- Mar 8, 2018 at 3:44 am #3523040
Just saw this on the web. Something akin to a coffee filter could possibly suffice for an entire backpacking trip. I’m certainly intrigued.Mar 8, 2018 at 3:46 am #3523041Mar 8, 2018 at 3:48 am #3523042Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Welcome backMar 8, 2018 at 3:51 am #3523044
Thanks. I lurk now and then.
According to one website, they were up for sale on amazon for $6.99, but now unavailable.Mar 8, 2018 at 5:28 am #3523064Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
The NSF company link just states certification for the removal of lead and arsenic. So it does not look like this filter would remove bacteria or cysts despite the headline in the Fast Company blurb,Mar 8, 2018 at 12:31 pm #3523090Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
– “Immobilizes arsenic; lead, mercury and other heavy metals; radioactive elements; bacteria and viruses.”Mar 8, 2018 at 12:59 pm #3523093James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Lead, aresenic, and other minerals (all are toxic in high doses) are naturally found in in everything. Using simple replacement can cause these to be removed to some degree. It will also capture some bacteria, cysts, worm eggs, etc in your water. BUT, will it make it “safe” to drink???????????
This is a scam. there is no evidence that anything these things do will produce drinkable water from highly contaminated mine run-off. Nor trap enough bacteria to prevent diseases. Nor trap enough viruses to prevent an infection. Nor trap enough worm eggs to prevent a tape worm. Even the picture shows a filter without any means of collecting the output. No mention of the absolute pore size. No mention of testing on biota and their toxins. Someone is trying to make money off pseudo-science and fancy sounding words. And, if you use these as your only filter, it could make you sick depending on your input water and amount consumed. There are spots you can drink water right from the ground. There are spots you cannot. This filter will not change that.Mar 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm #3523096
James, as with all new technology and methods, a cautious wait-and-see approach is often warranted, as is the case here.
However, assuming the claims aren’t flat out lies, this membrane does have an NSF 42 and 53 certification and has a pore size of 40-60 nanometers, or 0.06 microns (if I did the conversion correctly).Mar 12, 2018 at 3:19 am #3523906Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I’d use this filter before I used my Katadyn chlorine dioxide tablets or Steripen but would not trust it by itself.Mar 12, 2018 at 8:32 am #3523951
Do they have a certification from an independent (university) test lab, to EPA Standards, for the removal of viruses, bacteria and protozoa?
I see no sign of this.
Otherwise it looks like some sort of activated charcoal embedded in paper. That’s fine, but hardly of much use to us.
CheersMar 12, 2018 at 6:42 pm #3524024
The only certification I see is the NSF 42/53. Maybe I’ll email them.Apr 20, 2018 at 10:21 pm #3531537Tim MulhollandBPL Member
I’m just getting into this thread as I have some interest in the Mesofilter for backpacking. I share the concerns that have been expressed and these are my thoughts.
Mesopaper is very intriguing to me. I’m looking at a long backpacking trip this summer with my son (JMT). My “current” water filters are an MSR Guardian Purifier (~one pound) and a Katadyn BeFree 1.0 L bottle (2.3 oz). Both of these filters have relatively high flow/pumping rates, I believe, so that’s a plus. Both are designed to remove biologicals – protozoa & bacteria – while the Guardian also removes viruses. Neither filter is designed to remove heavy metals (like arsenic, lead or uranium). In addition to the heavy metals, Mesopaper claims to remove “all” bacteria, viruses and protozoa (“all” is not a good, analytic term). I don’t know how much one of the round or square filters weighs, but it can’t be too much (less than an ounce for several, I’m guessing).
When I’m backpacking, I’m not terribly concerned about ingesting heavy metals – unless I’m going to be around an area where there was active metal mining in the past or known heavy metal contamination of water supplies (so, just about never). Over the course of my lifetime, even if I drink heavy metal contaminated water for a day or two, it’s not a big deal in the big picture; I don’t anticipate being around a metal-contaminated source for very long. My two primary filters aren’t going to take care of heavy metals. I’ve used filters with activated carbon in the past for my backpacking trips and have come to believe that they’re overkill, and they also are more difficult to keep clean and maintain. On my last trip (summer, 2017, for only a few days), we (five people) went through two MSR filters (clogged) and I started looking for better options.
I’m more concerned about the biologicals when I’m backpacking, something that I could catch from another human or an animal (like giardia or bacteria). Most lakes and streams where folks backpack are “relatively” clean already. Many people who backpack will not treat their drinking water at all – just taking it straight from the source (but, they’re also using good judgement about the source).
So, for a JMT trip, I calculated that my son and I might get by with seven Mesofilters, which I’d use with one Nalgene bottle and hydration pack each. Those few ounces of Mesofilters compared to the MSR Guardian Purifier (>1 pound) is quite a difference in terms of weight and volume. I’d also take the Katadyn BeeFree with us.
I’m going to order some of these filters and play with them, but I’m guessing that they’re the direction that I’m going to go. If I was going with a larger group, then the MSR Guardian Purifier would also be reasonable, as a shared weight.
Lastly, for what it’s worth, I have a PhD in environmental engineering (with a strong background in biology and chemistry). I did my research on municipal water filters and the removal of radium from groundwater. A fair portion of my former work life was in toxicology and environmental risk assessment. “NSF” stands for National Sanitation Foundation and it is a trusted source for tools like water filters. If they put their name on the Mesofilter, that’s a good sign. The folks at Mesofilter had to ask for the NSF’s blessing, and then NSF (presumably) performed an independent evaluation that you should be able to review if you inquired.
You still need to make your own decisions for your own needs.
TimApr 20, 2018 at 11:07 pm #3531542Ben H.BPL Member
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
When I’m backpacking, I’m not terribly concerned about ingesting heavy metals – unless I’m going to be around an area where there was active metal mining in the past or known heavy metal contamination of water supplies (so, just about never).
Active metal mining in the past? you mean like the JMT?Apr 20, 2018 at 11:26 pm #3531543idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
“NSF/ANSI 42 is one of two main NSF standards that set the benchmark for evaluating safety and integrity of residential water filters. NSF/ANSI 42 establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of POU/POE filtration systems designed to reduce specific aesthetic or non-health-related contaminants … The scope of this standard includes material safety, structural integrity and aesthetic, structural integrity and aesthetic claims. The most common reduction claims addressed by this standard are chlorine, chloramines, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, pH neutralization and zinc reduction. In addition, products certified only as components are found under NSF/ANSI 42 and are evaluated for material safety and, if pressure bearing, structural integrity.”
“NSF/ANSI 53 is the second NSF benchmark standard that addresses reduction claims for residential water filters. This standard establishes the minimum requirements for the certification of POU/POE filtration systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, lead, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and asbestos that may be present in public or private drinking water.”
Source: NSFApr 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm #3531545
I am sure it is good at removing industrial-type contaminants like heavy metals and VOCs.
But up in the mountains, those things are (usually) of no relevance at all. We are mainly concerned with simple things like e coli, g Lamlia, Crypto and sometimes helminths. Even so, the biggest danger is often other walkers with poor sanitation habits.
CheersApr 20, 2018 at 11:47 pm #3531547idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
the nsf/ansi 53 standard does mention crypto…Apr 21, 2018 at 12:16 am #3531549
But it very carefully avoids mentioning either bacteria or viruses. I am not sure they really mention protozoa either.
I am not saying it is ‘bad’; I am just saying it is not suited for us.
CheersApr 21, 2018 at 12:32 am #3531551James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, I agree with Roger, to a point. Going through the ADK mountains iron, and tannins make up the worst of minerals in the water. I usually just zap the water to kill biologicals and drink it. Actually, in most places, I don’t even need to do that. There are increasing levels of road salt in a few of the lakes where run-off from winter salting flows into them. This is usually not a big worry, but, still… We get a lot of rain up here, so, mostly it will wash out to the oceans via the St Lawrence or the Hudson within a hundred years. Even worms are not a problem. Mostly there are very few of them in the mountains. No one really ever farmed up there.
Sure take it out and test it.
I have two major concerns:
1) Flow rate. Without some head or pressure behind a fine filter (someone quoted a .06micron which is a bit large) it will quickly clog up. Especially a single or double layer paper type filter. It will produce fairly clean water, with the note that .06 is not enough for many viruses. (Viruses are usually not a major concern.) But, at a slow rate.
2) The older technology also limits the effectiveness of the heavy metal filtering. There isn’t enough of it to really form a good replacement/absorption mechanism. Soo, I am guessing than the low filtering speed is relied on to remove any heavy metals. After no more than two or three uses, I am afraid it would simply pass through any metal ions and it doesn’t do anything to them because it is used up. This is not counting byproducts. I am not much of a chemist, but after removing the metal component what is left will need to be attached to something. It doesn’t say anything about that, only the heavy metals.
I am still skeptical and think this is a scam.Apr 21, 2018 at 3:41 am #3531562Tom KBPL Member
“Do they have a certification from an independent (university) test lab, to EPA Standards, for the removal of viruses, bacteria and protozoa?
I see no sign of this.”
They did mention bacteria and viruses, but no mention of protozoa that I could find.
“Otherwise it looks like some sort of activated charcoal embedded in paper. That’s fine, but hardly of much use to us.”
They also mentioned tiny particles of ceramic clay with even tinier iron needles in apertures within the clay particles, as essential elements of the filter. Clay bears a weak negative charge, which could bind metal cations, even as it does in clay soils. Iron oxide has been used in very basic water filters in Bangladesh to remove Arsenic
There is a lot of basic info on the different ways iron oxides and clay can be used to remove arsenic from water in this article.
If anyone really wants to dive into the subject,there is a plethora of literature put there on the web, beyond the brief articles above.
As for myself, .06 microns, low flow rate, and no mention of protozoa are enough to bind me ever more tightly to my Steripen and BeFree.Apr 21, 2018 at 7:35 am #3531569
I think it is aimed at a different market. It may be good there. So yeah.
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