Fossil Creek water potable?

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paulshikleejr
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Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by paulshikleejr » Sep 05 2013 12:59 pm

Some friends and I are going to do Fossil Creek in a couple of weeks.

He says when he and his family did it about four years ago, they drank water from the creek and were OK.

However a page on the Coconino National Forest web site http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... ssil+Creek ( :o ) says that you should "Bring your own drinking water."

What do you think? Is drinking about 3 liters of water over eight hours on a day hike OK or would we be courting trouble?

Thanks for any info you may have.
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chumley
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by chumley » Sep 05 2013 1:57 pm

I would personally not consider drinking out of that creek! There is so much human use as well as upstream grazing that unless you were able to somehow capture it directly as it bubbles out of the ground at the bottom of the uppermost pools (a near-impossible task) you would be susceptible to illness.

I've never tried to filter the water there either. It is possible that the high mineral content could cause discomfort or intestinal problems even after filtering.

For a day hike, I would just plan on bringing your own water.

As far as how much to bring, that is something only you can answer based on your own experiences. Some people might hike for 8 hours and only drink a liter. Others might need 8 liters.
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Jim_H
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by Jim_H » Sep 05 2013 2:28 pm

I absolutely consider a source of water such as that, "potable", if by, "potable", you mean clean enough to place into a pot, boil for 5 minutes or whatever is necessary to kill any parasites, and then consume after it cools. Otherwise, I consider no sources of water in the state "potable". Really, unless in an exceptionally dire situation, there is no reason to drink untreated or unfiltered water.

I have a parasite right now, and am treating it with a very nasty antibiotic called Flagyl. I feel really messed up, and have gotten worse since starting the drug. As part of my catharsis, I have read about parasites and find it deeply disturbing that estimates for infection or infestation with intestinal parasites range to as high as 80 % of the US population having it, though a-symptomatically. My symptoms started in mid to late July, with mild nausea at odd times, followed by bloating, diarrhea, the nastiest gas I have ever had, and fatigue. It came and went, but never went away. The troubling part is that if you trust the incubation time for S/S to develop after the exposure, and I have not had a latent infection or infestation for months or years, I haven't drank from water that was not out of tap since last October when I did the Romero Canyon Trail.

So, where did I get this parasite? Well, there was one exception of washing my hands in water near Hesperus Mountain in Colorado at the beginning of July, but that is not the most likely source as it was high up and there is no grazing up that high, or there is no forage for cows. Also, I didn't eat right after, but that might mean nothing. So, I think I most likely got it from eating off of a number of buffets, from a Holiday Inn Express to any of 3 Whole Foods in northern New Mexico, to some other mysterious source. I'll never know. Either way, I feel so happy to know that you can really trust our fellow man to follow what amounts to the simplest and cheapest of disease transmission prevent techniques: hand washing.

What is the significance of this? It likely did not come from a purely water source, but from a human carrier who left it on some location for me to eventually ingest. How does this affect Fossil Creek? People love to go there, our various orifices are far from clean, and anyone can deposit cysts into the water that can be ingested by you or your friends.
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joebartels
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by joebartels » Sep 05 2013 2:32 pm

Seems people have reported trying it in triplogs. If you drink it in volume you might hate life for awhile simply due to the high mineral content.

The hike in is downhill and you can cache along the way...
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chumley
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by chumley » Sep 05 2013 2:53 pm

Jim_H wrote:It likely did not come from a purely water source, but from a human carrier who left it on some location for me to eventually ingest.
I think it was tewa who introduced me to the acronym ATM. And it has nothing to do with getting cash :o
Not washing hands is a big issue. Another frequent area of contamination is ice. If I recall, one or two deaths in Phoenix a few years ago was traced back to the ice served in drinks on a golf course.
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nonot
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by nonot » Sep 05 2013 3:01 pm

Fossil Creek water is OK if you filter it right from the source where it comes out. Don't drink it from downstream where people were playing in it.
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beterarcher
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by beterarcher » Sep 05 2013 4:10 pm

Jim_H wrote:treating it with a very nasty antibiotic called Flagyl
Nasty stuff!
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toddak
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Re: Fossil Creek water potable?

Post by toddak » Sep 05 2013 5:04 pm

As has been said, with too many humans in the area plus the mineral content, hauling / caching is the way to go. If you absolutely have to get water from the creek, it bubbles up vigorously out of the ground in this spot http://hikearizona.com/photo=115561 (but I would still filter it anyway).

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