Mar 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm #1234505
Alrighty, so I am SO close to actually buying one of these two. I like that each of these is so inexpensive, and effective.
I would like some help from you guys in deciding which one to get. From what I can tell, these (some) of the the pros and cons of each one. I am almost certain that some of this information may be wrong, and I might even be missing some!
The pros/cons that are marked with a question mark are things I’m not sure about.
Aquamira Water Treatment Drops
1.Very light – apx. 1 oz. (when repackaged in BPL mini dropper)
3.Safe & easy
4.No unpleasant taste
5.Effective against viruses & protozoa
1.Inconvieniece of mixing
2.Long wait for “cold” water
Aquamira Water Purification Tablets – 12 Pack
1.XUL – 0.44 oz. for 12 tablets!
3. Safe & easy
4. No unpleasant taste?
5. Effective against viruses & protozoa?
1.Long wait for “cold” water
2. Use with Aquamira Frontier Emergency Filter System or Aquamira Water Bottle and Filter for a complete system???
Thanks for help.
-EvanMar 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm #1482462
I would actually prefer the tablets over the liquid drops if I get good feedback for them.Mar 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm #1482463
Someone asking about AquaMira? :)
Aquamira Water Treatment Drops
4.No unpleasant taste — some people can't taste anything, others actually LIKE the taste, and still others hate the taste. I am in the last category, but clearly, YMMV.
5.Effective against viruses & protozoa – NOT effective against protozoa unless you triple the dosage to match the strength of the solid tablets — in which case, it will be the same potentially long treatment time as the solids.
2.Long wait for “cold” water — yes and no. The liquids are effective against viruses and bacteria — here — it's the same 15-20 minute treatment time regardless of water temp. Again, liquids are ineffective against protozoa (unless you triple the dosage) — so long treatment time is "not an issue" — in a twisted sense.
Aquamira Water Purification Tablets – 12 Pack
4. No unpleasant taste? Same as above, although solids are more concentrated and the taste is also more noticeable.
5. Effective against viruses & protozoa? Treatment time for viruses and bacteria is the same 15-20 min as liquids. As stated, solids are 3-4 times more potent than liquids — so yes, effective against protozoa too — but treatment time is 30 minutes all the way to 4 hours depending on how cold the water is.
1.Long wait for “cold” water — Yup, for very cold water.
2. Use with Aquamira Frontier Emergency Filter System or Aquamira Water Bottle and Filter for a complete system??? IMO, if you are going to pair chemicals with filter — then you don't need to waste money on expensive chlorine dioxide tablets or liquids. Just use household bleach (cheap as heck — 4-6 drops per quart or liter) to kill viruses and bacteria — then rely on the filter to block the bigger and harder to kill protozoa.
As you might guess, I use the combo method as described above — plain chlorine (bleach) plus A.M. Frontier Pro filter. I want protection against protozoa… the liquids are not effective and while the solids are effective in theory, the waiting time is far too long to be practical IMO.Mar 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm #1482464
So how cold is cold enough that I would have to wait 4 hours with the tablets? Would ordinary mountain streams in the summer count as cold? (please say no)
cheersMar 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm #1482465
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Benjamin, I thought reviewers (was it Ryan) that said that Aquamira did not impart a taste into the water like bleach does.
Have you tried both methods (bleach v. either agua mira form) and considered/judged the taste issue?
ps – others? please specify if you are comparing against aqua mira tablets or the drops.Mar 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm #1482466
Evan – Water at room temp — 30 minutes treatment time.
Water just about to freeze — 4 hours.
Mountain streams up there tend to be on the cold side — even in the summer. To be safe, that would mean somewhere between 2-3 hours.
If you are truly concerned about protozoa (they are not present everywhere but they can be very nasty if you are "unlucky") — some "do it all" options are:
1. Pump purifier — First Need purifier – 15 oz.
2. Katadyn Extream XR
3. Combo bleach and Frontier Pro – just 2 or 3 oz. in weight and compact as heck, but with a 20-minute wait time of course.
Roleigh — As stated above, different people react to the taste differently. To me, AM liquids impart a very noticeably unpleasant taste — and AM or Micropur tablets are even worse! YMMV. OTOH, my experience is that inline filters such as Seychelle and AM Frontier Pro are very effective in removing all traces of chemical treatment taste — be they chlorine dioxide or simple chlorine (bleach).Mar 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm #1482468
I'm not TOO worried about the water cooties. I guess a 2 hour wait time is satisfactory for me. Just dropping some tablets in my water bottle and waiting a couple hours is pure simplicity, and I love that.
thx, BenMar 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm #1482472
You're welcome. The tablets are indeed the essence of simplicity. Try them out and report back.Mar 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm #1482473
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I hear you can premix the drops. How long can you premix them for? Could you mix up what you'll need for the next day the night or morning before?
Also, if you remove the water from the stream and carry it with you it's not going to stay cold for long. So that issue shouldn't matter too much, right?Mar 3, 2009 at 7:04 pm #1482475
I've read of hikers pre-mixing one day's worth of liquids. But my question is why even bother with liquids when solids are available — and more potent/effective?
Many folks reading the instructions form the impression that solids require a much longer time than liquids. That is not true. If you read the labels of the liquids, it says 15 minute treatment time — but it also states ONLY treatment against bacteria — and is completely silent about viruses and protozoa — because it is not allowed to mention the latter!
If you read the label of the solids, it will say simply 4 hours — but then it lists out effectiveness against viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. Being more concentrated and more potent, the solids are EPA approved whereas the liquids are not.
In talking with AM reps and also in reading one of Micropur's webpages (which I can't find anymore but have a printed hardcopy for my own reference) — treatment time is actually the same for both solids and liquids against bacteria — 15-20 minutes. The longer treatment time is strictly for protozoa (which the solids can treat but the liquids can't — unless you choose to triple the dosage — to match the solids).
But in the end, I sort of discount the solid's protozoa advantage simply because I am just not that patient to wait hours for my water (unlike Evan above). Still, putting protozoa aside and focusing on just bacteria — the tablets are easier and quicker to use than the liquids, pure and simple.Mar 4, 2009 at 6:34 am #1482575
I know the solid drops are simpler and more potent, but for me it's a matter of cost versus volume of water treated. The drops claim to treat 120 liters, whereas the solids… not as many for about the same price (yes, I know the argument about the potency, but it's easier to double a dose of the drops than to cut a tablet in half, right?)
Now, wasn't there an article about the effectiveness of various chemical treatments somewhere? I can't seem to find it, but I'd love to see an actual study on the pros and cons of plain bleach versus chlorine dioxide, iodine, etc. And maybe some info on repackaging things into BPL dropper bottles… Or I could just not be lazy and test these things out myself.Mar 4, 2009 at 8:01 am #1482594
It's extremely easy to break the tablet in half — to treat a pint of water or to half the dosage for a quart but doubling the treatment time.
On the other hand, if protozoa is suspected, tripling the dosage of the liquid to match that of the solid will quickly make the liquids an expensive option. Tripling dosage time for the liquid can mean up to 12 hours wait (the more-potent solids already require from 30 minutes to 4 hours).
Now, I am not suggesting that folks ditch the liquids that they already have — but when it comes time to restock — I think tablets is the way to go. It's also why:
1. Micropur tablets got EPA approval but AM liquids never could.
2. AM itself is now selling the stuff in tablet form as well.
Interestingly, both Micropur and AM tablets have essentially identical packaging — and both are made in Spain — very likely in the same factory. For AM, it's a matter of "when you can't beat them, join them".Mar 4, 2009 at 9:52 am #1482632
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
"The longer treatment time is strictly for protozoa (which the solids can treat but the liquids can't — unless you choose to triple the dosage — to match the solids)."
My understanding is that the difference in in marketing, not in efficacy. If directions are followed, both tablets and liquid deliver near the same ClO2 concentration in water, and have exactly the same effect. I've heard that they don't deliver exactly the same dose, but they are not too far apart.
They are chemically the same, and the concentration is about the same, thus they do the same thing. But it makes a big difference what you claim in marketing, e.g. effective on protozoa or not, after this dwell time or that, etc.
Read the EPA report on ClO2 efficacy (on the web) for many details. ClO2 is ClO2. Concerning water purification, with all other things being equal (turbidtity, UV exposure, etc), all that matters is the concentration and dwell time.Mar 4, 2009 at 9:59 am #1482639
@strong806Locale: Near the AT
One consideration is that the tablets are more expensive than the drops.
For short trips I like the convenience of the tablets and I will often treat water with a half dose overnight to conserve tabs. But when I was looking at doing a long distance hike of a month or more the tablets became very expensive.Mar 4, 2009 at 10:33 am #1482658
"My understanding is that the difference in in marketing, not in efficacy." False.
"Read the EPA report on ClO2 efficacy (on the web) for many details. ClO2 is ClO2. Concerning water purification… all that matters is the concentration and dwell time." True.
In my talking with AquaMira three years ago — when AM was only sold in liquid form — the AM rep. confirmed that Micropur tablets had a 3-4 times higher concentration of chlorine dioxide than AM liquids. That was why Micropur got EPA approval but AM didn't. AM's directions on dosage and treatment time was only to treat bacteria — NOT protozoa! AM liquid users can read the directions again.
The AM rep then suggested to me that the liquid could also be effective against protozoa IF the user triples or quadruples the dosage. This, of course, makes the liquids much more expensive (and tedious) to use than the tablets!
About two year or so ago, AM finally came out with its own chlorine dioxide in tablet form. As stated above, these tablets are also made in Spain — just like the Micropur ones.
Comparing AM liquids with the newer AM tablets (as well as Micropur tablets) — a difference of 3-4X concentration is NOT a marketing difference. T's the main reason why AM too is now selling the stuff in tablet form.Mar 30, 2009 at 8:48 am #1489762
Is there a chart or formula that shows the relationship between the temperature of the water vs. the required treatment time to kill protozoa?
If four hour treatment times are needed, the overall weight reduction (filter vs. Aquamira) is *negative* because of the additional weight of the water that you must carry while the treatment time elapses. In other words, carrying a filter is *lighter* when the whole picture (weight of treatment + weight of water carried).Mar 30, 2009 at 9:12 am #1489765
Oops… rereading the posts up above, I realized that I had misunderstood (and disagreed with) Elliot's post — when in reality, we were both basically saying the same thing. Sorry.
As for the chart — there used to be a Micropur webpage but I can't find it anymore. I do have a printout so I'll just type it out:
EPA Water #1 (clear, 20C):
Bacteria… 15 min
Virus…… 15 min
Cysts…… 20 min
EPA Water #2 (dirty, 4C):
Bacteria… 15 min
Virus…… 15 min
Cysts…… 4 hrs
The Swiss co. Micropur now seems to state just the maximum time — 4 hours with no distinguishing between water temp or clarity or anything else. AquaMira, on the other hand, mentions ONLY treatment against bacteria (silent on virus and cysts) and the 20-min treatment time. Finally, in talking with AquaMira rep — she stated that the liquids can match the tablets and treat cysts as well — if the user triples or quadruples the dosage. That makes the liquid quite a bit more expensive though.Mar 30, 2009 at 11:24 am #1489793
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
For the record, does anyone know the CL02 concentration generated by the standard dose in a liter of water for both tablets and liquid, all other things being equal?
I heard rumors they are within 20% of each other, higher for tablets, but I really don't know. Some confusion would be eliminated if a definitive statement could be made (or has it been made and I missed it?).
By the way, buckets full of very large CL02 tablets are sold to hospitals for disinfectant purposes (apparently CL02 works great). I recall these are way cheaper than Micropur or Aquamira, but they carry no EPA certifications. Might be useful for expedition use…Mar 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm #1489817
> EPA Water #1 (clear, 20C):
> Bacteria… 15 min
> Virus…… 15 min
> Cysts…… 20 min
> EPA Water #2 (dirty, 4C):
> Bacteria… 15 min
> Virus…… 15 min
> Cysts…… 4 hrs
Those two listings are helpful. I was just wondering if anyone had a graph or chart that showed the treatment time vs. temperature. Sounds like such a chart doesn't exist. :(
It'd be nice to know about how long to treat the water at a) temperatures below 4C, b) between 4C and 20C, and c) above 20C. I guess one could graph out a straight line using 4C, 4 hours and 20C, 20 mins, but I wonder if such a graph would be reasonably accurate, particularly at temperatures just above 0C/32F.
At treatment times over one hour in length, it's actually lighter to carry a filter (Sweetwater – 12 oz) than the tabs or drops. One hour is around the break even point, and treatment times of less than an hour generally result in a reduction in weight carried if one uses tabs or drops.Mar 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm #1489824
.Mar 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm #1489828
Has anyone who has ever used AquaMira drops ever waited FOUR hours for treatment?
I have with the Micropur ones…of course it depends where you are and what your water source is. I would either boil the water or treat it overnight. In Canada (or North America), I just wait the 15 minutes like you said.Mar 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm #1489843
"Has anyone who has ever used AquaMira drops ever waited FOUR hours for treatment?"
depends on the hike and the water load I am carrying and where I'm getting the water from… generally i wait 30 minutes and then drink away if the water source was clear or near the headwaters… I try and avoid at all cost murky or dirty water and find clear streams, preferably above campgrounds and not below. I also try to fill my water up before bed time and let it sit overnight for the next day, but if i'm collecting as I go, I'll wait 30 minutes with clear water. I'm tempted to switch to tablets for weight and convenience though.
Aquamira actually tastes better than some tap water to me. The taste to me tastes like lightly chlorinated city tap water. which generally doesn't bother me. If you are strictly a bottled water person or filtered water person you might not like the taste.Mar 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm #1489849
I really think that an extrapolation (i.e. straight line graph) will be just fine — no need to be overly precise about this. I'd expect for CYA purpose, the manufacturerer's recommended treatment times probably contain a few extra minutes of buffer and such.
Not that I am a water expert, of course…Mar 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm #1489854
So, I did a web search. In appendix "E" of this document http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/documents/TG/TECHGUID/TG199.pdf on page 8 (E-8), there's a chart showing the relationship of Concentration Time (CT) to efficacy of treatment (99%, 99.9%, and 99.99% reductions of giardia cysts). Does anyone have a good layman's definition of Concentration Time (CT)?
How can I relate the Concentration Times (CT's) shown in the table to minutes of Aquamira treatment at what concentration out on the trail?
What I'm really driving at is how much time and at what dosage should I use Aquamira to kill giardia? From what I've read, Cryptosporidium is the one that takes the really long treatment times to kill. Crypto is fairly rare in the areas I generally hike in (UT, AZ, CA, NV). I think that if I kill off the giardia, that should be sufficent treatment. Therefore, I'm looking for the length of time and dosage needed to kill giardia at various water temps. If I can't get the treatment time to under an hour, then I'll actually save weight by using my 12 oz. Sweetwater filter.Mar 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm #1489871
Depending on your personal preferences in choosing amongst weight vs. time vs. convenience…
Strictly choosing between chlorine dioxide tablet vs. liquid, I would go for tablets. But really, I have moved away from chlorine dioxide entirely. To me, hiking up in the Sierras where water is almost always cold — waiting for 1-4 hours is simply impractical.
What I want is something that can "do it all":
1. clarify water
2. improve water taste
3. treat viruses, bacteria, and protozoa (giardia, etc.)
Filters that can treat viruses are mostly too bulky and heavy for me. And yet, chemicals take too long to treat protozoa! After much searching, I find that a "combo" system can cut out most of the weight and bulk and also cut out most of the waiting time. Here's what I do:
1. First treat water with chlorine (household bleach) to kill viruses and bacteria — 4-6 drops per quart — a small bottle weighs and costs essentially nothing. Wait time? 20 minutes or so regardless of water temp.
2. Then suck water through the AquaMira Frontier Pro filter — to block out protozoa, clarify water and improve water taste (the filter removes all traces of chlorine, for example). The Frontier Pro is very compact, weighs just 2 ounces, and comes with a removable bite valve. It can also be spliced into your hydration tube as an in-line filter — or used as a gravity filter.
Compared to the Sweetwater, the combo does have the slight inconvenience of a 20-minute wait time. However, this 2oz. combo system truly "does it all" — whereas the 12oz. Sweetwater can't treat viruses should they become an issue. Anyway, food for thought, and as they say, pick your poison.
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