Water Purification Process & The First Need Purifier

12:10 a.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Like the below post I am also pondering which water filter. Supposedly the First Needs Deluxe is the only purifier. What's the word on this one? Of my two local outdoors shops neither carries it. They carry PUR, MSR, Katadyn. The fact that the First Needs purifies seems appealing. Anyody have experience or info on this one?

If not using a purifier what process are you all using to achieve this along with the filters? Filter and then treat with iodine? Iodine and then filter? Or is it easier to boil and forget the filters?

Thanks

7:52 a.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Alex, AlexP, GuyWithAnIdea, packboy, Alex Polemeropoulos

I boil and/or bring iodine. Its the lightest option. The more trinkets you bring the greater the chances are that something can break or not work properly.

If the water is gritty or silty just bring a few coffee filters with a small plastic funnel. I use my funnel as a candle holder at night.

Have fun.

8:10 a.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Steven, Steven L, Steven Lesniak, Stevenl

I've got a First Need Deluxe and have been very happy with it. I wouldn't say a *lot* of use, but I'm running enough water for 4 people through it. When I researched I heard some complaints and several have not come true for me. One biggy was that they leak terribly and dirty water can contaminate your clean and/or cap of your clean container. The other is that they can't be back flushed in the field. The final was that they are big and heavy.

Well, my wide mouth Naglene bottle fits nicely on the outlet and I've yet to see a leak. There is also a smaller screw fitting for I believe some Bladder attachments. You can also connect a hose if you really want to get some distance between the filter and clean container. They can be back flushed in the field, although it may not be as easy as others. I back flush and run very mild bleach solution through after every trip. (recommended by mfg) Yes it is a bit bulky and heavy.

On the plus side, I've run some nasty looking water through it and lived to tell. Another thing that I have not tried is the gravity feed. The supplied stuff sack converts to a water bag (line with any plastic bag) that you hang and let gravity feed the filter. *Supposedly* this will work even with a clogged pump. ?? If it does work it is nice touch.

Yes, I could have bought a smaller, lighter unit, but I liked the EPA rating. Okay, for the pessimists, I know the EPA is a government agency, but hey its something. ;-)

Campmor and other mail order companies have them. I had to order mine aswell.

Good luck on your decision.

Oh, and YES we take tablets as a backup and/or boil.

Steven

Quote:

Like the below post I am also pondering which water filter. Supposedly the First Needs Deluxe is the only purifier. What's the word on this one? Of my two local outdoors shops neither carries it. They carry PUR, MSR, Katadyn. The fact that the First Needs purifies seems appealing. Anyody have experience or info on this one?

If not using a purifier what process are you all using to achieve this along with the filters? Filter and then treat with iodine? Iodine and then filter? Or is it easier to boil and forget the filters?

Thanks

7:40 p.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,430 reviewer rep
5,314 forum posts
purify vs filter

Quote:

Like the below post I am also pondering which water filter. Supposedly the First Needs Deluxe is the only purifier.

Not true! First thing is the difference between the terms "filter" and "purifier". A filter removes particles (including tiny little beasties) down to some size, which is given in the filter specs. Coarser filters remove sand and large protozoa. Finer filters (suitable for backpacking) remove down to some fairly small bacteria, as well as giardia cysts, but no backpacking filters will remove viruses. Purifiers on the other hand kill the little beasties, generally with some iodine-containing section. There are a few purifiers which include an activated charcoal section that will also remove chemical contaminants (First Need is one of these), but most do not. Some purifiers have fairly coarse filters and let the water through fast enough that some protozoa are not killed by the iodine (activated charcoal does not kill the beasties, but is there to remove the chemical contaminants and molecule-sized organics). First Need is basically a fairly fine filter plus charcoal filter. It will remove down to bacteria-sized things and remove many (but not all) chemical contaminants. There is an iodine cartridge attachment available to kill the viruses, as is true for Sweetwater and the Pur filters (some Pur models are also purifiers using iodine).

The point here is that you must read the specs carefully and completely, especially since the manufacturers are continuously adding new versions and modifying their products.

Most of the backpacking filters and purifiers work just fine on most US, Canadian, European, Australian, New Zealand, etc wilderness water sources. But be wary of water in areas that have had significant mining - the contaminated runoff in the groundwater in those areas might not be treatable with backpacking filters or purifiers (we have streams in the Santa Cruz mountains that are contaminated by runoff from old mercury mines, so much so that the streams are posted that any fish are highly poisonous to eat, and example being in Almaden Valley, just downstream from Quicksilver County Park - guess where the park got its name). In third world countries with poor sanitary practices, you will have to consider the high probability that hepatitis virus in various forms is present in the streams, and in some cases even in municipal water supplies.

"Boiling" is a proven way to kill the beasties. It is only necessary to raise the water to a temperature of 160F to kill giardia, viruses, bacteria, etc, although some cysts can survive that temperature. It is not necessary to "full rolling boil for 10 minutes." However, boiling does not remove chemical contaminants and it does not break down all organics. It also does not remove silt. A couple weeks ago, we were at a location whose water supply had a pretty high and obnoxious hydrogen sulfide content. We could get rid of most of it by letting the water sit in an uncovered pot overnight, or by boiling. But enough remained that several in our group had slightly upset intestines. Filtering would not remove that sulfur. Iodine also would not do anything for the sulfur.

Halogens (iodine and chlorine) will kill the beasties, given enough time. But the time depends on temperature and turbidity of the water. You really want to remove the silt from the water before popping the iodine tablets into it, and if the water is from a glacial stream, you have to give it a very long time (possibly 2 or 3 hours).

Quote:

If not using a purifier what process are you all using to achieve this along with the filters? Filter and then treat with iodine? Iodine and then filter? Or is it easier to boil and forget the filters?

If you are going to use a filter without the iodine cartridge, filter first, then add the iodine tablets (or chlorine) to the filtered water. But again, you need to settle the silt out and pre-filter through a coffee filter _and_ good prefilter attachment, because some silt (glacial flour, volcanic ash near some volcanoes, like St Helens or much of the Sangre) will pass through even very fine filters.

Boiling works well to kill organisms, but remember that it doesn't remove organic compounds, chemical contaminants, silt, or even all of certain dissolved gases found naturally.

Sounds like wilderness water is a hopeless case, right? Well, just don't drink the municipal water in many of the cities on the Lower Mississippi River. For example, the report on the Baton Rouge municipal water reads like a list of some of the worst organic carcinogens. Luckily, most wilderness water has very little contamination anyway. A study in the Sierra showed that you would have to drink many gallons of the water to get enough giardia cysts to give a 50 percent chance of getting giardiasis. Turns out most of the problem is cryptosporidium instead and general lack of sanitation (did you really wash your hands with soap for the prescribed time after digging your cathole?). So most of the backpacking filters are plenty adequate in the US and Canada.

9:48 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have a First Need, I bought it because it has good filtering capability (down to 0.2u as I recall, which is small enough to remove bacteria and cysts) along with the carbon purifying action. I did have it leak once, it turns out I had not put it together quite right after routine service. It's quite hard to take apart and reassemble due to cheesy plastic fittings. The other negative feature of it is that once I checked for filter integrity before a trip using the blue drops that come with the filter - I was surprised to find that the dye came right through. Apparently I had damaged the filter without knowing it. As far as I know I didnt mistreat the filter, like dropping it, so it's a bit disconcerting that this could happen. I suppose this could happen with other brands too, but they don't supply a way to test for filter integrity. So if you do get one I would recommend checking before each trip.

I try to filter the water then boil if possible, just for extra insurance. I think next time I may try an MSR waterworks II filter, as I like the idea of having a ceramic unit followed by a PES membrane for extra protection.

9:29 a.m. on October 10, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Pur makes 3 purifiers
Explorer
Scout
Voyager (same as Hiker, which is a micro filter not a purifier but with a purifier cartidge)
You can always buy a hiker and upgrade it later to a purifier w/ a new cartridge.


Pur always gets consistantly high marks from reviewers.

5:10 p.m. on October 18, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Dennis, The Original Dennis, Dennis Roscetti
Purifiers

Quote:

Like the below post I am also pondering which water filter. Supposedly the First Needs Deluxe is the only purifier. What's the word on this one? Of my two local outdoors shops neither carries it. They carry PUR, MSR, Katadyn. The fact that the First Needs purifies seems appealing. Anyody have experience or info on this one?

As noted below, others (Pur, Sweetwater) make pump purifiers. Unlike the First Need unit, these models use some form of iodine treatment to kill beasties small enough to pass through the filter element. And both were taken off the market in the past year (temporarily?) by their manufacturer because of failures to perform. This points out what I consider the most serious flaw of the iodine purifiers - it doesn't always work.

As to First Need, on this point Bill S is mistaken: First Need does in fact have a unit that passes the EPA testing for qualification as a purifier, effectively removing viruses rather than killing them. They have test written up in a peer-reviewed journal no less. The results look pretty solid to me. I'm still trying to figure out how they do it. I have no idea about the unit itself - how bulky, heavy, reliable, etc. Have yet to try one.

Quote:

If not using a purifier what process are you all using to achieve this along with the filters? Filter and then treat with iodine? Iodine and then filter? Or is it easier to boil and forget the filters?

What I do depends a lot on where I'm going. I have an MSR Miniworks, which filters to 0.3 microns. This catches most bacteria, including all known intestinal pathogenic bacteria, and protozoans and their cysts. I use this one a lot. This year on a hike of the Wonderland Trail we went light, and used both Potable Aqua (iodine) and Aqua Mira for chemical purification. OF the two I like the ease of use and lack of taste of Aqua Mira. Did either of them actually work? Can't tell you - all I can say is that no one on the trip has had symptoms of intestinal illness. In winter it's generally boiling. I have used a Pur Explorer to pump water from some very silty lakes in cold conditions. The unit worked, but I don't know if it killed everything it was supposed to. Again all I can say is no one showed symptoms. The Katadyn models I've used were rather heavy and not the best ergonomics, but amazingly reliable.

Quote:

Thanks

October 25, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: North Face Sleeping Bag Help Newer: I want to try out my new tent
All forums: Older: arc'teryx alpha sv Newer: CartenzPyramid, and Everest BC trek,