Water Purifiers making it the safest solution on the market.

envirodiver
12-17-2007, 13:57
The patent must involve how you release the chlorine dioxide, because chlorine dioxide is chlorine dioxide is chlorine dioxide...

All of those products are in general effective, if you use them properly and understand the limitations.

Critterman
12-17-2007, 14:50
bleach will kill bacteria. And some sources say it will kill giardia.
I wish there was a definitive source of information.

There is. http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/WPD/Disinfectants.aspx
If you click on the blue highlighted titles, there is a great deal of technical info on each method. Chemicals rank in this order Chlorine dioxide > Chlorine> iodine.

envirodiver
12-17-2007, 16:37
Exellent and very informative link Critterman.

It's interesting in the article that they find UV light to be the best technology for disenfection of all 4 of the primary contaminants, with fewer potential dangers than chemical treatment methods. Yet in a note dated August of 2007, they state that they had pulled the results of the Steripen evaluation from the report to perform more tests of it's capabilities. Curious as to what that means.

The actual equipment ranking is very interesting.

Bob S
12-17-2007, 16:38
I don’t get it, a lot of you will rant and complain about a very small amount of chemical that may be in a Nalgene bottle when you poor hot water in it. And then you talk about wanting to drink water with Clorox bleach in it. All because you don’t want to go through the effort to boil water (wood stove cost no fuel to do this) A post above someone said they did not want to take the time to boil the water or have to carry the boiled water for the day. But if bleach takes 20-min or more to work, that takes more time then it would take to boil it. And as far as not wanting to carry the day’s worth of water after you boil it, aren’t you going to do the same thing while you wait for the bleach to work? Or are you going to sit and wait the 20-min for the bleach to do it’s work making the water safe (or somewhat safe as it seems it may not kill everything) to drink? And if you are going to sit for the 20-min (because water is heavy and you don’t want to pack it with you), why not use a more sure method then the bleach, with no chemicals and unpleasant taste?

ARambler
12-17-2007, 17:03
I donít get it, a lot of you will rant and complain about a very small amount of chemical that may be in a Nalgene bottle when you poor hot water in it. And then you talk about wanting to drink water with Clorox bleach in it. All because you donít want to go through the effort to boil water (wood stove cost no fuel to do this) A post above someone said they did not want to take the time to boil the water or have to carry the boiled water for the day. But if bleach takes 20-min or more to work, that takes more time then it would take to boil it. And as far as not wanting to carry the dayís worth of water after you boil it, arenít you going to do the same thing while you wait for the bleach to work? Or are you going to sit and wait the 20-min for the bleach to do itís work making the water safe (or somewhat safe as it seems it may not kill everything) to drink? And if you are going to sit for the 20-min (because water is heavy and you donít want to pack it with you), why not use a more sure method then the bleach, with no chemicals and unpleasant taste?



In case it is not obvious to everyone this guy is nuts. I have not met anyone who relies exclusively on boiling. Even BobS hasn't explicitly claimed to have treated a 100 gallons in this manor. I use chemicals and like to use boiling and carrying extra water from potable sources to reduces my exposure to the chemicals and the taste. Lots of people take risks in the wilderness, but you should at least know what you are doing.
Rambler

Lone Wolf
12-17-2007, 17:05
anyone who boils, treats or filters water is nuts :)

take-a-knee
12-17-2007, 17:06
In case it is not obvious to everyone this guy is nuts. I have not met anyone who relies exclusively on boiling. Even BobS hasn't explicitly claimed to have treated a 100 gallons in this manor. I use chemicals and like to use boiling and carrying extra water from potable sources to reduces my exposure to the chemicals and the taste. Lots of people take risks in the wilderness, but you should at least know what you are doing.
Rambler

Dude, have you ever seen how fast a Bushbuddy will boil a quart of water? I'm guessing he has one or something simalar.

ARambler
12-17-2007, 17:20
...Lots of people take risks in the wilderness, but you should at least know what you are doing.
Rambler


anyone who boils, treats or filters water is nuts :)
LW, knows what he's doing... with water, What's up with the lite beer :rolleyes:
Rambler

Lone Wolf
12-17-2007, 17:22
LW, knows what he's doing... with water, What's up with the lite beer :rolleyes:
Rambler

gotta keep my girlish figure

rafe
12-17-2007, 17:44
Steripen is not effective in muddy, silty water. Nor would I want to drink muddy, silty water that's been chemically treated. And there are times when muddy, silty water is all you've got to work with. In those situations you still need mechanical filtration. Happened to me more than once this summer. I probably should experiment a bit with using a bandana as a filter -- that seemed to work in at least one case.

the_iceman
12-17-2007, 18:03
From Aquamira.com:

EPA Registered Purifier, Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets contain a patented chlorine dioxide formula that produces a powerful germicidal agent when released in water. When used as directed, Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets meet the EPA guidelines for Microbiological Water Purifiers making it the safest solution on the market.

The Aqua Mira drops do not say anything like that and that was all I found in the outfitters along the trail. What they do say is and I quote directly from the bottle:

"Kills Odor-Causing Bacteria and Enhances the Taste of Stored Potable Water"

Part A is Chlorine Dioxide 2% and 98% inert ingredients
Part B contains 5% Phosphoric acid and 95% other ingredients.

Mix Part A & B equally - 7 drops per liter

Let stand 5 minutes; Add to water; let stand 15 minutes.

That is a total of 20 not 30 btw.

envirodiver
12-17-2007, 18:17
Steripen is not effective in muddy, silty water. Nor would I want to drink muddy, silty water that's been chemically treated. And there are times when muddy, silty water is all you've got to work with. In those situations you still need mechanical filtration. Happened to me more than once this summer. I probably should experiment a bit with using a bandana as a filter -- that seemed to work in at least one case.

Muddy silty water is tough anyway that you treat it. Filters are best, but they will clog from excessive amounts of solids. Bandanas, coffee filters and even putting it in a pot and letting the solids settle out then decant helps.

Bob S
12-17-2007, 19:18
In case it is not obvious to everyone this guy is nuts. I have not met anyone who relies exclusively on boiling. Even BobS hasn't explicitly claimed to have treated a 100 gallons in this manor. I use chemicals and like to use boiling and carrying extra water from potable sources to reduces my exposure to the chemicals and the taste. Lots of people take risks in the wilderness, but you should at least know what you are doing.
Rambler


ARambler I did not attack anyone in my post (Like you did me) I simply was continuing the debate on how to filter water and offering ideas. You seem to take my post as some kind of personal attack instead of a friendly debate on how to enjoy the outdoors. You donít know me, have no idea what experience in the outdoors I have (over 40-years worth) and yet you decide and post that Iím an idiot that doesnít know what heís doing, just because I donít filter water the way you do???


No I donít only boil water, I have a Thermette and a home made version of the Woodgas camp stove that works very well. So well it got so hot that the first time I used it, it melted the aluminum cross bar pot support (I made a new cross bar out of stainless steel.) I also have a Katadyn Hiker filter that I am very happy with. I did not bring up the filter in this thread because it seems many donít want to carry one because of the added weight. And to me it seemed this thread was about low weight. And as most people carry a stove to cook with and a wood fueled stove is very weight-friendly on a long hike because you donít have to pack fuel. When you already have a stove with you, why not get duel use out of it? I thought it would be a good thing to talk about in this debate.

I did question the idea of wanting to drink bleach water and not hot water out of a Nalgene bottle, but I donít know that it was an attack on anyone. One chemical good, the other one bad?

It seems like you donít like a dissenting opinion to yours and will come out attacking when you see one. Cross examine any idea I have, no problem, but I donít understand the personal attack over this? There was a recent thread to get new people to register and post instead of just reading them, with post like yours, itís easy to see why a person would only read post and not register. Itís not worth registering to be insulted by someone over a difference of opinion on how to hike, or the dislike for drinking bleach flavored water.

ki0eh
12-18-2007, 12:11
Fairly often, when you stop at a restaurant out in the sticks, the well water there may have been treated by themselves (as a "transient noncommunity public water system" or TNCPWS in government-ese) using diluted Clorox. One such place I inspected 13 years ago even used lemon-scented. :eek:

envirodiver
12-18-2007, 13:10
Many people ask for lemon in their water. Maybe they were just getting ahead of the game.

ARambler
12-18-2007, 15:06
ARambler I did not attack anyone in my post (Like you did me) I simply was continuing the debate on how to filter water and offering ideas. You seem to take my post as some kind of personal attack instead of a friendly debate on how to enjoy the outdoors. You donít know me, have no idea what experience in the outdoors I have (over 40-years worth) and yet you decide and post that Iím an idiot that doesnít know what heís doing, just because I donít filter water the way you do???


No I donít only boil water, I have a Thermette and a home made version of the Woodgas camp stove that works very well. So well it got so hot that the first time I used it, it melted the aluminum cross bar pot support (I made a new cross bar out of stainless steel.) I also have a Katadyn Hiker filter that I am very happy with. I did not bring up the filter in this thread because it seems many donít want to carry one because of the added weight. And to me it seemed this thread was about low weight. And as most people carry a stove to cook with and a wood fueled stove is very weight-friendly on a long hike because you donít have to pack fuel. When you already have a stove with you, why not get duel use out of it? I thought it would be a good thing to talk about in this debate.

I did question the idea of wanting to drink bleach water and not hot water out of a Nalgene bottle, but I donít know that it was an attack on anyone. One chemical good, the other one bad?

It seems like you donít like a dissenting opinion to yours and will come out attacking when you see one. Cross examine any idea I have, no problem, but I donít understand the personal attack over this? There was a recent thread to get new people to register and post instead of just reading them, with post like yours, itís easy to see why a person would only read post and not register. Itís not worth registering to be insulted by someone over a difference of opinion on how to hike, or the dislike for drinking bleach flavored water.

I seem to have misinterpreted your post, and perhaps you misinterpreted mine. There are very few "dissenting opinions" that I will attack. One value that I have: Take safety seriously. As I said, it is OK if people don't treat water at all, but they should understand and acknowledge the risks.

I thought some new readers might think that boiling, as the sole source of water treatment, was a "trail proven" recommendation. Clearly, from this follow-up you just consider boiling an "idea". Feel free to experiment if you want. Note, I did say boiling could be used as a treatment option, in conjunction with chemicals.

I didn't address your points about Nalgene/bleach risk-rewards. Hikers who are pro and con Nalgene and pro and con bleach will divide into 4 categories. I don't know how they are distributed and don't have an opinion on how they should be distributed.

Finally, I'm a little bemused how opinionated you think I am about water "treatment" (you say: "'filter' water the way you do"). I have gone from chemicals to a filter and back to chemicals. I've used a couple of chlorines and iodine. When the new lighter MSR filter comes out, I plan to buy it and probably carry it. I'm also interested in the Steripen and the MSR MIOX (which is basically bleach... yeah, back on thread topic.) There are many viable water treatment options.

While I have to remain negative on the probability that a significant number of hikers will ever treat just by boiling, feel free to try. The word nuts should not have been applied to you. Thanks for not calling me a ranter or a lite beer drinker.
Rambler

Mr. Clean
12-21-2007, 06:00
I'd like to mention that it's really not a good idea to use bleach to disinfect your water for any long periods of time. Bleach, when combined with any organics in the water, will cause cancer-causing compounds called trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Clear water is probably acceptable, but if the water has any color at all, it would not be a good way to go.

Also, I believe that most giardia and crypto cases are because of poor hygene, like sharing from a food bag after a trip to the privey.

I have 15 years experience at a water filtration plant for drinking water, in case anyones curious.

mudhead
12-21-2007, 06:37
I have 15 years experience at a water filtration plant for drinking water, in case anyones curious.

I would enjoy hearing about your prefered treatment/filter method in the woods. Maine woods. The land of floaters and swimmers. Thanks.

Critterman
12-21-2007, 08:50
Bleach, when combined with any organics in the water, will cause cancer-causing compounds called trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. ..... I have 15 years experience at a water filtration plant for drinking water, in case anyones curious.

I have read that Chlorine dioxide produces chlorite and chlorate as byproducts in reactions with organic matter. Do you know what harmful effects these may have especially over the time frame of a thru hike ?

Lone Wolf
12-21-2007, 08:55
I would enjoy hearing about your prefered treatment/filter method in the woods. Maine woods. The land of floaters and swimmers. Thanks.

i drink it as is. no treatment/filter

mudhead
12-21-2007, 09:59
i drink it as is. no treatment/filter

OK.

I always am interested in what people in the water biz do or don't do.
They see the crud. Having been in a meat locker, I have an opinion on cow.
What fish fishermen will not eat. That kind of thing.

4eyedbuzzard
12-21-2007, 10:20
Giardia and crptosporidia cysts are often found in municipal water supplys in the US, many of which are unfiltered. It's the degree of contamination that's important - it takes more than one or two cysts to make you sick. Virus comtamination can occur anywhere, anytime, even in well water systems. Chemical treatment systems and filters aren't foolproof at either the municipal or personal level. You also build up a resistance to and symbiosis with critters in your usual water supply. Go on the road(or trail) and you may well meet a disagreeable one. And it could just as likely occur in a town as in the woods.

IMHO better hand washing and hygiene especially around one's water and food would probably prevent more backwoods illness than filtering or treating water.

JAK
12-21-2007, 10:23
anyone who boils, treats or filters water is nuts :)Makes better tea.

The Doctor
12-21-2007, 15:30
I've never treated any water and have had no problems so far :::Knocks on Wood:::::::
I can also say that I've drank out of some questionable sources out of necessity!

take-a-knee
12-21-2007, 15:46
All you non-treaters should go to Haiti and drink from the rivers there. Let us know how it works out. All the locals drink from them and they don't know what a solid stool looks like, maybe you'll show 'em how it's done.

ScottP
12-21-2007, 16:36
Since when was the AT Haiti?

take-a-knee
12-21-2007, 16:40
Since when was the AT Haiti?

Duuuhhh!?

Lone Wolf
12-21-2007, 16:45
All you non-treaters should go to Haiti and drink from the rivers there. Let us know how it works out. All the locals drink from them and they don't know what a solid stool looks like, maybe you'll show 'em how it's done.

who the fhuck wants to go to Haiti? AT. Haiti. two different places

Two Speed
12-21-2007, 16:53
Also raises the question of why take-a-knee is going around Haiti checking the natives for solid stools, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to know. :eek:

'Kay that was a cheap shot, but I just ain't built to resist that kind of temptation.

take-a-knee
12-21-2007, 17:28
Also raises the question of why take-a-knee is going around Haiti checking the natives for solid stools, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to know. :eek:

'Kay that was a cheap shot, but I just ain't built to resist that kind of temptation.

So Hillary could get her socialized medicine bill through Congress! That is the truth! Soldiers just go where they are told to go. We invaded Haiti on the demand of the Congressional Black Caucus, they threatened to boycott Billary's health care vote... a little later my phone rang.

And yes I stepped in a bit of Haitian poo while I was there, it was hard not to sometimes.

Two Speed
12-21-2007, 17:38
Okey dokey, I get the part about soldiers going where they're told to go, but you're loosing me on the link between the mission to Haiti, Hillary Clinton and socialized medicine.

Also, as I recall, the Clinton's efforts on one-payer insurace failed, so I'll admit I really don't follow.

take-a-knee
12-22-2007, 00:38
Okey dokey, I get the part about soldiers going where they're told to go, but you're loosing me on the link between the mission to Haiti, Hillary Clinton and socialized medicine.

Also, as I recall, the Clinton's efforts on one-payer insurace failed, so I'll admit I really don't follow.

This thread started out talking about water purification via some method of chlorine, it degenerated, like every other thread I've ever read along the same lines on WB, into a rant by a vocal minority insisting that everyone who treats water on the trail is a moron. I'll bet most of these "experts" couldn't get a microscope focused on a wet mount if their life depended on doing so. I've been to a few "garden spots" on this globe complements of Uncle Sam (I'm a retired SF Medic) where most people don't have access to clean, pure water. I've seen their stools(crap) out behind their hooches, most of them don't have solid stools 'cause they are infested with coliform bacteria and various parasites. They continue to march 'cause that's all they know. I'm still waiting for someone to say you don't ever need to treat any water, anywhere. What makes this whole thing so ludicrous is the organisms in Haiti are no different than what is in the US, there are more likely a higher concentration of pathogens in the water there, but they are here, and they are here EVERYWHERE in the east. There are places out west that are still pure but not on the AT.

envirodiver
12-22-2007, 02:14
Take-a_Knee you point out a problem...do you have a solution?

take-a-knee
12-22-2007, 02:36
Take-a_Knee you point out a problem...do you have a solution?

Yes:

1) A good filter

2) Polar Pure (or iodine crystals from a pharmacy)

3) Chlorine Dioxide tabs with adequate contact time

Pick and choose from the above list, it the source is questionable filter and treat.

Two Speed
12-22-2007, 08:02
This thread started out talking about water purification via some method of chlorine, it degenerated, like every other thread I've ever read along the same lines on WB, into a rant by a vocal minority insisting that everyone who treats water on the trail is a moron. Well, Iím still not getting the link between link between the mission to Haiti, Hillary Clinton and socialized medicine so I could accuse you of going on a rant, couldnít I? Unfortunately I seem to be stooping to cheap shots on this thread, so Iíll go ahead and apologize for that one, too. At the same time I will ask you to think about that. Not that I ever indulge in ďthread ricochetĒ or anything, I just try not to get upset about it. In fact I kind of enjoy that aspect of WB.
I'll bet most of these "experts" couldn't get a microscope focused on a wet mount if their life depended on doing so. Iíd hate to have my life depend on it, but actually I DO know how to make and focus up on a wet slide. That ainít rocket science. Of course, I also have cracked a few slides Ďcause I ainít too hot at it, so please donít put me on the labís best Ďscope. Next, itís been waaay too long since I took a bio class so I probably wouldnít recognize any of the nasties anyway.
I've been to a few "garden spots" on this globe complements of Uncle Sam (I'm a retired SF Medic) where most people don't have access to clean, pure water.While Iím picking at you please accept my thanks for your service. I frequently disagree with the policy makers that send our troops overseas but I have no doubt that the vast majority of those troops serve out of a sense of duty and honor, and they deserve respect for that. The policy makers? Mmmm, probably not.

Back to picking at you.

You do realize that "pure water," in the molecular sense, will kill you, don't you? All kidding around aside, I'd be very surprised if you don't.

Actually, if I can substitute the phrase "potable water" for "clean, pure water" I'll agree with you. Heck, I'll back you up on that one if anyone wants to start a flame war. With enthusiasm.
I've seen their stools(crap) out behind their hooches, most of them don't have solid stools 'cause they are infested with coliform bacteria and various parasites.íKay, thatís quite different from the reason many U.S. citizens went to Haiti in the Ď80's. At the same time the loose "stools(crap) out behind their hooches" wouldn't have anything to do with poor nutrition and hygiene, not to mention general health, would it?
They continue to march 'cause that's all they know.Well, youíve been there and I havenít, so no problems there.
I'm still waiting for someone to say you don't ever need to treat any water, anywhere.If someone does theyíre either extremely poorly informed or yanking your chain. If they really believe it I'm all for letting them go to some of those "garden spots" and giving a shot. I'm willing to bet they come around to your point of view. It may take a couple of months, but they'll come around if they live long enough.
What makes this whole thing so ludicrous is the organisms in Haiti are no different than what is in the US, there are more likely a higher concentration of pathogens in the water there, but they are here, and they are here EVERYWHERE in the east. Ahhh, now we get to the rub. As a retired medic Iím sure you know that there are quite a few variables when you start considering why one individual gets sick and another one doesnít, even if they both drink from the same water source. While weíre talking logic and all that, whatís your take on relying on bleach for routine water disinfection? Iím gonna go ahead and guess you ainít sold on that concept if thereís anything better available.
There are places out west that are still pure but not on the AT.Well, the water quality at higher elevation on the AT is pretty good, based on my limited experience. FWIW I donít always treat my water. If itís a flowing spring at elevation, probably not. If I have any reason to suspect contamination I filter or use Aqua Mira, depending on what Iíve chosen to bring in the pack.

I sure as heck would not rely on bleach if I can get my hands on anything better. Based on the articles Iíve found and been pointed to bleach is an expedient method, recommended for those times when thereís a reasonable belief thereís a problem and there ainít anything else available. So that you understand where Iím coming from I'm extremley suspicous of most of the statements I've seen about the efficiency of bleach as a disinfectant. If you see me using bleach you know I'm in a tough spot.

highway
12-22-2007, 09:01
This thread started out talking about water purification via some method of chlorine, it degenerated, like every other thread I've ever read along the same lines on WB, into a rant by a vocal minority insisting that everyone who treats water on the trail is a moron. .... There are places out west that are still pure but not on the AT.

From the tone of this comment, I'd say that the 'vocal minority' screams just as loudly from your side as well. But what truly amazes me is how you can truthfully say that all water sources along the AT are contaminated when you have not actually tried it yourself, in the face of so many others who actually have tried it, and without experiencing any ill effects. Everything you read may not be absolutely correct, especially in our ultra-safe, 'suing' society.

Lone Wolf
12-22-2007, 10:21
i'm not screaming. i'm speaking in normal tones. water on the AT between georgia and maine is safe to drink without treating or filtering. i've been doing it for 21 years. never gotten sick. yummy good water! :)

minnesotasmith
12-22-2007, 10:41
i'm not screaming. i'm speaking in normal tones. water on the AT between georgia and maine is safe to drink without treating or filtering. i've been doing it for 21 years. never gotten sick. yummy good water! :)

Including right after you've watched (with empty Nalgenes, near dark, at the end of a long day) someone's leashless mongrel roll around in the spring? :eek:

Treat your water. It's a risk/benefit assessment that's easy enough to make.

Lone Wolf
12-22-2007, 10:43
Treat your water. It's a risk/benefit assessment that's easy enough to make.

don't treat your water. giardia is a big hype

rafe
12-22-2007, 10:56
It's pretty much a crap shoot whether you'll get sick from "bad water" or not. So how much are you willing to bet? LW claims perfect luck for 21 years. I had perfect luck for about 15 years (up until 1989) but since then I've been carrying and using filters.

Having said that, there certainly is some evidence that hygiene (or lack thereof) has as much to do with hikers getting sick as their chosen method of water treatment. This has been documented since at least 1990 or so (viz., Roland Mueser's study of the AT class of '89.)

Also worth nothing that giardia is much rarer than most newbie hikers suppose, but plain old E. coli is common and can have similar symptoms. You can take some comfort in that US waterways aren't (in general) subject to the sort of viral problems seen in some third-world countries.

take-a-knee
12-22-2007, 11:47
Two Speed, the main problem with using bleach is maintaining the required five parts per million residual. It is readily bound to any organic matter present, thus eliminating the required residual, requiring more to be added. How much more? Well, without a pool test kit, you don't know. If you ingest over 10 PPM you'll get diarhhea from the chlorine, and this is highly likely if the water was fairly contaminated to begin with, IE, the first 5PPM was bound by organic matter, so you add another 5ppm to get the required residual, it ALL goes through your intestines, with the result being all your normal flora gets killed off. The army used to use this stuff routinely in water trailers (buffaloes), as long as the medic or preventive med guy knew what he was doing, and as long as some couple didn't use a half-full buffalo for a hot tub the night before.

take-a-knee
12-22-2007, 11:49
don't treat your water. giardia is a big hype

LW is likely an asymptomatic carrier of Giardia and who knows what else. As I've said before LW, you are either the world's luckiest man or you have an unprecedented amount of IGA antibodies in your intestines.

rafe
12-22-2007, 11:53
LW is refered to as "old iron gut." Eats his lamb patties rare. E. coli is afraid of him.

Two Speed
12-22-2007, 17:12
Two Speed, the main problem with using bleach is maintaining the required five parts per million residual. . .Good info, didn't think about the bound chlorine being available to cause gastric distress. Could even cause one to get caught in a rather nasty dilemna: do I add enough chlorine to achieve residual or do I remember that all that crappola's available to give me a belly ache?

Even better I really liked the visual of some grungy ol' ground pounder rinsing off in the buff. That's downright nasty!
LW is refered to as "old iron gut." Eats his lamb patties rare. E. coli is afraid of him.That ain't no surprise, 'cuz Chuck Norris is, too. :p

Mr. Clean
12-22-2007, 17:25
I've seen whats in the water from rivers and lakes, and I almost always filter. Not to say everyone should, that's just what I do. I've seen to many dead animals and animal crap upstream from hiking trails to drink right from the stream, so unless I can see it coming out of the ground, I filter. It only takes a minute or two. I also clean up with disinfectant gel after doing my business.

Chache
12-22-2007, 21:44
don't treat your water. giardia is a big hype
and the Darwin award goes to L Wolf. Congrats

Lone Wolf
12-22-2007, 21:45
and the Darwin award goes to L Wolf. Congrats

what's a darwin award?

Chache
12-22-2007, 21:50
If I had any doubt about you winning the award you just erased it

Lone Wolf
12-22-2007, 21:52
If I had any doubt about you winning the award you just erased it

please explain, dips**t

warraghiyagey
12-22-2007, 22:01
what's a darwin award?
It's a cheesy little silver Jesus Fish outline that you glue to your car. Oh, and the fish has feet - and it says Darwin inside.

take-a-knee
12-22-2007, 22:06
It's a cheesy little silver Jesus Fish outline that you glue to your car. Oh, and the fish has feet - and it says Darwin inside.

Not quite:

http://darwinawards.com/stupid/stupid1998-11.html

Chache
12-22-2007, 23:26
A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue-in-cheek) honor named after evolutionary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution) theorist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory) Charles Darwin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin). "Awards" have been given for people who "do a service to Humanity by removing themselves from the Gene pool", i.e., lose the ability to reproduce. It is for people who kill, or in rare cases, sterilize themselves accidentally by attempting to do stupid feats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stunt). As described in the Darwin Award books: The Awards honour people who ensure the long-term survival of the human race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_race) by removing themselves from the gene pool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_pool) in a sublimely idiotic fashion.

Chache
12-22-2007, 23:27
It's a cheesy little silver Jesus Fish outline that you glue to your car. Oh, and the fish has feet - and it says Darwin inside.
You were joking. Right?