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Water purifaction article Missed a major way to treat water

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Water purifaction article Missed a major way to treat water

Postby Wastral » Mon May 21, 2012 12:21 am

The article was informative, but missed a major water purifier method for anyone with a decent amount of sun. A widely used treatment method to obtain 150F water for 5 minutes or greater temperatures can be seen in all of the myriad of solar heat collectors used throughout the less developed world and even by many in the developed world.

Solar water purifaction: Goes like this generally speaking

Generally said system is a simple tray with its Bottom painted JET BLACK and then one carries stiff aluminum foil(needed for cooking anyways) or cardboard aluminized foil(bulky but far easier to use) that directs the sunlight onto the water tray. This heats the water to the correct temperature without any fuel consumed. The fancy ones have a temperature gauge that turns a color when it reaches 160F, then you time it for 5-10min and viola out pops 2 liters or so of clean water. Weight is generally about a pound when all is said and done for the lightweight systems and for the food solar cooker, an earthenware pot of a couple pounds to pots painted jet black to 10 lbs and several gallons in size.

Generally people have one of these systems running as long as possible during the day to produce enough water. Its doable in a long 1hour lunch break to produce enough water for your entire hiking day for instance. In Equatorial regions getting 20L from one of these systems a day is not unheard of if one is just "sitting".

These system are prolific in Africa/middle east/equatorial islands, etc. Obvious requirement is dependable sun. Also works perfectly well depending on the season very far north. Farthest North I have personally heard is British Columbia. California/Colorado would be simple I would think. Same with the Blue Smmoky Mountains and the EU alps.
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Re: Water purifaction article Missed a major way to treat w

Postby Enkidu » Mon May 21, 2012 3:12 am

Wastral wrote:The article was informative, but missed a major water purifier method for anyone with a decent amount of sun. A widely used treatment method to obtain 150F water for 5 minutes or greater temperatures can be seen in all of the myriad of solar heat collectors used throughout the less developed world and even by many in the developed world.

Solar water purifaction: Goes like this generally speaking

Generally said system is a simple tray with its Bottom painted JET BLACK and then one carries stiff aluminum foil(needed for cooking anyways) or cardboard aluminized foil(bulky but far easier to use) that directs the sunlight onto the water tray. This heats the water to the correct temperature without any fuel consumed. The fancy ones have a temperature gauge that turns a color when it reaches 160F, then you time it for 5-10min and viola out pops 2 liters or so of clean water. Weight is generally about a pound when all is said and done for the lightweight systems and for the food solar cooker, an earthenware pot of a couple pounds to pots painted jet black to 10 lbs and several gallons in size.

Generally people have one of these systems running as long as possible during the day to produce enough water. Its doable in a long 1hour lunch break to produce enough water for your entire hiking day for instance. In Equatorial regions getting 20L from one of these systems a day is not unheard of if one is just "sitting".

These system are prolific in Africa/middle east/equatorial islands, etc. Obvious requirement is dependable sun. Also works perfectly well depending on the season very far north. Farthest North I have personally heard is British Columbia. California/Colorado would be simple I would think. Same with the Blue Smmoky Mountains and the EU alps.



This method was not missed as this is simply a pasteurization technique. Boiling and pasteurization are one of the 5 general methodologies covered in the article. I think you mean that I did not specifically mention these type of devices.

Similarly I did not mention fires or stoves as the purpose of the article was not to suggest a specific device or product but to provide the reader with the information necessary to select a treatment methodology (pasteurization in this case) based on their specific situation. The reader can than chose the specific system they intend to use based on their own specific preferences.

Having seen these devices in operation in Africa I know that they work. Personally I would not chose this technique as it is weather dependant. Most mountainous areas are subject to rapid weather changes and weather prediction is difficult to say the least. I think of it like my tent, ropes, anchors etc. I want them to work all the time whenever they are needed.
Bring a compass. It's awkward when you have to eat your friends
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Re: Water purifaction article Missed a major way to treat w

Postby Wastral » Mon May 21, 2012 10:28 am

True enough. I would state that between 30deg N and 30 deg S few mountain regions there have even mild weather in typical climbing months. Add in the fact that nearly anywhere in the mountains one has clean water and well...

I hauled one of these buggers around with me in Kenya and it worked great with a little preplanning and forethought. Beats the heck out of the cruddy steripen garbage that folks are peddling now. Still prefer the 2 part aqua-mira stuff though if I have to carry something.

My point was more to those who go around hauling a giant half pound or 1 pound pump system. It is just as light to haul this system which is guaranteed to get all the bugs unlike said pumps without leaving a taste in your mouth.
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Re: Water purifaction article Missed a major way to treat w

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon May 21, 2012 1:11 pm

I've never heard of these devices before, but then again I've never been to Africa, only gone on climbing trips/expeditions where it is decidedly colder. I will say that whitetail wrote the article I WISH I had written. Since getting sick wrting is one of the few things I can do, and I had it in the back of my mind to write an article like this. He beat be to it and did a great job; covered everything in just enough detail, and wrote it in a precise but approachable language.

Maybe he'll write an article on how to sh*t in the woods. The great climber/writer/mountain guide Keith Mark Johnson wrote an article called "A Clockwork Brown" that detailed how to dispose of waste for the variety environments in the US. Sadly no magazine would publish it. I am of the mind that groups should carrly a lightweight but totally waterproof roll top stuff sack with some kitty litter at the bottome into which all the used blue bags go into. For a standard two-four day weekend trip this would totally be do-able. The bag would be emptied at the provided recepticles at the Ranger Stations (yeah, right!) then hosed out and disinfected at home.

That would solve almost all of the human generated pathogens in the backcountry where toilets are not provided. Maybe I'll put together a roll top bag, some kitty litter, dog bags, tissues and market it through REI as the Clean Mountain Waste Disposal System. The roll top bag would have a couple of tabs so the two cinch straps on the back pack could be used to attach it to the outside of the pack. Crap, its early.
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