Skip to comments.Best water purification systems, recharge systems for Preppers?
Posted on 12/10/2012 9:34:21 AM PST by Vigilanteman
With the downward spiral of society and the economy ensured by Obama's narrow reelection, I am now looking at gear to ensure, or at least greatly improve, my family's survival when TSHTF.
I have 3-4 months supply of food including canned goods, dried goods, MREs and stuff we use regularly. I have ammunition and firearms to protect it and a couple of alternative escape plans just in case. I also have a hand-crank radio and lighting to ensure communication and illumination. Last election season also helped us define which neighbors would be potential allies, most of them military veterans including a guy with a large front yard flagpole and kids who farm and potential looters, those who put out the rare Obama lawn signs in our neighborhood.
Next big worries are alternative fuel (we're looking into propane) and water. Especially water.
You can't store enough water. It is heavy, bulky and must be rotated frequently or you have to buy expensive canned or bottled water especially designed for long term storage. Everyone has some water in their water heater and the back of their toilet tanks which would be safe to use with just a capful or so of chlorine per gallon, but that would provide you with a few days worth of water at best.
We need to get something which could treat readily available unsafe water and turn it into safe water. When TSHTF, the last thing you want to deal with is an even minor intestinal ailment from drinking unsafe water which could develop into something fatal.
The featured product at the link looks more practical but I'm not sure I trust the distributor like I used to because they now sell occasional junk mixed in with their mostly practical stuff.
Freeper advice, especially from other Preppers, would be appreciated.
The FReeper who has a ton of information on this subject would be Kartographer.
This horrible condition is being set up by republicans in congress who will not do their duty and confront the liberals and their media head on.
This horrible condition is being set up by republicans in congress who will not do their duty and confront the liberals and their media head on.
We bought the Aqua Rain 404 filter.It’s an excellent ceramic filter system.
Unscented, pure household bleach can be used to disinfect water (although it will obviously not do anything about particulate matter). Household bleach does not have a very long shelf life, however, so consider storing a little bit of pool shock (granular calcium hypochlorite), which can be diluted to make chlorine bleach.
I recently bought a ceramic filter kit - works with two plastic buckets (Walmart has ones with lids). Haven’t put it tried it yet, but it was cheap & simple. As far as alternative fuel, I’m in the market for a diesel generator that I can use my home heating oil (solves the storage/rotation problem, at least).
s/b “put it together or tried it yet”
Lifrsaver bottles are about the size of a thermos, making them very portable. they come in two versions that deliver 4,000 - 6,000 liters of pure H2O in the most extreme conditions. Think Katrina water.
Berkey filters are about the size of an orange igloo and come in several configurations. They too deliver pure water but are not really practical for travel due to their size.
If you are stationary then get Berkey.
I myself have two Lifesaver bottles with an extra filter system for each. it’d be years before Ione the ability to make fresh water and I can take em anywhere.
I have a private well and a generator big enough to run it and heavy enough it’ll take a back how to remove it from it’s footings. Generator is currently setup for natural gas but I have the parts to switch it to propane or gasoline.
Still working on the 50 cal to defend it though. (of course I do have smaller options)
The best is the Berkey Water Filter system....
Pinging Kartographer to weigh in.
Problem with chlorine is that cistosporidium spores can live in a chlorine bottle. You must micron filter, not just chlorinate.
Cistosporidium is like gardia on steroids.
I don’t know how the Lifesaver bottle works, but with most portable filtration systems, the limiting factor is time more than volume. Time meaning that at XX months, regardless of how much water has gone through it, the filter media becomes bacteria laden.
Of course we missed the internet, but it had a good side too; getting away from it all for several months. I had to ride atv down to the school to email; which I did maybe once a week.
We had a 1000 gal fuel oil tank full, but only had maybe ten 5 gallon gas cans in the shed. Fuel is just as important as water I do believe.
Everything else, like food & supplies didn't seem too much of a problem; lived outta the garden too.
Until you've experienced an emergency, you can't imagine all the things you never even thought about, ha ha.
There are many filters that fit this description, with the Berkey filters being one of the most well-known. Others are significantly cheaper, but when you do the math on the cost of replaceable filter elements and their life expectancy, the Berkey starts to look like the best choice.
Alternatives to consider (in my mind) are: 1) Doulton, 2) Ceragrav, 3) Low cost ceramic water filter elements you can buy on eBay that can be attached to 5-gallon buckets.
I have the "Big Berkey" model at home and use it to filter all my drinking water.
Just don't be fooled by filters that require you to change the elements frequently - it drives the cost WAY up.
Also, I highly recommend that you research the use of calcium hypochlorite for chemical water purification. Just a few pounds of this can purify a family's water supply *FOR YEARS*. However, be aware that this is a volatile chemical that must be stored in appropriate containers and in appropriate locations away from food and other chemicals with which it may react.
ADDENDUM: With regard to the Berkey water filters, be sure to look for the “Black Berkey” filter elements. I believe they are much better suited to a post-disaster situation.
I have my own well ,we use a Berkey filter
“Problem with chlorine is that cistosporidium spores can live in a chlorine bottle. You must micron filter, not just chlorinate.
Cistosporidium is like gardia on steroids.”
I’m assuming you’re talking about cryptosporidium.
The main problem with these ‘camping solutions’, as I term them, is low volume relatively high effort and reliance on purchased filters that will rapidly disappear from the supply chain in TEOTWAWKI scenario. Keep in mind that water used for hygenic purposes needs to be of potable quality. Brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc. As one poster pointed out the daily volume per person was much higher than he anticipated.
IF you have property larger than a few acre and a source water it is worth researching the various sand filtration systems for a more permanent and stable potable water supply.
Slow sand filtration and purification which are capable of removing particulates and biologicals very effectively when coupled with chlorination or ozone treatment.
I grew up in Washington DC drinking slow sand filtered water from the McMillan Sand Filtration plant and Reservoir. It was the sweetest municipal water I’ve ever tasted. No other city water came close.
Came to learn there’s a biological process working in the top layer of water, schmutzendecke in German, that removes/destroys bacteria including e-coli and others. Rather than confuse with an inadequate synopsis I suggest searching for these terms.
Rapid sand f & p
Bio sand f & p
The bio sand has been very successful in third world countries at providing potable water at household scale
A combination of filtration & boiling water is fairly fool proof...
They do require maintenance that a more permanent filtration wouldn’t. But a little scrubbing and your good to go.
Price point and usability are the key drivers.
I’m planning to use this to boil water for sterilization.
I am also going to build a much smaller one closer in size to the one Kartographer made using an ammo box. They are fun to build and they give great results using just a little fuel.
Lehman’s used to carry a steam distiller for purifying water, but the last time I checked I couldn’t find it. There might be something similar on Amazon.
The advantage to a distiller is that it gets both microbes and particulate, and there’s no filter to clean. The disadvantage is that there are some chemicals that might get distilled along with the water.
Go to www.internetprepper.com for a ceramic water filter kit that you put together yourself using their filters and two 5 gallon white food grade buckets that you can buy at lowes. Total price including buckets approximately $50.00.
We have assembled and given 4 of these filter systems to our family and friends. This is a good filter for people who cannot afford the $230 Big Berkey. We have a Berkey but are also keeping one of the ceramic water filters as a backup.
Our Lowes carries the food grade buckets, but not the food grade lids. Huh?
We have a company in Lexington, KY that carries all container related products and some more.
If you live within an hour of Lexington, drive there and check it out. It will be worth it.
First I will filter the water through a funnel with cheese cloth to get rid of big particles
Second Stage is a filter that goes from 100 micron to 50
Third Stage is a filter that is 50 to 20 microns
fourth stage is 20-5 microns
I use one filter in stage 2 and 3 and it will filter 5 gal in 1/2 hour, fourth stage I use 2 of the 5 micron filters and it filters 5 gal in 2-3 hours, all of these times would be faster if the buckets were kept full.(which you can do with this system)
At this point this water has been filtered enough for the greatest amount of water usage which is personal washing, cloths washing......, put this water in storage and treat with calcium hypoclorite, I have a 55 gal drum for this, then when you want to make drinking water I have a bucket with 2 ceramic filters to bring it down to >1 micron.
This is stage 5, it takes about 6 hours to filter 5 gals, once again much faster if bucket is kept full.
To make this system I had to modify some PVC fittings and make my own lexan washers and gaskets.
I have made this system for several friends, system contains 10 buckets, 5 modified, 5 modified lids, and 5 catch buckets, 4 ea 50, 20, and 5 micron filters, and 2 ceramic filters.
This system extends the life of the filters, is easy to store and will make a great deal of water.
I am working on another stage which will hold a silver embedded charcoal filter to remove bacteria, chlorine, and lead, kind of expensive, but so is getting sick when there are no doctors.......
I also have found a 12 volt UV system that I might also try out, no need for Calcium hypoclorite, but does require power
Well that is my 2 cents
I prefer Berkey Water Filter. It would make bilge water safe to drink and needs NO power.
You can buy the filters and make your own stand:
To save you a few bucks.
As far as my ammo can rocket stove here’s some links:
“Its an excellent ceramic filter system.”
Filters are not going to eliminate viral or bacterial or protozoal contamination...these are the things that will make you sick. Use iodine, hydrogen peroxide, or as a last resort, chlorine bleach.
And yes, the filters will take out dirt, but the dirt won’t make you sick.
Nifty site. Will have to stop in when I’m in Lex next.
“I also have found a 12 volt UV system...”
There are whole-house UV systems out there that will make water safe. Should be possible to have one that works on 12 volts using an inverter. Recharge the batteries with solar.
UV works because it generates hydrogen peroxide in the water and this killes the bad things.
We have stored 50% hydrogen peroxide to do this. It takes very little. And when it is not SHTF time, we use the hydrogen peroxide in our swimming pool (also it is a 25,000 gallon storage tank that is replenished by rain water).
I disagree with you.
Check out amway electronic filter system
I have a basic still.
I like the looks of the ceramic filter that was on the thread from last night as well as the price(Another Emergency Survival Preparedness list). For one thing the price fits my budget.
Also, american_ranger gave some excellent information on using Calcium Hypochlorite to make your own bleach. It has a 10 year shelf life and is much more portable than the liquid stuff in case of Bug Out situation.
I am thinking if I got a solar panel outfit, I might want it to do more than what this one does, but it depends on you and your situation.
Water is my biggest concern - only 3 days without it-that weighs on my mind a little. Even though we have a well, it doesn’t run without a pump, we have never even needed to tap the water heater and have been without electric for extended periods and managed very well.
Plus I like to have 3 alternatives minimum for most things. For water, I’d like to have more than 3, and indeed something for all occasions which gets a little obsessive after a while I guess. I also would like to be as self sufficient as possible.
We do have portable generators, but there again fuel could eventually run out, even if I could get Hubby to do the wiring to use the generator.
I eventually found very narrow buckets of less than 6” in diameter which should work. I also found make it your self plans.
Since they don’t cost much, I can either buy the device or the materials to make it. It is so inexpensive, I won’t mind if we don’t ever have to use it. It will make me feel lots better too.
Next up, what if the well goes dry? A real concern this summer, due to the drought, and new next door neighbors who seem to be oblivous to that possibility and make no restriction to their water wasting activities which hurts everyone in our subdivision.
Also, there is always the potential for the well water to become contaminated. Adding chlorine would suffice for some, but not all of the potential contaminants.
So what to do if the well is not useable? Well, we already collect rainwater off the roof, but we didn’t have enough for the garden last year, so we purchased an above ground pool which will give us about 4000 gallons in addition to our other supplies. That will help no doubt, but we do need most of that to grow our food.
Using the ceramic filter, and bleach or boiling and/or distillation we could turn this into potable water.
But what if the drought gets worse, and the storage isn’t enough?
Same as in the woods with no stream? Trees have deep roots. Some are deeper than others. Tie bags around the branches and let condensation work, or set up a solar still. Well, that’s good to know and could save your life out in the booties. Still don’t want to spend a year or more doing that.
There is a gizmo that runs on electricity that makes drinkable water by pulling moisture out of the air. It costs too much -$1500.00 and up. Then you are back to the question of fuel too. But it started me thinking.
Our central air conditioner produces 5-10 gallons of water per day; we usually collect it for the garden it would be more than enough and pretty clean to begin with.
Now we are back to electricity. Solar power is not feasible for us to set up for that. However, a dehumidifier might just do it and use less electricity that a less expensive solar system could handle. It could also be loaded into a vehicle to go with you. So that’s what I am currently researching.
At some point, if the situation is bad enough, and lasts long enough, I am convinced that getting an ethanol converter for your necessary engines and generators, a small still, and then make your own fuel would be great.
Except the Government won’t let you - afraid you might make some moonshine. But hey that could change some day right?
When I was researching inverters, I ran across a similar size solar equipment outfit that did a little more than the one on this page, and had the possibllity of using solar, inverter/generator, or regular electrical outlet.
I thought I bookmarked it, but couldn’t find it to compare the two.
Well, I hope I have generated lots of alternatives for you to consider-maybe something will spark and idea that will help you decide whether to purchase this or look around a little more. Good luck.
Expensive yet durable....used these for more than 20 plus years all over the world....
Never failed me...
Katdyn Expedition ... Have two of em at home now along with the small pocket filter they make as well. The pocket filter katdyn was issued to me in 1988 while active duty. It still serves me well.
Stay safe ...
Turn off your pool pump and it turns green very quickly.
Also, chemicals to kill algae contain copper which isn’t good for people to ingest.
What about building your own water system? A 55-gal plastic drum with charcoal and sand fed from cistern/gutter system?
I mean, if the SHTF time comes, you may not be able to get filters. Seems like their ought to be a natural resources alternative afa as filtering.
Save me some time, please. Is this about how to set up such filter systems at home? This is the way I want to go. Buying/stocking gross counts of filters seems like a loser proposition to me, in terms of long term.
I’ve tested that stove and it’s very fuel efficient. However, for daily use over a long period of time, it wouldn’t hold up. I really like the EcoZoom stove and the rocket stoves by Stove Tec. they are extremely heavy duty and use very little fuel. Get one that uses both charcoal and wood.
As far as water goes, I’ve tested the LIfe Straw and really like it for a portable water filter. http://eartheasy.com/lifestraw
Bleach is good but it has a shelf life of about a year. If you remember to rotate it, no problem. You can use calcium hypochlorite, aka pool shock, but not all “pool shock” is the same. Get one with calcium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient. Here are instructions and then something I added after talking with a city water engineer.
I have an Aqua Pail that I need to test and review. The inventors of that product believe it to be the best, of course, but I haven’t taken a close look at it yet.
I've started building my own water filter, but just have not found time to finish it. I did have time, however, to buy my Big Berkey, which is much nicer than anything I could have constructed from PVC tubing, etc. And, with some extra elements you should be able to purify water for a small group while the rest of the world dies off.