Is it a good idea to stockpile activated carbon for water filter?

Discussion in 'Finding, Purifying, and Storing Water' started by Vash, May 27, 2016.

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  1. Vash

    Vash Member
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    I actually use water filter for drinking water at home. It is simply a plastic filter with activated carbon packs. The direction says the carbon pack needs to be changed once every 4 weeks (or about a month). While the tap water here is drinkable, I still like the taste of filtered water better (no chlorine or maybe just a lot less).

    The same filter can obviously used on the water from other sources... right? For example, water from a stream, a lake, a river, well water, or from the rain.

    So I am thinking, perhaps we should prepare at least one filter with some packages of activated carbon. Just 12 small packs can last for a year. It might not be as good as a water treatment plant, but it will be better than nothing, right? Unless you have something else, for example RO water purifier (but I don't think it is healthy to drink RO water, since it strips all the minerals away).
     
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    British tap water is chlorinated, but if you draw off a glass and just let it stand for a few seconds the chlorine evaporates.
     
  3. Vash

    Vash Member
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    Chlorine will be gone after you let the water sit for 24 hours or so, but a lot of water companies now use Chloramines. Chloramine is a lot more stable and won't be gone by just let the water sit. Once again, I learned that one from running aquariums.

    Then again, it is not the point of the thread. I am not asking how to get rid of the chlorine and chormaine in the tap water.
    I meant to ask if a typical water filter with activated carbon will be good enough for filtering various source of water for drinking in a case of apocalypse or some other kind of emergency situation where your tap water is no longer available. Since a home water filter needs to switch out its activated carbon every month or so, we need quite some carbon packs to make the filter continue to work.
     
  4. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    it will probably work and is better than nothing but like you say, a large amount of packs would be required which seems to defeat the object, there are better water filters out there for this purpose.
     
  5. Vash

    Vash Member
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    A lot of the people here are stocked for stationary shelters anyway. With all the heavy canned food, food in glass bottles, etc. You aren't going anywhere with more than a few weeks of ration. So with staying at home or a more permanent shelter in mind, the extra weight (only if you carry a lot of them) is not really a problem. At the time of needing cleaner drinking water, having a filter with activated carbon is better than nothing at all. I for one will be surely sick drinking from typical river, lake, stream. After filtering the water, it will be a lot more safer. Well probably I will still have to boil the water to kill all the germs too.

    Yes, the water filter I talked about require one activated carbon pack per month. Each pack is small and light. So just carry a few will last for a few months.

    By the way, what kind of filter are you talking about that is lighter and and does not require monthly change of activated carbon?
     
  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    i'm a fan of the Sawyer mini filters.
     
  7. Vash

    Vash Member
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    I have never heard of them before. It would be nice if you can provide some detailed information on these items. Such as their size, weight, instruction, and useful life, as well as the price. I thought no filter can last forever without changing some kind of cartridge eventually. If your favorite filter is indeed great and easy to use/carry, I might consider to stock one of them to test out for my next camping trips. :D
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    use your search engine, type in "Sawyer mini filter". not sure if its available where you are as i'm not sure where you live.
     
  9. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    Its not hard to manufacture activated carbon since its made from charcoal though the process is a bit involving. A simple method of purifying water is by using a cotton cloth and covering your mouth with it then imbibing the water through the cotton cloth. This will trap even the finest soil particles as well as a variety of parasites. However, this isn't a foolproof method when it comes to eliminating bacteria. Exposing the water to hot sun or getting it from a waterfall is ideal for water with a low bacterial count.
     
  10. Vash

    Vash Member
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    Cotton or sponge based filters can only stop large particles. They do nothing to get rid of the dissolved chemical compound in the water. So they are pretty much worthless in some scenarios such as chemical disaster etc. Activated carbon on the other hand is good at absorbing dissolved chemicals in the water (but with a limited useful life, that's why it has to be replaced after a while. Or the absorbed chemicals will slowly leak back to the water once the activated carbon is "full").

    As for bacteria and parasites, the best way to get rid of them is to boil the water at 100C for a while.
     
  11. jeannie

    jeannie New Member
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    Usually during a calamity like earthquake or thunderstorm, the rains pour in especially in the tropical regions. Use whatever is at hand to fill as much rain water. An utensil or a bucket should be used to fill and store as much water it will hold, or use a cloth, your tee-shirt, for example, and fully soak it in rain water can be carefully stored. Then, when thirsty, try to just suck, rather than gulp down, small amounts of water, unless you can't avoid the thirst, try to preserve the water as much as you can.

    Try to share it as much for the old and the young around you, while young men and women can usually do without water for much longer times, the children and old folks can't. Remember, during such natural calamities, help will arrive within hours or within a week definitely, so try to preserve the available water in whatever form it is. Some contaminated water is still better than no water at all during such times imo...

    If you have a handkerchief handy, then use it as a filter. As others have said, some plants hold water or liquid juices in their stems, which can be cut open and the juice or that water can be life saver for some.

    Third, don't panic, and try to remain as calm as you can. During panic state and crying, a lot of body fluids are passed out, and it creates more thirst, so try to remain calm and do breathing exercises as much as you can, which gives much metal and emotional strength to help you survive. Remember, help will arrive soon, and most of the people caught in the situation can be helped and will survive, and get all the medical help that's available that time.

    I have always maintained the belief that people who are calm can think well, especially in such situations. So practice the art of keeping cool, and learn to control your breathing in a better way. Yoga / yogic exercises do help in making the mind and body stronger, and can help breathe in a very natural and benefiting (I would almost say the word "scientific" here) way.
     
  12. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    It really depends if you have the space for it or not. I still think that something like the Sawyer mini filter would be a better choice as it's portable and each filter can clean up to 100,000 gallons or at least that's what the manufacturer says.
     
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