Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

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foust1012's picture
foust1012
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Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

As far as emergency preparedness goes, potable drinkable water is the most improtant thing to have. Wow am I proud of myself. I no longer have to wonder what to do about emergency water. Like many of you, I do not have the space to store all the food I need along with the water required for my family. I just bought a Berkey Water Purifier from www.berkeyproducts.com and I can now purify water from any source to be drinkable and actually good tasting. There is a creek behind my house and I can now use the creek in an emergency as a water source to provide my family with drinking water. Not to mention my tap water tastes so much better. I bought it for emergencies, but I like it so much that I use it every day for my drinking water. Instead of storing water, I can now produce more than 6,000 gallons of pure drinking water from any source (except salt water). and the Purifier cost me $209.00 and takes up about 1 sq foot of space in my house. Storing water is now not necessary for me. This purifier solved my water needs. I strongly encourage everyone to check it out for yourself.  

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Will
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Thanks for posting this.  I've been considering a simple, but effective water purification solution and this might just be the ticket.  I like the fact the the filters can be cleaned and don't have to be replaced (elimintating the risk that the company goes out of business and you can no longer get replacement filters). 

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joemanc
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

I have the Doulton filter - see link below. I'm very happy with it. This Berkey filter looks good too. It's good to have options!

http://www.stpaulmercantile.com/index.php?action=store&page=WaterFilters

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DrKrbyLuv
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Interesting stuff...

Has anyone compared different systems in coming up with their final choice?  Any tips?

I agree that clean drinking water is the most basic requirement for survival and health but have been dragging my feet in putting off the research, any help would be greatly appreciated!

foust1012 - have you considered the Berkey shower head?  Does anyone see a need?

Larry

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goes211
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification
DrKrbyLuv wrote:

foust1012 - have you considered the Berkey shower head?  Does anyone see a need?

I doubt that technology could ever work for a shower.  The flow rates < 1 gallon / hour seem to imply it would be impractical. 

Why would you want to filter your shower water anyways?   People in some part of the world still wash in rivers.  Seems like we could probably survive with less than pristine shower water if we had too.

----------------------------------------

How do people use these products?  What I was wondering is how dirty of water can be used in these sort of systems?   I saw a video on the lifesaver bottle that looked interesting but it's lifespan was only 3-5 years. 

What I want is something that I hope I never need to use but that has a long shelf life and is very flexible on its water source.  Any ideas?

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

joemanc,

Doulton actually owns Berkey. The Doulton systems use the Ceramic elements and the Berkey systems use the Black Berkey Elements.  Designed over a decade ago, the Black Berkey is a proprietary combination of approximately 6 different types of media designed to take filtration to the next level. They exceed EPA log 7 all the way up to log 9 ANSI / NSF protocols for filtration and thus are rated as water purifiers. Without going into too much detail, from a filtration perspective the Black Berkey’s filter out the same chemicals and contaminants that the Super Sterasyl Ceramic Filters do, but go above and beyond by removing Lead, MTBE’s, and other heavy metals. In addition, since the Black Berkey’s are water purifiers, they will filter out a contaminant like Chlorine to undetectable levels, while the ceramics will only remove > 90% of Chlorine. You can go to the "Berkey Education" page at www.berkeyproducts.com if you want more detail.

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

I did my homework for a long time and in my opinion the Berkey systems are by far the best and most economical purification systems available.  I would suggest getting a Berkey at www.berkeyproducts.com.  There is a lot of great information on their site.  I found the "Berkey Education" page to be very helpful. 

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification
DrKrbyLuv wrote:

Interesting stuff...

Has anyone compared different systems in coming up with their final choice?  Any tips?

I agree that clean drinking water is the most basic requirement for survival and health but have been dragging my feet in putting off the research, any help would be greatly appreciated!

foust1012 - have you considered the Berkey shower head?  Does anyone see a need?

Larry

 

I did my homework for a long time and in my opinion the Berkey systems are by far the best and most economical purification systems available.  I would suggest getting a Berkey at www.berkeyproducts.com.  There is a lot of great information on their site.  I found the "Berkey Education" page to be very helpful.

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

As far as the shower filter goes, I did not get one.  They give them for free with the purchase of the bigger Berkey systems on www.berkeyproducts.com, but I opted for the Free PF-2 elements with my purchase.  Those elements reduce arsenic and flouride.  I don not know much about the shower filters, but I think that when SHTF the last thing I will worry about is how clean my bathing water is.

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goes211
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification
goes211 wrote:

How do people use these products?  What I was wondering is how dirty of water can be used in these sort of systems?   I saw a video on the lifesaver bottle that looked interesting but it's lifespan was only 3-5 years. 

What I want is something that I hope I never need to use but that has a long shelf life and is very flexible on its water source.  Any ideas?

I did some more searching on the Berkey site and it appears to that it will meet those criteria quite well.  They claim it to be flexible on water source (streams, pools,....) and have a near indefinite shelf life.  It looks like I may have to consider ordering one once I figure out which model to get unless anyone else has suggestions about a better product.   Thx

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Wendy S. Delmater
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Options:

1. If you have a fuel source, you can distill water. We have a juicer (looks like a waterbath canner when assembled) that does that. You boil the water and collect the condensate. Simple.

2. Calcium hypocholrite, sold as "pool shock". Make sure it is calcium hypochorlite! I have to get my copy of "How ot Survive the End of the world as We Know It" back from a friend to get the exact amount to use per gallon for water purification, but the box we have will purify 6,000 gallons. It cost about $50 at a pool supply company.

3. We put in a well. This was not cheap, especially if you drill down into bedrock, so all we could afford was a "sand well" ($2,800) that goes down 65 feet. But it gets us 20-gallons per minute, and we intend to have the water tested to see if it's okay to drink. If they say it's cool, we're good to go.

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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification -actual "crisis"

Two days ago we got a reverse 911 call at 10:30 PM that said our town water system had been contaminated with e. coli for about a week due to heavy rains and we needed to boil all water. Needless to say, folks are pretty angry about the delay and that will be sorted out. I went to bed feeling smug because my cheapy "carbon block multi-media filer cartridge" has stood me in good stead over the years (replaced periodically) eliminating the chlorine derivatives and radon from my local over-chlorinated and naturally irradiated H20. Imagine my surprise when I checked the specs the next morning and found "do not use with microbiologically unsafe water without disinfection first." Argghh. Fortunately, we only use water to boil for coffee and to brush our teeth (oops). Apparently the concentration of e. coli, not publicized yet, is not strong enuf to affect those without health problems as we have been ok and i have not seen massive ER traffic at the hospital nearby. Our cat, perhaps immune to e. coli (?) is also fine.

Our backup has always been Poland Springs huge jugs and we have started to use those a bit in addition to boiling. Oddly, I had been looking into Berkey but my emails several weeks ago to the company asking if the filters eliminate radon (not always specified on their site) or can purify urine (ok, the survivalist in me got the better of me) have gone unanswered so I am less than impressed with their customer service. Some statements imply radon 222 is taken out, others don't mention it. As for urine...one may need an astronaut type system, I assume reverse osmosis, to take that out. As I live 2 miles from the so-far BP free Atlantic, I have plans for desalination via solar if necessary( somewhere.)

BTW, many years ago I ordered the Berkey shower filter and sent it back becuase it is extremely noisy. I do believe that inhaled chlorine derivatives via showereing, over time, are possibly a health threat but could not stand the really loud whooshing noise in a confined area.

 

SG

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LogansRun
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

I ordered one and am very happy with the customer service.  I hope you get an answer back Cape!

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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

But the Ceramic does kill viruses like the Black Berky element or Does it?

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rickets
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Hi foust1012,

My understanding is that Ceramic filters usually only take care of Bacteria, Chemicals/Toxins, Particulate, Protozoa but not Viruses.

Most ceramic water "filters" fall into this category (not all, but most), while water purifiers usually add the additional protection of killing viruses. 

E coli is a bacteria, so a ceramic filter will usually do the trick...however if you have a virus in the water you may be exposed.  Hope this helps.

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification -actual ...
capesurvivor wrote:

Two days ago we got a reverse 911 call at 10:30 PM that said our town water system had been contaminated with e. coli for about a week due to heavy rains and we needed to boil all water. Needless to say, folks are pretty angry about the delay and that will be sorted out. I went to bed feeling smug because my cheapy "carbon block multi-media filer cartridge" has stood me in good stead over the years (replaced periodically) eliminating the chlorine derivatives and radon from my local over-chlorinated and naturally irradiated H20. Imagine my surprise when I checked the specs the next morning and found "do not use with microbiologically unsafe water without disinfection first." Argghh. Fortunately, we only use water to boil for coffee and to brush our teeth (oops). Apparently the concentration of e. coli, not publicized yet, is not strong enuf to affect those without health problems as we have been ok and i have not seen massive ER traffic at the hospital nearby. Our cat, perhaps immune to e. coli (?) is also fine.

Our backup has always been Poland Springs huge jugs and we have started to use those a bit in addition to boiling. Oddly, I had been looking into Berkey but my emails several weeks ago to the company asking if the filters eliminate radon (not always specified on their site) or can purify urine (ok, the survivalist in me got the better of me) have gone unanswered so I am less than impressed with their customer service. Some statements imply radon 222 is taken out, others don't mention it. As for urine...one may need an astronaut type system, I assume reverse osmosis, to take that out. As I live 2 miles from the so-far BP free Atlantic, I have plans for desalination via solar if necessary( somewhere.)

BTW, many years ago I ordered the Berkey shower filter and sent it back becuase it is extremely noisy. I do believe that inhaled chlorine derivatives via showereing, over time, are possibly a health threat but could not stand the really loud whooshing noise in a confined area.

 

SG

 

Cape,

Go to www.berkeyproducts.com.  I am sure they will answer your questions in a timely manner.  They have great customer support and really strive to take care of their customers and their website is very educational.  Just go to their "contact Us" page and click on the contact us button and you will be able to email them right rom their site.  You will get a same day responsefrom them.  There are a lot of different sites out there that sell Berkey systems, but these guys are easy to deal with and quick to respond.  Give the Berkey product another chance.  It really is a great system.

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capesurvivor
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update

Hi Foust,

I'm afraid that IS where I emailed. Still no word. Will email them again.  We had a big town meeting where people Tony Howardized the young guy in charge of the long time lag in notifying us. I didn't go. I assume that the administraive screwups will be changed but the system of town government by selectman apparent complicates decision-making.

My thoughts from the continuing e. coli mess:

1. Read the specs on any of your emergency equipment. I thought I was bullet proof vs, bacteria until I went back and reread the specs after the mess.

2. As Ferfal of Argentina says 3 is 2 is 1. Get a backup for your backup. We have filters and Poland Springs jugs but I will add a Berkey if the dudes ever get back to me. Question of whether to get the Travel stainless one and risk contamination while fiddling with it or get a bigger model with a spigot at the bottom. Thoughts?

3. It is not TOO difficult to handle one infrastructure system failure...the electricity loss described by CM; a real pain but still manageable. My current water crisis of boiling stuff..same. Add two of them or more though, like an electricity failure plus a water contamination and the hassles rise, well, perhaps exponentially. Best to go through the self-assessment CM has above. I am limited as to what i can do for a number of reasons, not the least of which is spousal non-support, but this current mess may allow me to purchase a few extra survival goodies.

 

SG

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ao
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification
safewrite wrote:

Calcium hypocholrite, sold as "pool shock". Make sure it is calcium hypochorlite!

 

OK, I noSe i'S gunna get FLak frum da anti-spell knotZESE butt IINM, itz ... "hypochlorite". 

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update
capesurvivor wrote:

Hi Foust,

I'm afraid that IS where I emailed. Still no word. Will email them again.  We had a big town meeting where people Tony Howardized the young guy in charge of the long time lag in notifying us. I didn't go. I assume that the administraive screwups will be changed but the system of town government by selectman apparent complicates decision-making.

My thoughts from the continuing e. coli mess:

1. Read the specs on any of your emergency equipment. I thought I was bullet proof vs, bacteria until I went back and reread the specs after the mess.

2. As Ferfal of Argentina says 3 is 2 is 1. Get a backup for your backup. We have filters and Poland Springs jugs but I will add a Berkey if the dudes ever get back to me. Question of whether to get the Travel stainless one and risk contamination while fiddling with it or get a bigger model with a spigot at the bottom. Thoughts?

3. It is not TOO difficult to handle one infrastructure system failure...the electricity loss described by CM; a real pain but still manageable. My current water crisis of boiling stuff..same. Add two of them or more though, like an electricity failure plus a water contamination and the hassles rise, well, perhaps exponentially. Best to go through the self-assessment CM has above. I am limited as to what i can do for a number of reasons, not the least of which is spousal non-support, but this current mess may allow me to purchase a few extra survival goodies.

 

SG

 

Cape,

 

your comment on the Radon got me thinking so I sent www.berkeyproducts.com an email myself and I asked your question about the Radon.  They got back to me the same day.  It does indeed "filter out Radon 222 to below detectable levels".  As far as the Urine goes, I couldn't bring myself to ask.  But their site says that bacteria is eliminated to 99.9999999%. Urine is Sterile anyways and could be consumed without any means of filtration or distillation safely, but you won't catch me drinking it!  LOl.

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capesurvivor
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update

Well,

Murphy's Law in action. I ordered the Berkey Travel filter and hours later the town water was declared free from e. coli and coliform. Undecided

I did find that info about Radon 222 (not sure what brand of Radon I have, have to check town water analysis info) , must have missed it on website or I was on a Berkey reseller site.

I will ask again about urine, just curious.

Now to check with my seacoast town  disaster committee and see if they are preparing for the BP spill to climb up the coast to MA. I can really empathize with the LA folks as a spill here would also devastate everything from fish to tourism. If the spill continues for the foreseeable future, all bets are off.

SG

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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update

Cape,

You will love your Travel Berkey.  I bought mine for emergencies like you had in your towns, but I use it everysingle day.  I cannot drink straight tap water anymore because it tastes so much better after going through a Berkey.

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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update

Cape,

You will love your Travel Berkey.  I bought mine for emergencies like you had in your towns, but I use it everysingle day.  I cannot drink straight tap water anymore because it tastes so much better after going through a Berkey.

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capesurvivor
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update

It's en route;will let you know how it tastes when it comes. I'll do a blind taste test with my carbon filter, Poland Springs, and the Berkey. Our tap water, even "cured" of e. coli, is so chlorinated as to be best used as bleach.

 

SG

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capesurvivor
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification-update

My Berkey Travel filter arrived a few days ago. It is the smallest Travel filter but it dwarfs my small kitchen counter and is thus not practical to use everyday. It is very impressive gleaming stainless steel, on a plastic pedestal. Unfortunately, it is going to be relegated to the basement as part of my emergency prep stuff.

Will stick with the small "multimedia carbon block" that has served me well until bacterial contamination. If that occurs again, will bring up the Berkey. Hate to spend $200.+ on another emergency device. I eyeballed the filter but should have checked the dimensions...

SG

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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

capesurvivor, I was eyeing the Berkey and thought that it could sit atop one of those ceramic pots that you put a 3 or 5 gallon water jug on - you know, the delivered water bottles. Can you tell if that would work? The pictures don't make it very clear. 

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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Hi Saffron,

I have the Travel Berkey and it could sit on any flat level surface. It wouldn't supply water through that ceramic pot, but the pot could certainly be used for a support. Incidentally, the Berkey filters aren't available for us here in California due to a bureaucratic nightmare described here on the website. When I run into these restrictions, I have to have stuff shipped to my daughter and son-in-law in Las Vegas.

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Saffron
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification
earthwise wrote:

Hi Saffron,

I have the Travel Berkey and it could sit on any flat level surface. It wouldn't supply water through that ceramic pot, but the pot could certainly be used for a support. Incidentally, the Berkey filters aren't available for us here in California due to a bureaucratic nightmare described here on the website. When I run into these restrictions, I have to have stuff shipped to my daughter and son-in-law in Las Vegas.

Thanks for clarifying that Earthwise ... I was told we just couldn't get the full system, but we could get the Light ... shoot. Remind me again why California's called the Golden State? Oh yeah, the ton of gold it takes to live here.

Wonder if I can get the clan to move to North Carolina ...

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capesurvivor
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Yes, Earthwise is correct, any flat surface is fine. You're just elevating it so the nozzle isn't right on the floor.

I hate to be a scofflaw but dumb laws demand it sometimes. My state won't even let you buy any knife by UPS or U.S. Mail, technically, even a steak knife. People have been known to have relatives in other states order such things and reship them, I've been told.

 

SG

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

Everbody should just move to Texas where I am.  The laws here are still pretty decent.  Now if we could just become The Republic of Texas all by ourselves.... 

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capesurvivor
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

I don't know...I lived in Dallas for years and traveled around there a bit. The highway signs say "Drive Friendly" but it seemed that every week I lived there, folks got into road rage, pulled off the highway, and got into a gun fight, usually with one guy shooting another in front of his family and then driving off.

I sure drove friendly because I thought every little old lady had a pistol in her glove compartment and would shoot me if I cut her off by accident.

I did like the barbecue and fried pies, though.

 

SG

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foust1012
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Re: Emergency and Everyday Water Purification

I love those fried pies!!

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