Filtering vs. purifying

[See the full post at: Filtering vs. purifying]

  • Comments (9)

    • 6

      This was explained so well!  This answered some questions I had in the back of my mind about what distillation is and the differences between the particulates.  Very informative!

    • 6

      This was an excellent lesson! I had always thought that salt was a physical contaminate  that could possibly be filtered out, but in this lesson I learned how it integrates with the water molecule and other methods are needed to separate the salt from the water.

      I now also understand the need of backflushing your water filter to get rid of l that blockage that builds up. 

    • 3

      Where I live, most of the farmland is owned and worked by dairy farms that keep their cows in big barns, collect the manure and urine, then mix it with water and create liquefied manure (slurry) that is injected into or sprayed onto the crop fields. I’ve seen the runoff seeping into the little creek at the foot of the hill behind our house, and it looks like there’s oil or gasoline floating on top of the runoff as it oozes from the ground – probably from the heavy farm equipment used. Ordinarily, the creek water looks fairly clear, but knowing of the many, many fields upstream that have been slurried, what method(s) would YOU, the experts, recommend, if this were my only source of water? A+B+C, I bet – with emphasis on C!

      • 4

        Great question. Some of the later lessons will touch on this, but the punchline:

        Thankfully, common biological threats that come from things like animal poo are pretty easy to handle. Store-bought filters or disinfectants can handle the biological stuff, as can boiling. 

        The oils, gases, and other ag/industrial runoff is harder because they aren’t likely caught in a filter and you can’t boil/UV them into submission. Distillation is the most practical way to remove the water from those soluble chemicals. 

        In a survival situation though, many people might just take the effort to collect water from that creek in a way that avoids the oils etc to begin with, since that stuff usually floats on top (the Collection Tips lesson below shows some examples). After filtering/disinfecting, do a small taste/smell test. If it seems okay, depending on the situation it may be worth drinking a residual amount of gasoline vs. not drinking or having to distill.

      • 3

        Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, John! I didn’t consider the possibility of sucking water from under the oil-slick, but that’s quite reasonable. I’m just getting started on your website, taking the water course first – can’t do without water! – and that creek, while intermittent during dry spells, is the nearest water source for me besides an OLD hand-dug well in the little patch of woods next to our property. It’s about 14′ deep, with 4-5′ of water in it – and God only knows what else, as it’s not covered. There once was an old farmhouse there, with a small cement-lined cistern or spring-house in the ground next to the well – all that’s left is the cement box of it. I doubt anyone but me knows about it now. I should take a water sample to be checked. The owner wants too much money for the land, and all it is is a bunch of twisty young black walnuts and rocks piled up at the edge of the field by farm equipment. If it’s clean water, that well could be worth more than its weight in gold.

    • 2

      Excellent presentation. One thing, however: The 0.1 Sawyer Squeeze filter does not filter out viruses, which are much smaller.  The Sawyer Point Zero TWO Purifier (.02) will remove viruses to 99.9997%, a 5.5 log reduction. 

      • 2

        Thanks. If I misspoke in the video, it was to communicate that some viruses are bigger than 0.1 microns and thus the Squeeze and similar models will catch some but not all viruses — but those products won’t claim virus protection since some will still get through and they won’t make partial claims.

        FWIW it looks like Sawyer has paused or discontinued the Point Zero Two line. If I remember correctly, we asked them when doing a review on the .02 bucket system last year and they said they were pausing sales to individuals https://theprepared.com/blog/review-sawyer-point-zerotwo-bucket-system/

    • 5

      So far, I love this site. This course is excellent. I look forward to more content! Thank you. 

    • 2

      Do you have recommendations for well access? We have 2 wells on our property, but they require energy. We do have a generator, but looking for an access to the wells without energy/electricity.  Also, we have an in-ground pool…..what treatment would you recommend for that water?

      • 1

        Great question! 

        Swimming pools usually contain multiple things in them that are okay to drink if you happen to swallow a mouthful when swimming, but can be toxic and harmful in large doses like if you were trying to survive off of it. It’s best to use pool water for cleaning, bathing, or flushing the toilet, There are some filters that are able to filter out chemicals, but they tend to be expensive and have lower lifespans. You can distill the water, but that is very energy intensive. Solar distillation is very slow as you will see in another lesson.

        It’s good you have a generator for your well, and even better that you are looking into ones not reliant on electricity. Is an old style hand pump well possible?