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  1. #1
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    Default Clorox for water?

    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."

  2. #2
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    Default

    Boiling water cost nothing (wood stove) and it kills everything.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob S View Post
    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.

  4. #4
    Registered User Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Default

    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
    "All persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights. They include the right to a clean and healthful environment..."

    Article II, Section 3
    The Constitution of the State of Montana

  5. #5
    As in "dessert" not "desert"
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    Default

    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.

  6. #6
    Lazy Hiker Nokia's Avatar
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    Default

    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.

  7. #7

    Default Bleach for water treatment is obsolete...

    Chlorine dioxide (i.e., Aqua Mira), NOT the same thing as bleach/hypochlorite has IMO replaced it.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minnesotasmith View Post
    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.

  9. #9
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    Default

    why would anyone wanna put bleach for clothing into perfectly pure mountain water then drink it?

  10. #10
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    Default

    Cuz they miss city water.

  11. #11
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Default

    Also doesn't bleach treating drinking water put a strain on the kidneys and liver after long exposure.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  12. #12
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    Default clorox

    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)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudhead View Post
    Cuz they miss city water.
    LOL. That's funny there!

  14. #14

    Default Chlorine dioxide tablets vs. liquids (i.e., Aqua Mira)...

    Quote Originally Posted by booney_1 View Post
    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.

  15. #15
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    Default

    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.
    If you don't make waves, it means you ain't paddling

  16. #16
    GA=>ME 2007 the_iceman's Avatar
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    Default Aquamira does not claim to purify....

    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.
    Last edited by the_iceman; 12-17-2007 at 17:38.
    The heaviest thing I carried was my attitude.
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  17. #17
    Registered User The Cheat's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the_iceman View Post
    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.

  18. #18
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    Default

    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.
    If you don't make waves, it means you ain't paddling

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by booney_1 View Post
    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.

  20. #20
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    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.
    If you don't make waves, it means you ain't paddling

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