Water purifier vrs Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets

9:33 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
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For my up coming trip to Thailand I was planning on taking a "As New" First Need Water Purifier that I picked up at a garage sale. To lighten up the load I was now thinking instead of taking Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets instead. Since I will be in many places where I can buy bottled water I will have that opportunity as well. I will be bringing one or two Camelbak bladders with me.  I have no problem filtering my water thru material of some sort.  Take the tablets and the filter, or just the tablets?  I would take the tablets any in case as the filter could brake/stopped working. What are your thoughts on all of this?

10:45 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
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My personal opinion would be both, but I've never been one for this whole UL trend!

11:09 p.m. on November 11, 2011 (EST)
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The topic of water treatment has been dealt with exhaustively here on Trailspace. You might start with my 4-part article of a while back, located at http://www.trailspace.com/articles/backcountry-water-treatment-part-1-hydration.html . In addition there are many posts on the question of tablets vs filters vs purifiers vs boiling

Some terminology (overly simplified) -

What you really need is potable water. This means "safe to drink". This can be accomplished by filtration with a 2-3 micron filter for the bacteria and protozoa, though viruses require a 1 micron or smaller filter, or chemical treatment with halogen tablets (choice of chlorine dioxide, iodine tablets,  or sodium hypochlorite). However, depending on temperature, pH, and turbidity of the water, tablets require a minimum of 30 min to 4+ hours. Boiling (actually simply raising the water temperature to the pasteurization temperature of 155F is sufficient for a period of 5 min) will kill all the critters except certain encysted parasites and bacteria).

Pure water requires a higher level of decontamination. This is usually done by filtration plus passage through an iodine impregnated matrix that kills viruses, protozoa, and bacteria to a higher level.

Sterile water means decontamination to a surgical level. This is only necessary if you are doing an operation.

Filtration removes most of the turbidity, which boiling and tablets do not. None of these methods removes chemical contamination from mine, agricultural, or industrial runoff. You will have to resort to flocculation to do this, at a minimum (the Pur treatment package, available in WalMart, believe it or not, but it works on 10 liter batches, no more no less, not 1 liter water bottle's worth of water).

Right now in Thailand, a lot of the water is pretty contaminated with all sorts of stuff, including industrial and agricultural chemicals plus a really evil mix of organics. You may have less in the "backcountry" (rural areas), but Bangkok is suffering still from the heavy flooding in the city.

If I were going there now, I would use a ceramic filter plus chlorine dioxide tablets (4 hours at "room temperature"). The most readily available and portable ceramic filter is the Katadyn Pocket Filter. Unfortunately, it is something like $160. And it is fairly  hard to pump. However, it is field-cleanable (all filters will clog, so you would need 2 or 3 spare cartridges for your First Need) and has a 1 micron pore size. Still doesn't take out chemical contamination.

12:59 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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Bill S said:

 

The topic of water treatment has been dealt with exhaustively here on Trailspace. You might start with my 4-part article of a while back, located at http://www.trailspace.com/articles/backcountry-water-treatment-part-1-hydration.html . In addition there are many posts on the question of tablets vs filters vs purifiers vs boiling

Some terminology (overly simplified) -

What you really need is potable water. This means "safe to drink". This can be accomplished by filtration with a 2-3 micron filter for the bacteria and protozoa, though viruses require a 1 micron or smaller filter, or chemical treatment with halogen tablets (choice of chlorine dioxide, iodine tablets, or sodium hypochlorite). However, depending on temperature, pH, and turbidity of the water, tablets require a minimum of 30 min to 4+ hours. Boiling (actually simply raising the water temperature to the pasteurization temperature of 155F is sufficient for a period of 5 min) will kill all the critters except certain encysted parasites and bacteria).

Pure water requires a higher level of decontamination. This is usually done by filtration plus passage through an iodine impregnated matrix that kills viruses, protozoa, and bacteria to a higher level.

Sterile water means decontamination to a surgical level. This is only necessary if you are doing an operation.

Filtration removes most of the turbidity, which boiling and tablets do not. None of these methods removes chemical contamination from mine, agricultural, or industrial runoff. You will have to resort to flocculation to do this, at a minimum (the Pur treatment package, available in WalMart, believe it or not, but it works on 10 liter batches, no more no less, not 1 liter water bottle's worth of water).

Right now in Thailand, a lot of the water is pretty contaminated with all sorts of stuff, including industrial and agricultural chemicals plus a really evil mix of organics. You may have less in the "backcountry" (rural areas), but Bangkok is suffering still from the heavy flooding in the city.

If I were going there now, I would use a ceramic filter plus chlorine dioxide tablets (4 hours at "room temperature"). The most readily available and portable ceramic filter is the Katadyn Pocket Filter. Unfortunately, it is something like $160. And it is fairly hard to pump. However, it is field-cleanable (all filters will clog, so you would need 2 or 3 spare cartridges for your First Need) and has a 1 micron pore size. Still doesn't take out chemical contamination.

 

 

Hey Bill, I will go and read your article regarding Water filtering/purification. For years I used a PUR Explorer that worked for many years until I put it away for a while and it stopped working the last time I pulled it out. I recently picked another one up on EBay As New in the box for super cheap. I thought I remembered that they used a ceramic cartridge as you speak of but am having a hard tine at the moment tracking that down. It's much larger than the First Need but I guess I could hump it about for six weeks.

Here is what it says on the box. Active Ingredient: Iodine* 54.6% Inert Ingredients: 45.4%

*Bound to quaternary ammonium polystyrene anlon exchange resin.

I'll keep looking to figure out if it's a ceramic cartridge. It does have a back flushing function to aid in it not clogging up esp. if the water is filtered/strained and the back flush option is used on a regular basis before clogging happens.

I'm not to worried about Bangkok as I can buy bottled water there.  I will only be spending one night in Bangkok as I want to get out of the city as quickly as possible and head to the country side.

 

Ok so it appears that the PUR Explorer does have a cermaic filter.  So this should work for Thailand unless I'm mistaken. 

 

 

1:59 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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Apeman

Be careful of bottled water.  It could be refilled bottles because of the flooding crisis.  I would recommend a steripen when you are in the city to purify the bottle water to be safe.  I have a Sawyer .1 micron gravity filter.  Very easy to use.  They make a .02 micro which will remove viruses.  It is a little slow because of the small pore size.  They are extremely easy to clean.  If you are filtering into your camelbak all you do is detach from the dirty bag and squeeze the camelbak.

2:04 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Bill:

In my original post I was asking about the First Need filter.  Upon further investigation I find that I have the First Need Deluxe.

 

Did some reading this evening and came up with this from the Trailspace reviews.

 

 

First NeedDeluxe Water Purifier

 

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

From Vargo Outdoors:
"The most effective portable at any price. Effective against cryptosporidia, bacteria and viruses; unmatched in removing harmful chemicals. Increased purification capacity, more secure hose fittings for backwashing. "Direct Connect" to most water bottles and hydration packs, flexible sanitary cap directly attached to pump cover, longer tubing, rugged, comfortable handle, greater capacity and fastest flow of all. Self-cleaning prefilter and gravity assist system included. No iodine needed! Replacement canister fits older first need models also. Output: 1.8 qt/min. Cartridge capacity: 125 gal. Weight: 15 oz."

From Backcountry.com:
"The First Need Deluxe Water purifier has a 0.1 micron carbon matrix filter element which cranks out a rapid 1.8 liters per minute. The First Need by General Ecology has an incredible filter and a the super-fast pump rate. This advanced water purifier has a capacity of 135 gallons - which is substantial if you consider that the average person consumes about a half gallon per day. Many backpackers like this water purifier because it is compact and its redesigned handle fits comfortably in the palm of your hand."

From REI:
"Also removes unpleasant tastes and certain chemicals. Comes with self-cleaning pre-filter, adjustable float, 36-in. long inlet hose, integral sanitary cover and nylon carrying bag. Direct Connect  attaches the unit snugly atop most trail and bike water bottles. Easy-grip, double-action handle provides comfortable pumping, or use the Gravity Assist connection for hands-free purification without pumping. Ideal for moderate use, the Deluxe purifies water naturally, instantly and ecologically. Pump is fully backwashable for cleaning in the field; no brushing, scraping, or contact with pathogens. The only non-chemical water purifier certified to EPA Guide Standard for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses."

From EMS:
"A fantastic travel companion for countries with less than reliable municipal water systems. This purifier eliminates the need to chemically treat the water before filtration to destroy viruses. Replaceable sealed canister reduces the potential of contamination; directly connects to most trail bottles. Removes bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, and giardia; leaves no aftertaste. Lightweight and compact; pump length is only 8 inches. Also removes many chemical contaminants. Includes gravity feed bag; continues to purify water after a couple of pumps. Indicates end of useful capacity."

The paper work that came with unit says:

removes:

Giardia

Water-borne Disease-bacteria

Pesticdes/toxic chemicals

Asbestos fibers

Foul taste and orders

 

Water-born enteric disease bacteria.

Giardia, Entamoeba, Cryptosporidia, Granulosa, and other hardy protozoan organisms.

Asbestos..both nateral and industrial, fiberglass and other fibers.

Herbicides, pesticides,halogented hydrocarbons,chlorine, and many other toxic chemicals. Sediment, dirt radiocactive fallout.

 

So if I used this and prefiltered the water it seems as the First Need Deluxe would work if I filtered thru a coffee filter/bandana then used the First Need.

 

"The First Need Deluxe Water purifier has a 0.1 micron carbon matrix filter element which cranks out a rapid 1.8 liters per minute."

I'm assuming this will take care of viruses as well?  If not then I could use this with "chemical treatment with halogen tablets (choice of chlorine dioxide, iodine tablets, or sodium hypochlorite)"?

I don't mind carring extra cartridges is that is nescessary and then carry extra Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets as a backup?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dang, all I wanted to do is go fishing.  This all is starting to smack of "risky business"!       ;-}>

10:28 a.m. on November 12, 2011 (EST)
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The .1 micron isn't small enough for viruses.  It is using a chemical method to kill/remove the viruses.  You need .02 micron to physically remove viruses. Since it is listed as a purifier and not as a filter it is removing/killing viruses.

July 22, 2014
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