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Episode 43 S2-8

Water Filtration Techniques


Special Guest:

Without Land Ch 8

Massimo Marino

In this chapter of Without Land, Vince and Erika entertain Alex as they hear about an idea that he has for them. Erika serves Vince and Alex the brackish water that they have become accustomed to in this new world.  Here to discuss methods that we can use to ensure we have clean water is Massimo Marino author of the Daimones Trilogy.

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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))
Schematic diagram of SONO filter (Source: Hussam and Munir (2007))

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Without Land Ch 8

Massimo Marino

I wrote fantastic stories and science fiction since I was a kid, short stories and novellas, but never had anyone read them. It was a personal thing: My father and my older brother received “Astounding Stories” and other Sci-Fi ‘zines, but I was too little to be allowed to read them, so I looked at the covers…and imagined things for myself. Then, work and life took their toll and I stopped writing those tales.


A few years ago, in 2011, for various reasons, I started again with some burning inside that needed to come out. On the first weekend I got over 15000 words, then subscribed to for peer review, lurked a year keeping on writing and getting feedback, and last September my debut novel, “Daimones“, saw the light. It received the 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award in Science Fiction. A debut novel among so many established authors in the competition.


In September 2013, “Daimones” won the 2013 Hall of Fame – Best Science Fiction from Quality Reads UK Book Club in collaboration with OrangeBerry Book Tours, shortlisted among thousands of other great candidates. I’m writing now Vol.3 of the Daimones Trilogy,  published the Vol.2 “Once Humans (Daimones Trilogy)” – 2014 Awarded in the Best Science Fiction category at the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, and a small collection of short horrid stories, “Stranded Love. Vol.3 The Rise of the Phoenix (Daimones Trilogy) is available in digital and printed edition since May 2014.

So, what about me now… I’m Italian, and because even in Italy that means everything and nothing at all, I should say, I am Sicilian, and I was born in Palermo. As it happened with countless Sicilians before me, I left the region for good in 1986. I spent more years abroad than in my home country, and I have changed in many and different ways than my old friends there. It is always a pleasure to go back, but it is now 6 long years since my last visit. Saudade? Maybe, a little. I lived in Switzerland, France, and the United States.

I am a scientist, and have spent over 17 years in fundamental research. Most of my writing are then academic stuff, and I always wonder at how much Google is able to find about everyone. I am sure one has to Google oneself so not to forget too much…I worked for many years at CERN—an international lab for particle physics research near Geneva, Switzerland—then in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Fantastic moments and memories from those years. In 2005 I moved to the private sector, worked with Apple Inc., and then for the World Economic Forum. I’m glad for your visit today, explore the various areas with book reviews and authors interviews, the blog, and my writing, too, if there’s time.  I hope we can become friends over the lines…

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