Episode 43 S2-8
Water Filtration Techniques
Without Land Ch 8
Water filtration can be achieved in many ways. Most of us are familiar with filters that can be purchased and are available in a variety of forms. No matter what modern method you choose you will run the risk of the filter no longer being viable, running out of tablets, or no longer having access to the products you need to accomplish the job.
Lucky for us water filtration can be performed easily without using any of these commercial products. You can use sand, cloth, small pebbles, charcoal (saved from everything you burn) all piled into a container in layers. The layers should have the finest material at the bottom and the layers should each be about the width of a man's hand. The filter must work slowly in order to really filter out all of the particles and as much of the microbes as possible. Then you must boil the water to finish killing all of the microorganisms. These organisms will cause illnesses that will dehydrate you by creating severe diarrhea. If you are at sea level you need to boil the water for at least a minute and as your elevation increases you must boil it longer.
There is a product called activated charcoal that has been treated chemically to increase its power and have antibiotic properties. It would be a great thing to have on hand but you can use charcoal from wood burning and achieve great results as well. You could also use fruit and vegetable fibers for filtration but you can't use them for a long period of time (need to switch them out every 4-5 gallons you filter). It has also been found that using a layer of cigarette ashes in your filtration system will remove arsenic from the water.
The container that you put the filtered water in must be clean! This can be achieved using bleach, boiling the container or if it is a clear container you can leave it in the sunlight for a day and the UV rays will destroy bacteria (this will also purify any water in the container as well).
Do not drink hot water! Let it cool after boiling it. Hot water will induce vomiting.
Chemical contamination can always be a threat to your water! Sometimes you can't tell and you may have to chemically treat the water to remove it. Avoid drinking stagnate water if possible. Always choose running water instead. Also survey the surrounding area to ensure that no chemical contamination has occurred.
Bleach and hydrogen peroxide are chemicals that you can safely apply to purify water but they need time to work. Add 2-3 drops per gallon or 10 drops for low grade sources.
Massimo's preferred filtration method is filtration coupled with distillation. First you run the water through your filter. Then you boil the water and collect the water vapor in a different container. This method is the most successful at eliminating all contaminants including chemical contaminants.
Schematic diagram of SONO filter (Source: Hussam and Munir (2007))
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"She quickly let the memory fade from her thoughts. This was their world now."
Featured Survival Product:
Katadyn - Vario Microfilter
The Vario combines individual efficiency with the simplest possible handling. The technology it uses consists of three filter levels: a high-performance glass fiber filter, a ceramic pre-filter that can be adjusted individually according to the cloudiness of the water, and active charcoal for eliminating odors. Anyone who needs up to two liters of drinking water per minute can use the glass fiber and active charcoal filter. If the water is extremely cloudy, the ceramic pre-filter can be fitted in a moment in order to extend the service life of the glass fiber filter. The Vario is compatible with most standard outdoor bottles and hydration bladders.