May 26, 2008 at 1:51 pm #1229172
Anyone have any good info for treating water for kids under 2 years old?
We've been using Aqua Mira for ourselves but is that enough for protecting our daughter?May 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm #1435024
According to a blip from Iowa water study:
"Chlorine dioxide is used for disinfection, but too much of it over a short period of time may harm the development of children, infants, and fetuses."
All I did was googled "chlorine dioxide infants". I have no idea "how much is too much". My thinking is why subject toddlers to chemicals if there are perfectly effective non-chemical treatments? Click over to REI and search for First Need purifier. It's not the lightest, but it's no heavier than many other pump filters either. Like most pump filters, the First Need will improve water clarity and taste — and it is effective against bacteria and protozoa. However, better than most all other pump filters, the First Need is also effective against viruses — without use of chemicals.May 26, 2008 at 4:40 pm #1435026
I recently saw Sawyer's SP125 inline unit. This would work well for a gravity filter setup (i.e. ULA Amigo Pro). The SP125 filters out viruses too! The SP125 is the "purifier", not the "filter" like the SP120. SP125 also comes with a lifetime warranty. This has moved to the top of my wish list.May 26, 2008 at 5:04 pm #1435032
I've tried the Sawyer and it meets the first 4 of my 5 criteria:
1. protect against viruses
2. protect against bacteria
3. protect against protozoa
4. improve water clarity
5. improve water taste
The Sawyer lacks a carbon element to adsorb potential chemicals or improve bad-tasting water. This is just an FYI — and it may or may not be an issue for you.
If #5 is a non-issue for you, then the Sawyer is pretty easy to use both as a gravity-fed filter and as an in-line filter. Best of all, sucking water through the Sawyer requires minimal additional effort. I highly recommend it.May 26, 2008 at 5:16 pm #1435034
For me, your #5 is a bonus. I'm really only concerned about #1-4, as I have a .5L Platypus set aside for use with powdered mixes if the water tastes funky.
I was just looking at Sawyer's site and see they have another viral model (SP135), but in a plastic drink bottle…. for about $34 less. I wonder if it's the same or a smaller model. I noticed the SP135 does not offer the lifetime warranty either. I'll call them about it tomorrow.May 26, 2008 at 5:30 pm #1435036
Swayer model numbers:
SP 120 – filter
SP 130 – same filter with a bottle
SP 125 – purifier
SP 135 – same purifier with a bottle
Oh, one important thing to note. You have to "flush" the purifier — meaning you attach purifier to faucet adapter and use your faucet to force water through — prior to each trip. If you take a dry purifier out with you, you will have to suck very, very, very hard to get a few dribbles out. But once the filter element is flushed (wet out) with water, then sucking is easy. The same applies to gravity-feed mode as well. For all intent and purpose, the "fiedl carry weight" of this purifer is not 3oz (dry weight), but 7oz (damp weight). Hope this helps.
Read this gear report — where the user/reviewer neglected to flush his purifier before use.May 26, 2008 at 7:13 pm #1435048
Any pump or filter I've ever used needs to be "primed" before it can really be used for its intended function.
Are you sure the SP125/135 are the same filter? I thought maybe the 135 would be smaller or something. The SP125 lists on Sawyer's web site for $85. The SP135 shows $51.
I'll try to confirm tomorrow and update this thread afterward.May 26, 2008 at 9:36 pm #1435067
@tinyscraftsLocale: So Cal
How old is the daughter?May 27, 2008 at 7:19 am #1435099
She's 14 months old.May 27, 2008 at 7:57 am #1435104
When I called this morning, they told me anything I see on Sawyergear.com is military only and is "under construction". For civilian sales, I was instructed to buy from Sawyersafetravel.com. Screw that. The "gear" site has the SP135 for $51. The "safetravel" site has it for $99. I'll take the half price one, thankyaverimuch. I have an order confirmation that did not require a military login to complete the transaction. The filter is not a restricted item either, so there should be no problems.May 27, 2008 at 10:25 am #1435139
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Another route you might consider is UV, with prefiltration (for turbid source water). You'll be reasonably assured that any biological contamination will be neutralized (from virusus to cysts).
I agree with the sentiment that chemical treatment is less desirable for the very young. ClO2 creates chloride byproducts that I'd specifically avoid.May 27, 2008 at 6:51 pm #1435225
@earlyliteLocale: New England
The reviewer – sectionhiker.com is me, and he did prime the filter. The sawyer doesn't work because it's a sucky product. You shouldn't have to flush with a faucet each morning.
If you read my review, I concluded that the only way a sawyer system could work is if it had a pump. The MSR Hyperflow delivers that, with what is, as far as I can tell, the same filter technology as a sawyer.May 27, 2008 at 9:34 pm #1435260
The chlorine dioxide treatment that Aqua Mira provides is about the most effective treatment on the market, and probably the best thing you could use to ensure your daughter's safety in any water situation you are likely to encounter. Unlike the proponderance of water filters, Aqua Mira will take out viruses, which while rare, probably represent the greatest health threat to a toddler.
Chlorine dioxide is in widespread use in municipal water systems as a primary disinfectant, but unlike municipal water, Aqua Mira does not include any free chlorine residual like is added to municipal water (after treatment) to ensure safety between the treatment facility and the point of final consumption (i.e. while in the distribution system).
Bottom line is that chlorine dioxide treatments should be just as safe as your tap water at home, and safer than just about any other treatment option in the field.
UV light treatment like the SteriPEN uses is another good choice, but depends upon having fairly clear water for reliable treatment. I can not always reliably find clear water everywhere that I go, so I think less of this option.
If your water source includes large particles, you should make some effort to prefilter before using any treatment method. I find that running it through a bandana is usually sufficient to knock out the objectionable particles.May 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm #1435271
I spoke with a Sawyer company rep. and was told emphatically that the Sawyer purifier needed to be flushed before each trip — using the faucet adapter. Once flushed properly using a faucet, the core will stay damp for days even when left unused — so no, there is no need to "flush with a faucet every day". However, if left unused for long and the core dries out (say in-between trips) — then it takes more than gravity and hard sucking to wet out the core and get it working again. Another faucet flushing is required.
Following her instructions, I found the Sawyer very easy to suck — easier even than the Seychelle. Nevertheless, I later sold it because (1) I didn't care to travel with a damp (and thus heavier and sloppier) purifier and (2) I wanted something that will improve water taste.
Finally, I doubt the Sawyer purifier and the MSR Hyperflow share the same technology. The Sawyer is effective against viruses, whereas the Hyperflow is not. The thing they do share is the lack of a carbon element.May 28, 2008 at 8:18 am #1435315
Keep it up and Santa will bring you a lump of coal for Christmas.
This could work in your favor though… a MYOG carbon filter! Hah!
ChrisMay 28, 2008 at 12:33 pm #1435370
@kiwibirdLocale: North Carolina
Patrick and Jason, when you write about Aquamira and its use, are you referring to the drops/tablets or the water bottle and filter?
KristenMay 29, 2008 at 7:14 am #1435530
I'm referring to the drops.
I actually call AquaMira direct and the representative asked me in what way was I using it. Told him just recreationally and he replied that it would be fine to use. It is not designed to be used daily with an infant or child but recreational or sporadic use is fine, just follow the directions. I'll carry a literrr of water just for my daughter for our trip and if it runs out I'll use the AquaMira. She is still breast feeding so a liter should actually cover 4 days worth of water consumption.
Thanks for everyones input. I appreciate the support of the community here.Jun 13, 2008 at 10:22 am #1438183
You stated you sold your Sawyer unit due to weight and taste. What did you end up going with in its place?
JohnJun 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm #1438215
I switched to a combination of Micropur tablets (to treat viruses and bacteria) and AquaMira Frontier Pro filter (to block out the bigger stuff like protozoa as well as removing potential impurities and funky taste from the treated water).
I like how the Frontier Pro can be used as a personal drinking straw (it can be screwed on directly to a Platy), an inline system, or a gravity feed filter (when large quantities of water need to be treated).Jun 17, 2008 at 3:02 pm #1438787
I tried the AquaMira Frontier Pro filter setup as a gravity system, but wasn't impressed by the flow rate, and then realized I still needed to use chemicals to treat viruses and bacteria. Does the AquaMira do a good job of getting rid of the chemical taste?
The Sawyer seems to have a much better flow rate, and doesn't require chemicals. I suppose as long as you have a good running water supply, you won't the funky taste that the Sawyer doesn't remove. My Sawyer unit just came in the mail today, so I guess I'll have the opportunity to try it when I do Zion Narrows in a week and a half.Jun 17, 2008 at 3:57 pm #1438795
The Sawyer has excellent flow rate. Methinks one reason is the absence of a carbon element. If your water source is reasonably clear and has no funky taste, then why not?
The Frontier Pro is much lighter and more compact than the Sawyer. But used by itself, I view the Frontier Pro as a "toy". Any filter that can't deal with bacteria is a toy to me. But paired up with Micropur tablets — the tablets can kill the small stuff (viruses, bacteria) while the Frontier Pro can trap the bigger baddies (protozoa) that would otherwise take the chemicals a long time to kill.
And yes, the Frontier Pro will also do an excellent job removing sediments and impurities, as well as funky water taste — including the swimming pool taste of Micropur itself.Jul 7, 2008 at 6:11 pm #1441917
The Sawyer purifier probably can't have a charcoal element since it needs to stay wet for extended periods of time and the charcoal is a breeding-ground for bacteria. Also, it would seem a bit odd if you had to flush it every morning since the engineers making it must have thought that there are no taps in the wilderness…
As for the thread's topic, don't take any chances with chemicals. Go with either a pump filter, a UV filter if you KNOW the water is going to be decent, and possibly combine both with boiling. Sick infants are bad enough, I wouldn't want to deal with that in the wilderness.Jul 7, 2008 at 6:19 pm #1441918
Anyone who's ever tried to dry an inline filter prior to storage knows just how long (days!) that takes.
With the Sawyer, you MUST perform the faucet priming prior to each trip — not just when new! You can't do this right by using the mere force of pumping or manually squeezing through a bottle of water. But once primed thoroughly, there should be no worries about the thing drying out in between.
Given potentially fussy babies, I would hesitate to use a purifier that won't really clarify water and remove bad taste.Jul 11, 2008 at 1:09 am #1442457
I would hesitate to give a 14 month old any water that wasn't commercially treated or governmentally regulated. Babies and seniors don't have as strong of immune systems as young adult to middle aged people. For your body your counting on filtering out the nasties to a safe "load" so they can't multiply faster or in large enough numbers before your immune system takes care of them. Kind of like when west nile was a big deal in the news it was mostly younger and older people showing symptoms because of the lower immune system; many other people with strong immune systems more than likely had it but showed no symptoms. Even with UV light I'd be hesitant because it doesn't kill the bugs it just keeps them from multiplying; if you got a source of water with an already large enough population to infect a baby you might have an issue. But if you must I'd consult your baby's physician for the answer to that question; and if they say yes I'd still learn how to assess your baby's lymph nodes and bring a thermometer with you to give yourself an advanced warning that her immune system is trying to kill something. Of course the safest thing; just carry clean water for her and treat yours.
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