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Thread: Water Purification Options

  1. #1
    Curious Caster
    Daekar's Avatar
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    Water Purification Options

    Around 10 years ago we were fortunate enough to purchase a house which is on around 5 acres of land and has two streams running through it. I don't know how, but for all that time it never occurred to me that it might be wise to have a reliable way to render that water safe to drink in the event that we have a prolonged power outage. A solar system and home battery are on the long-term horizon, but that's not going to be for years, and there is a good chance my wife's sister (who is in fragile health) will be with us for the foreseeable future.

    The streams from which I intend to draw water host a thriving and healthy ecosystem of plants and animals, so I am confident the water itself is relatively unpolluted, but there are cattle and other livestock on adjacent land upstream and we must have a filter+UV apparatus on our well system.

    I am interested in hearing your thoughts on systems or products which will be appropriate for producing clean water to support 1 man and two women for at least a month. Bonus points for longer endurance, an indefinite supply would take a load off of my shoulders. There are so many options and they have changed so much since my time in the Boy Scouts that I don't know where to begin.
    I'm a big fan of data-driven decisions. You want to make me smile, show me a spreadsheet! Extra points for graphs and best-fit predictive equations.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    BrassMagnet's Avatar
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    Big Berkey for home use and a portable when traveling.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    As you said there's many options but one can't go wrong with a British Berkefeld with the black filters. I've been using a Big Berky for 20 years now (with the regular ceramic filters) to improve our drinking water.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    you can boil it, you can turn it into steam and re cool it for distilled water, you can get a berky water filter, you can get a life straw, you can slow filter it through sand rocks and charcoal. your biggest problem will be nitrates from the animals, you will need to be able to neutralise them.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    For surface water sources likely contaminated by animal manure and ag chemicals you need to employ not less than two methods and also have a test kit which can detect pesticides and petroleum. At minimum use both filtration and UV sterilization. If testing indicates petroleum products or organophosphates consider reverse osmosis equipment used for desalinating sea water when living aboard. A small solar powered system can easily produce 30 l of potable water per day. LOTS of references on this:

    https://www.cruisingworld.com/desali...s-watermakers/

    https://www.appliedmembranes.com/mar...alination.html

    Aqua Marine: www.aquamarineinc.net

    Blue Water Desalination: www.bluewa​terdesalination.com

    Cruise RO: www.cruiserowaterandpower.com

    Dometic Marine Sea Xchange: www.do​metic.com

    ECHOTec: www.echotecwatermakers.com

    FCI Watermakers: www.filtrationconcepts.com

    Horizon Reverse Osmosis (HRO): www.hrosystems.com

    Katadyn: www.katadyn.com

    Rainman: www.rainmandesal.com

    Sea Recovery: www.searecovery.com

    Schenker Watermakers: www.schenkerwa​termakers.com

    SK Watermakers: www.skwatermakers.net

    Spectra Watermakers: www.spectrawater​makers.com

    Village Marine Tec: www.villagemarine.com

    Watermakers Inc.: www.watermakers.com
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-21-2022 at 01:15 PM.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Anything a beaver can get into to poop in will have Giardia in it, or could.
    As such should be boiled, or run through one of the better filters, or both.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

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  7. #7
    Another fan of the Berkys. Few drops of chlorine after filtering it for good measure.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


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    My SHTF option is the Berkey.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Berkey is good but filters are not cheap. We use one for all our drinking water and they should last 5 years. For stream/pond water I would say filter as best you can and plan on a couple of years for filter.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Can you sink a shallow well and use a hand pump? Or is your water no good at those depths

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plate plinker View Post
    Can you sink a shallow well and use a hand pump? Or is your water no good at those depths
    This is what I was thinking also. Would be the best option depending on water depth and soil type.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master beezapilot's Avatar
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    I've used MSR pumps for years in the back country.... so far so good.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWolf View Post
    This is what I was thinking also. Would be the best option depending on water depth and soil type.
    I’m partial to this. Dad and I put down no less than 5 back home. However the water table there was 12 to 15’ deep and quality was excellent.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plate plinker View Post
    I’m partial to this. Dad and I put down no less than 5 back home. However the water table there was 12 to 15’ deep and quality was excellent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Plate plinker View Post
    Can you sink a shallow well and use a hand pump? Or is your water no good at those depths
    I could do this, but I would have to assume that the water at those depths would suffer the same problems as that found in the steams and the aquifer our well pulls from - it sounds like you have a fantastic place, I'm jealous! Accessing the water really isn't the problem I'm looking to solve for a short-term power outage, it's more rendering it safe to drink.
    I'm a big fan of data-driven decisions. You want to make me smile, show me a spreadsheet! Extra points for graphs and best-fit predictive equations.

  16. #16
    Curious Caster
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    It sounds like there are a lot of folks who like the Berkey filters, I will have to look into those!

    Other options I'll have to look at in no particular order:
    MSR Pumps
    Life Straw
    Reverse osmosis

    Outpost, that is a truly epic list of resources to look at, thank you for compiling them!!

    If I can't find something in all the things you guys have suggested there is no hope.
    I'm a big fan of data-driven decisions. You want to make me smile, show me a spreadsheet! Extra points for graphs and best-fit predictive equations.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Reverse osmosis would be great if it doesn’t require power not sure if it needs pressure to work.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daekar View Post
    I could do this, but I would have to assume that the water at those depths would suffer the same problems as that found in the steams and the aquifer our well pulls from - it sounds like you have a fantastic place, I'm jealous! Accessing the water really isn't the problem I'm looking to solve for a short-term power outage, it's more rendering it safe to drink.
    The water at those depths have already been filtered by nature and should not have been contaminated by above ground sources. Can always test drill one and have the water tested but pretty sure you would be good to go.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I tried, but can't find one in stock anywhere.... but you should check out the Sawyer SP191 Point Zero Two Water Purifier Bucket Kit.

    It is gravity fed, and when the filter gets clogged you back flush it with a syringe of clean water.
    So it would last a very long time, they say it's good for thousands of gallons, but the filter has a plastic body and can't be treated roughly.
    And once it has been used it must be kept from freezing or it will crack from the water freezing inside.
    The other filters Sawyer makes might interest you also, they make a wide range of portable camping / backpacking filters.

    The Berkey filters need to be scrubbed in clean water with a Scotch Brite pad or something like that when they get clogged.
    That will eventually wear down the candle, but they last a long time also.

    Whatever you use, I have heard that if you put a Canadian Silver Maple (.9999) coin in your filter,
    the antibiotic properties of silver will help keep bacteria from multiplying.

    YMMV, do your own due diligence and best of luck....

    https://www.highwaterfilters.com/pro...water-purifier

    https://thesurvivalmom.com/water-pur...rotwo-berkeys/

    .

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Depending on your situation, a Ram Pump might work for you to get the water up to your place to use for irrigation or whatever.
    No power needed and are fairly cheap to buy or make.
    Check out Land to House on Youtube if interested.
    1A - 2A = -1A

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