Water Treatment

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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Coolkat
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Water Treatment

Post by Coolkat » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:27 am

If this needs to be moved you won't hurt my feelings or if the topic is covered elsewhere just show me. Thanks :)

When I was on the Island in 2014 and went through the ranger "indoctrination" on the peer I could have sworn he said that your filter should be smaller than .2 micro if you're taking water from the inland lakes due to something that is unique to IR. At the time all I had was my SteriPen that has done me very well over the years. In the end because of our route I ended up getting all my water from Superior anyway so no big deal.

However, it looks like I'm going back late September this year. So did some digging on the parks website and found that they say .4 micron or smaller and warned that the Steripen hasn't been tested for a parasite local to IR. So guess I'm back to using my Pur Hiker Pro or I might use this as a reason to pick up the Sawyer Squeeze.


Midwest Ed
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:00 am

Hello Coolkat:

This is a direct cut and paste quote from the 2016 Greenstone, the official park newsletter
Drinking Water
Potable water is only available in Rock Harbor and Windigo. All surface lake and stream water should be considered contaminated with pathogens. Drinking contaminated water can make you very sick. Water collected in the park should be boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute or passed through a 0.4 micron filter. To be assured of no risk of contamination from small bacteria and viruses, all filtered water should be further treated with iodine or other approved chemical methods. By itself,chemical treatment is not an effective method of water purification. If you boil your water, bring plenty of stove fuel. If filtering, bring a replacement cartridge for filters that cannot be cleaned in the field. Please note: SteriPENs and other UV purifiers have not been manufacturer-tested for a common Isle Royale parasite and cannot be considered effective.
I've never heard of any new requirement of 0.2 micron. Smaller is better but both will remove the tapeworm eggs and neither will remove viruses or some smaller bacteria.

Search the entire forum using the keyword "tapeworm" in this link below and you will find many discussions centered on the parasite of which you speak.
Forum Search for Tapeworm

Steripens definitely will not remove tapeworm eggs that could reside in any water on the Island. If ingested you won't know about it until many years later, as you will be performing a stand-in role of the moose where cysts grow in any of the internal organs mostly commonly the lungs but also the brain.

To be assured there are no pathogens ingested that are smaller than 0.4 micron such as small bacteria and all viruses, it is recommended to use additional treatment (chemical or UV). I used to drink directly from Lake Superior but after the recent report and discussion regarding Swimmer's Itch, I don't think I want to take even the remotest chance of ingesting that parasite.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


Topic author
Coolkat
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by Coolkat » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:40 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really do appreciate it. Correct me if I'm wrong but it appears that even if I use a sawyer squeeze which is .1 micron I'm still suppose to use uv/chemical also? Why will filtered water also need chemical or uv?


Midwest Ed
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Even at 0.1 microns there are some smaller bacteria and all viruses are smaller. You will find people that only filter. For me, it depends on the source. Lake Superior water, from the end of a dock, not near any stream deltas represent a low risk. But if I got desperate and needed to drink from a puddle along the trail, I'm going to use some treatment tablets after filtering or boil. Trickling creeks downstream from human activity such as an outhouse would get my attention as well. You can probably find situations like this last example on the Island but there would be much better sources close by.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


HikerGal
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by HikerGal » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:41 am

Hmmm... I have used the Platypus Gravity Works water filter all the times I have been on IR. No further UV or chemical treatment. I have gotten water from inland lakes and Lake Superior. Have I, and my hiking buddies, just been lucky to not have had any problem?

I am not sure how I missed this critical point of further treatment. I think it may be because 5 years ago my son went with Scouts and they only filtered.....

I am thinking I may do some further treatment for my upcoming trip. Any suggestions on what specifically to use/do?

Thanks!


3MTA3
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by 3MTA3 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:24 am

I've used both a Pur filter pump & a Sawyer squeeze on the island with success. I did not feel any additional treatment was necessary. Had I been in a "desperate" situation like Midwest Ed posed, I would filter & then boil. There's so much fresh water on Isle Royale that I personally don't worry too much about needing tablets or UV.


deeman
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by deeman » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:04 am

3MTA3 wrote:......There's so much fresh water on Isle Royale that I personally don't worry too much about needing tablets or UV.
Can you elaborate? Do you mean you think the water is very good quality from lakes/streams/Superior within IR?

From reading this and other threads it sounds like getting water for filtering from Superior is.......superior to other sources, is this the generally held belief?

If you had to rank these in terms of the best sources of water to filter do I have it right?

Best to worst
1. Superior - a bit off shore if possible
2.streams
3. Inland lakes

Do you guys have a good, simple solution for "pre-filtering" the water so it does not clog my Sawyer Mini? Or don't you worry if it comes from Superior?

Thanks!!!

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steven.vandekeere
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by steven.vandekeere » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:34 pm

When I was there last we filtered (no chem treatments or boiling) 2 quarts of water from a clear inland lake about 1 mile downhill from Mt. Franklin. We used my Sawyer mini filter. After the fact, I was curious of anybody has ever heard about higher levels on bacteria in water that beavers take up residence in.


Midwest Ed
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:29 pm

I'm no biologist but I'm pretty confident in saying the levels of bacteria (and all sorts of Protozoan pond critters as well) are elevated in beaver ponds, not so much because of beaver feces (but I'm sure that must add to it) but because of the nature of the warmer, slower moving water. Something's gotta eventually oxidize all that plant and animal organic material (beaver feces included). Most of that organic chemistry action is happening in the mud and muck along the bottom. I think your filter did just fine at keeping you safe.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


3MTA3
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Re: Water Treatment

Post by 3MTA3 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:26 pm

deeman wrote:
3MTA3 wrote:......There's so much fresh water on Isle Royale that I personally don't worry too much about needing tablets or UV.
Can you elaborate? Do you mean you think the water is very good quality from lakes/streams/Superior within IR?

From reading this and other threads it sounds like getting water for filtering from Superior is.......superior to other sources, is this the generally held belief?

If you had to rank these in terms of the best sources of water to filter do I have it right?

Best to worst
1. Superior - a bit off shore if possible
2.streams
3. Inland lakes

Do you guys have a good, simple solution for "pre-filtering" the water so it does not clog my Sawyer Mini? Or don't you worry if it comes from Superior?

Thanks!!!
What I mean is that I'm never worried about finding water that is suitable to filter with my pump. I've been places where there is a lot of standing water that collects biological growth. Isle Royale has a lot of flowing fresh water. Again, I've never been worried about using any other treatment on the island past my pump.

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