Are there viruses in AZ stream water?

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slayte
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Are there viruses in AZ stream water?

Post by slayte » Apr 10 2002 2:15 pm

Do any of you treat your filtered water for viruses before drinking? Have you ever heard reports of viral contamination around here? Since Pur has discontinued their iodized lines, I can't get filter elements for my Scout any more (looking at buying a Hiker).

I know water-borne viruses are very rare here in the US, but I don't know exactly HOW rare.

Thanks,
Ed

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Nighthiker
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Post by Nighthiker » Apr 10 2002 4:06 pm

I have been using water purification tablets and or boiling the water only and I have not had any problems (with this method) though I and have been thinking about obtaining a water filter/disinfectant. I believe some of the problems people atribute to the water may actually be the food they are not use to consuming (freeze dried/dehydrated). Since the public lands (federal and state) allow livestock grazing, let alone the impact by people, most water sources may be contaminated.

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slayte
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answering my own question

Post by slayte » Apr 10 2002 6:39 pm

OK, I have gotten more info on this.

It turns out that Pur quit making iodized filters because the carbon canisters removed the iodine from the water before it had time to kill any viruses, therefore it wasn't actually effective against viruses. There are still a few iodized filters on the market (none by Pur) but they no longer have carbon canisters, thus the water tastes like iodine.

As far as viruses go, the only time there would be harmful water-borne viruses in AZ water is if human feces (I know it's gross, sorry), diapers, etc., from someone who had a virus got into the water. Therefore, the EPA recommends boiling or otherwise purifying the water (in addition to filtering) around crowded camping areas.

For those of you scratching your heads on this entire topic, let me clarify by saying that filtering water (i.e., using a pump microfilter like the Pur Hiker) only removes microorganisms like cysts, amoebas and giardia. To kill viruses, you have to boil it or use a chemical like iodine.

Ed

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Fritzski
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Post by Fritzski » Apr 10 2002 8:16 pm

Slayte,

I use the PUR Hiker and have had no problems. I just filter and don't use tabs. I only use it with clear, moving water, but I still carry the tabs in case I was forced to use it in turbid water.

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joebartels
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Turbid

Post by joebartels » Apr 10 2002 8:28 pm

tur·bid [túrbid ] adjective

1. muddy: opaque and muddy as when particles and sediment are stirred up

2. foggy: dense and cloudy or dark

3. confused: joe reading Fritzski's post...lol

(dead link removed)
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GTG_AZH
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Purifiers and sterilizers

Post by GTG_AZH » Apr 10 2002 10:13 pm

I have been thinking of getting a First Need
http://www.generalecology.com/
REI has them on sale for members right now for less than $60.00

This looks interesting as well, but still needs a filter.
(dead link removed)

GTG
Last edited by joebartels on Aug 26 2018 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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evenstarx3
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Post by evenstarx3 » Apr 11 2002 7:08 am

Check out:

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Hooli, aka Trihairopelli
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decarlo
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turbid water and such

Post by decarlo » May 03 2002 1:34 am

I've used the PUR filter in the grand canyon. I wasn't aware you had to also use tablets, as Slayte suggests. I like Fritzski's idea to only use tablets in concert with the filter when the water is, how did he say, 'turbid.' I was told by another hiker that the PUR filter is better than a tablet, not just for taste but for purity as well.
Neil DeCarlo
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Lizard
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Post by Lizard » May 03 2002 10:32 am

I've used a PUR hiker for years, in all kinds of situations. More than once on the California PCT I had to drink from some nasty water. There are sections on that trail that have water sources more than 25 miles apart, so you take what you can get. I sometimes had to literally chase the cows out of the water source before I could gather water from it. I've never gotten sick.

However, in the interest of lightening my pack I have switched to using chlorine dioxide (Aquamira). If you are really paranoid about water you might consider switching to this stuff, or treating your filtered water with it. It kills bacteria, protazoa (including cryptosporidium), and viruses, without leaving a taste in the water.

BTW, does anyone know if hantavirus can survive in cold water?

Chris
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Donald
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Post by Donald » May 10 2002 8:55 am

It kills bacteria, protazoa (including cryptosporidium), and viruses, without leaving a taste in the water.
:?:

Sounds good, is there some scientific proof that it kills Cryptosporidium? That seems to be the only weak point to many of the chemical treatments.

Re water filters and viruses. You could treat the water first, with the appropriate wait time, and then filter. If you used a charcoal filter, after treatment, it would remove the taste. Or you could neutralize the chemical, e.g. vitamin C, AFTER the wait period. I have read at least on mention of using a chemical treatment to kill viruses and almost everything else, and then using a rather coarse (less expensive) filter, to filter out the protozoa of the genus Cryptosporidium, which is relatively large, at least in comparison to viruses.

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Randy
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Virus

Post by Randy » May 10 2002 9:26 am

Dunno about hantavirus, but it's usually found around mice and where mice are around pinyon nuts. Mice don't swim well :wink:

I would be leery of any water that flows north out of Mexico, e.g. San Pedro, (esp. because of mining operations around Cananea, God knows what chemicals like arsenic they are using in the process) Santa Cruz, etc.

Halizone tablets have a questionable shelf life. The liquid betadine in your medical kit works nicely, Dr. Tom Forgey's book on wilderness medicine (a "must-have" for the hiker/backpacker library) has the drops-per-liter recipe. A good sour mash disguises the aftertaste....-R

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Donald
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Povidone Iodine

Post by Donald » May 10 2002 1:01 pm

To quote the late, great, Walt Welch:
Betadine solution (NOT scrub, which has soap in it) is an excellent wound cleansing agent. It should be diluted 1 part in 10 parts water (obviously clean water) before using, as full strength Betadine is indeed somewhat harsh on tissue.

Another use is water purification. 10 drops Betadine solution in one liter of water will kill bacteria, Giardia and amoeba.

Walt Welch MD
How does this compare to the Wilderness Medicine book on the use of povidone iodine (often referred to by the brand name of "Betadine").
There is a long discussion of this here:
(dead link removed)
and the contrast in available vs. total amounts in figuring chemical concentrations.

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olesma
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Contaminated water

Post by olesma » May 10 2002 1:15 pm

I notice that most of the discussion has focused on methods of purifying - and not necessarily on the water itself, which is all very good.

I will mention that from several studies done in the last 20 years have identified a few hot spots for virally infected waters. Nighthiker mentioned some of the main indicators and factors that go into infected waters.
Human use of a water source is the main one. Water coming from any source that sees frequent human contact (bathing, swimming) or is located near a human settlement (sewage runoff) then that water should be treated for viral infection.

Therefore, water from any of the recreational lakes, the Salt and Verde rivers needs to be treated. Generally speaking (and this is not meant as a knock - it is just the facts) any water source that runs through Indian Reservation land is also suspect.

It goes without saying that underdeveloped nations are also highly suspect for any water source (Mexico and Central/South America, Most of Africa, India, and a good portion of the far east and Pacific islands).

While living in Brazil I was the victim of both viral infections and parasites - and let me tell you that if you've never had them...be VERY happy. It is no fun at all. Thank heaven for the bedet (a popular feature of Brazilian bathrooms - with good reason - and if you don't know what that is - hope you never have to have a reason to be grateful for one).
'Weird is a relative, not an absolute.' - A. Einstein

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Randy
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virus

Post by Randy » May 10 2002 2:39 pm

I'll look up Doc Forgey's recipe when I get home tonite. For those worried about giardiasis in the high country, I used to carry Flagyl, the recommended antibiotic in my medical kit until I learned that the incubation period was 14 days. Now it stays home in the frige.

Boiling works of course but it takes more stove fuel which equals more weight...-R

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Lizard
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Post by Lizard » May 11 2002 4:44 pm

Sounds good, is there some scientific proof that it kills Cryptosporidium? That seems to be the only weak point to many of the chemical treatments.
Chlorine dioxide is one of the more effective treatments for crypto known. It is used to treat many municipal water supplies. Here is a link to a study about its effectiveness:

(dead link removed)
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jeremy77777
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Post by jeremy77777 » May 25 2002 8:30 pm

Call me crazy or call me stupid, but in the 20 years I have been hiking this state, I have never used a water filter of any kind. Just straight out of the creek/river/lake. I don't know why it doesn't affect me. Who knows, it just might be the death of me :lol:
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MaryPhyl
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Post by MaryPhyl » May 25 2002 8:57 pm

Me too--I don't treat it but it will probably catch up with us one of these days.
I watched my Mom with giardia and it was sad. Lasted a long time.
We had some friends when we were in school in Tucson--the whole family had picked up something in Mexico and a year later they were still fighting whatever it was.

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Post by dennisbench » May 26 2002 12:07 pm

Hi all, new here :D
I've been using the MSR Miniworks filter forever all over the country and have never had a problem. Never had a need to use tablets although I normally take them in case of a mechanical problem(may never happen with this filter though.) Operationally it is great. I am new to AZ though so the amount/type of sources may dictate the need for tablets, such as the aforementioned turbid water. Most of the places I've hiked Pennsylvania, Montana, Wyoming there has been ample supply and you could pass up turbid spots for better ones. Oh well thats my 2 cents.

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CindyC
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Post by CindyC » May 26 2002 12:10 pm

I have a MSR minworks also. So far it's served me well.

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olesma
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The few, the lucky

Post by olesma » May 27 2002 1:00 pm

I've already posted regarding this - but it is worth repeating - if you are not treating the water you pick up out of streams or lakes, you need to.

I did that for a long time, and I too was very lucky and never caught a bug - but when I did, gracious...

Everyone seems to know or seen someone who had a bug - I have had one personally. I hope that for the rest of my life I never have to deal with it again.

Anyone ever had food poisoning - or the flu bad enough were you get a fever of around 104? That is a walk in the park. All that is over in a day or two. Parasites or protozoa or a viral infection from the water is WAY worse. It lasts for days if not weeks or months. Belive me you don't EVER want to have any part of it. Just the medication to treat that stuff can almost be worse than the infection. Truly evil, evil stuff.

Treat your water.
'Weird is a relative, not an absolute.' - A. Einstein

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