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Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Backcountry Water Sources


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Backcountry Water Sources

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #3814677
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Backcountry Water Sources

    In this video presentation, we dive into a critical topic to raise awareness about the increasing problem of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, in backcountry water sources.

    #3814717
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Seeing the water sources on the Arizona trail or the CDT – lots of places where your only option is a cow pond, a tank full of algae, etc. Suggestions?

    #3814733
    Jeff McWilliams
    BPL Member

    @jjmcwill

    Locale: Midwest

    Well done presentation.  Toxic algae has become a problem at Isle Royale National Park as well.  Some of the inland lakes on the island will suffer from toxic algae blooms and the NPS has to issue “do not drink” advisories for visitors.

    #3814793
    Bill Budney
    BPL Member

    @billb

    Locale: Central NYS

    For first aid, charcoal is easy to make in most places below tree line. Can that help? How much do we need to eat?

    Prevention is better, of course. I’m just thinking about what to do when things go wrong?

    #3814895
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Bill: while charcoal is easy to make, and wouldn’t hurt you, what you really want is *activated* charcoal which has been heated in high-temperature steam or nitrogen to drive organics off the surfaces of former cell walls. Then the tremendous surface area of those microscopic structures can adsorb (with a “d” – a surface process) organic molecules from the air or out of water.

    If you wanted to use DIY charcoal, the fresher the better.

    But you’d have to administer it pretty quickly – before most of the toxics had been absorbing in the GI tract.

    So in a pinch, charcoal would be far better to treat the water before drinking than as first aid after you noticed symptoms.

    #3814899
    Bill Budney
    BPL Member

    @billb

    Locale: Central NYS

    Thanks for that explanation, David.

    Avoidance has work so far, and that remains solidly Plan A.

    I suppose that some water really needs to be distilled to make it safe. If fuel is abundant (firewood), then it isn’t all that hard to do. Maybe that’s a good reason to carry a pot, a lid, and a smaller cup. Not that I’ve ever needed to do that — I just feel better knowing that I can. :)

    I wonder if stillsuits feel clammy? Probably. Sigh.

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