filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

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bell_indeed
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filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by bell_indeed »

I'm hoping for some insight as to how people typically go about filtering their water from the Colorado River in the Canyon. In a couple months I'll be doing my first backcountry trip in the Canyon, and the first night's water source will be from the river. Would a filter such as the Katadyn Hiker PRO be able to capably handle the sediment-laden water of the Colorado River? I was thinking I might need to collect the water first in another container, let it settle, then filter it in order to avoid mucking up the filter or something like that.

And tips would be appreciated. Thanks!
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PaleoRob
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by PaleoRob »

My wife always lets the water settle in a Nalgene overnight before filtering the next day. It'll probably still be pretty gritty, but the nastiest and coarsest stuff'll drop out.
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Sredfield
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by Sredfield »

take some coffee filters as well and wrap one around the intake. Or you could use a spare sock...

I also heard that heating it and then cooling it quickly, like setting the pan of heated water, in some cold water, makes it settle, but have never tried that method
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hikeaz
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by hikeaz »

As you say 'a couple of months from now" I'll presume May. I would say that it's unlikely that you will have a bad silt issue in May - likely the water will be nice and green - watch the USGS gauge for the Little Colorado, that's the source of the silt.
That said, alum, available in the spice section, will attach itself to any silt and settle it, but to do it right that could take a few hours and you need to remember to decant from the top w/o disturbing the settled glop. You can get most of the silt out pouring through fleece before filtering as well.
If I'm not mistaken, the Hiker PRO is not a ceramic filter, ceramic being the most easily 'field cleaned'. If you do not already own this filter, you might consider a MSR Miniworks or Katadyn Mini Ceramic Water Filter, among others.
BTW - Where will your first night's camp be?
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azbackpackr
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by azbackpackr »

Ditto what hikeaz said. I've never had to let it settle but once, when there was a lot of silt from the L. Col.
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te_wa
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by te_wa »

hiker and hiker pro use porous paper filter with carbon core to enhance taste. it will clog very easily and is not field cleanable. cost is $35 dont ruin it.
another tip: the hiker filter will hold water for weeks so after every trip, let it dry with indirect sunlight. (direct sunlight will also kill bacteria and protozoa if you wish) it may take up to 8 hours for the filter to dry, but you dont want mold or mildew to grow in it. [-X
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writelots
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by writelots »

there is a new kit that retrofits the hiker and hiker pro with a "prefilter" (basically a plastic screen over the paper filter) that does a good job catching larger particles such as silt in a way that can be rinsed off in the field. While I still don't recommend filtering brown Colorado water with it, it's at least an improvement that has helped me many times avoid clogging that expensive paper filter. It would probably help even more if you have the patience to let the water settle - though sometimes that feels like an exercise in futility.
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bell_indeed
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by bell_indeed »

Wow, thanks for all the great posts!

Actually, my trip will be at the end of April. Sorry. Actually, just about a month and a half from now. I've been saying it's months away for so long, and now it's just around the corner...My friends and I will be doing the Tonto Trail - New Hance Trail to Grandview Point. So the first night will be at-large camping around Red Canyon, and so the Colorado is the only source of water at that point. Second night will be Hance Creek and then Horseshoe Mesa for third (and last) night.

I have not purchased a water filter yet...but I had kind of narrowed it down to the Katadyn Hiker Pro and the MSR MiniWorks. This will be my first water filter, so I hadn't really considered the ceramic build of the MiniWorks, but I have been reading a lot about the ease of field maintenance associated with it. And with a few of the comments here it's making me think I should indeed go with that one...

The water sources the other two nights are Hance Creek and Miners Spring, so it's just that first night of dealing with the river water. I appreciate all of the tips everyone! I'll definitely plan to utilize some of those extra filtering techniques that have been mentioned with a coffee filter and/or fleece, etc.
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dysfunction
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by dysfunction »

For what it's worth, I had the Pur version of the hiker pro for years (before Katadyn bought it) and replaced it eventually with the MiniWorks. It's really easy to maintain it in the field and I do prefer the ceramic filter as clogs are really much less of an issue than they were with the Pur
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by Jeffshadows »

Alum powder to settle water and then a couple rounds through the Steripen. You really only need one pass if battery life is a concern. Batteries should well outlast any trip you're on. I've been doing this for about a year now with great results from even really muddy sources...
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by big_load »

dysfunction wrote:For what it's worth, I had the Pur version of the hiker pro for years (before Katadyn bought it) and replaced it eventually with the MiniWorks. It's really easy to maintain it in the field and I do prefer the ceramic filter as clogs are really much less of an issue than they were with the Pur
I replaced my Pur with a Miniworks five years ago and have never regretted the few extra ounces in weight. The Hiker is a fine product and I wouldn't consider it a mistake if you bought one, but it just isn't as cleanable as the Miniworks.
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by hikeaz »

"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by ALMAL »

@te-wa
Hey where can I buy hiker pro for $35?
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joebartels
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by joebartels »

In this photo it shows a tiny bottle of PACL / Polyaluminum Chloride treats 250 gallons.
Has anyone used this?
Is anything else used?
How long does it take to treat a gallon or two?
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by BobP »

@ALMAL
He was saying that is what it costs to replace the cartridge.
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friendofThundergod
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by friendofThundergod »

@joe bartels
it shows a tiny bottle of PACL / Polyaluminum Chloride treats 250 gallons
Heck bring out four of those bottles and you could turn a cattle tank into a drinkable swimming pool ;)
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hikeaz
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Re: filtering Colorado River water in Grand Canyon

Post by hikeaz »

friendofThundergod wrote:@joe bartels
it shows a tiny bottle of PACL / Polyaluminum Chloride treats 250 gallons
Heck bring out four of those bottles and you could turn a cattle tank into a drinkable swimming pool ;)
Funny play on words....... as PACL is used as pool/spa clarifier.
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