Category Archives: Water Treatment

Better water treatment

klearwater-clo2 I've been looking for a better treatment solution than MicroPUR tabs.

They work great, but we usually only let them sit for a half hour. In icy cold or dirty water, the recommended time is 4 hrs. I've always wondered if we are just being lucky when we are using very cold water from most of the streams around here.

So what are my other options?

Chlorine Dioxide also comes in liquid form – which has a faster reaction time.

Aqua Mira has had a two-part product on the market for quite some time. However, it requires pre-mixing before adding to the water – which sounds like too much effort.

KlearWater is a newer product that is pre-mixed and has a decent shelf life. It comes in small 9ml containers, that weigh 1.22 oz and treats 9 liters+. Ryan Jordan talks about a way to re-pack them down to 0.5 oz and a strategy that can stretch this to get 25 liters of treated water. 

Another interesting frontier-pro-filter-largeproduct is the Aquamira Frontier Pro Filter, shown on the right. This is inline filter is a mere 2oz in weight and fits onto the opening of a platypus bag and the other end to a hose.

I love the idea of not needing chemical treatment and having instant water, but I need to read some more reviews before I'm sold.

Aquastar mÃœV Filter

At the 2007 Outdoor Retailer Show, Aquastar announced the mÃœV (pronounced "move") water filter.

It looks like an interesting alternative to chemical treatment.

It's a simple UV device that you submerge in water to kill bacteria. Drop it into a bottle or pan of water for a few minutes and wait while the UV ray zap all the little critters.

It can be recharged by simply attaching the leads to a battery. A single charge will treat about 15-20 litres of water, and a single Duracell D-Battery will provide enough juice to re-charge the filter 10 times.

Weighs in at a respectible 2.4 oz.

Available at Aquastars website.

Katadyn MicroPUR Tabs

We use these for our water purification system.

A single tablet will treat 1 liter of water, so we need two each time we fill our platypus.

We've experimented with tiny water filters, aqua mira and iodine tablets. These win for me hands down.

First, I don't have to squat for 45 minutes pumping a cubic inch at a time to get my water, nor do I have to mess around mixing chemicals, and finally there's no weird after taste like with iodine – so no need to carry gatorade powder to hide it.

The MicroPUR tabs are based on Chlorine Dioxide (which I believe is what municipal water treatment plants use for your home), and so can even treat giardia, but you have to leave them for 4hrs to do that. We usually let them run for 30 minutes which kills most things.

The first time I used them, we had a bag of really cold water collected, dropped the tabs in an they started smoking as they reacted with the water, releasing a strong chlorine odor. It was a little disconcerting, but after 30 minutes the odor and taste had gone completely.

This system works for us, because where we hike we are mostly guaranteed access to good water – streams, lakes or rivers. If I was planning a trip where I had to use murky or sketchy water, I'd bring my filter again.

Three sheets of them weighs in a less than 1 oz..

The obvious downside is cost. It is not the cheapest way to treat your water, but hey – the cost of going Ultralight? Priceless.

Available from Amazon for $12.95.

2 Litre Platypus Water Carrier

Looks like just another water carrier, huh? Not so… This little dude carries 2 liters and packs in at only 1.2 oz.. Significantly lighter than that Nalgene bag or worse the big plastic bottles.

We use this to carry spare water if we need it, and to treat our water. As we use a chemical treatment for purification, we fill this bag up in a lake or stream, drop a few MicroPUR tabs in, wait 30 minutes and are good to go.

It can also be filled with air at night and double as a pillow, and on particularly cold nights, you can heat up some water on the stove, pour it back into this bag and take it to bed as a hot water bottle (Nice tip from Tim)

I also pack a platypatch in my first aid kit, just incase it ever springs a leak. Hasn't so far…

Water container from REI for $6.95.