Seawater Desalination

Discussion in 'Finding, Purifying, and Storing Water' started by joshposh, May 25, 2016.

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  1. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    As a kid we use to camp at the beach every weekend. We always brought water with us, but it never occurred to me that what would happen is we didn't have fresh water available.

    I knew something like this existed, and I did see small experimental forms on television over the years. I thought is was worth mentioning here as if any of you ever get into a water emergency near a body of salt water, this is definitely a way out of it.

    One day I'm going to set a homestead near the beach, and I'm going to try it out as a precautionary measure.



     
    Keith H. likes this.
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    You can also use just an ordinary solar still outside, uncomplicated & easy to use. All you need is a container like a billy or a bucket & a sheet of clear plastic.
    Keith.
     
  3. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Distilation is very energy intensive!
    But viable if you have the energy to spare!

    A solar still has a very low production level but easy energy supply! good if you can scale it up enough to make production worth it!

    At the end of most beach's are rocky cliffs of some sort! many have fresh water seeps you can harness, much lower energy expenditure!
    A few tools and a bit of work and small to medium dams can store it for you!

    Many methods are available to get water and all should be known! however try to use the best for your situation!
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    From our general science in grade school, what I understand of distillation is the evaporation of the water followed by condensation of vapor back into water. The distilled water is pure H2O and the impurities are left in the distiller. So maybe that process of distillation of sea water can give you pure water sans the salty residues and salty taste.

    However, I have read in an article about the desalination plant in Saudi Arabia that it costs so much money and it doesn't look like a simple distilling process. But nevertheless, that distillation may be good enough for personal use during a calamity.
     
  5. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    Where I'm from and the places I go to camp, there is no cliffs. Building a fire to boil a tea kettle is not labor intensive. It produces more drinkable water then a solar one would.
     
  6. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    Check out video number 2. There isn't much to it. Sure you are building a fire to boil water, but it's not back breaking work. You set the fire and let the process work on it's own. Those materials aren't that expensive.
     
  7. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Building a fire to boil a tea kettle is not labor intensive. It produces more drinkable water then a solar one would.
    YOU NEED TO NOT JUST BOIL THE WATER BUT TO BOIL ALL THE WATER OUT OF THE KETTLE TO DISTILL IT, THEN CONDENSE IT!
    Unless you have an excellent still you loose about 50%!

    And some chemicals boil at the same temperature as water so distillation is not always 100% pure water!

    Another way on a sandy beach is to move back to and sandy dunes and carefully dig down to the waterline!
    Dig a bit deeper then wait for a pool of water to form, the top 2-3 inchs will be fresh or very low salt water!
     
  8. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    I can use caps also, but that doesn't make you right. I don't care how far back you move from the ocean. You have to boil it no matter what. Considering, there is plentiful ocean water, do I really care if there is a 50% loss? Oh boy I lost a lot of fresh water, let me go take a quick swim in the ocean and while I'm there I'll get more salt water. Do you really think that the sediment will take out 100% of the salt? Just desalinate it and knock 2 birds with one stone. Why take the chance and get diarrhea for a week. BOOHOOOOO, I'm losing 50% of the water!!! Cry me a ocean full of water and then use that in the tea kettle.
     
  9. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    Just a warning never drink seawater , you will need a cup and a half of fresh water to dilute the amount of salt that you take in by drinking one cup of sea water. There have been people that have said that they survived shipwrecks by sipping sea water but as tempting as it may be it probably will do more harm then good.
     
  10. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    A solar still will extract drinkable water from flora, dirty water, sea water & even urine.
    [​IMG]
    Keith.
     
  11. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    I know people who tried digging up water away from the ocean and they sh*t their brains out for a whole week. That is not a safe way to drink sea water. Read all you want on the internet, it doesn't make it right.

    Til this day long sea voyages performed by cultures that use traditional means of fishing and sea travel do still use desalination in the middle of their boats when they are thirsty. They boil seawater in a covered pot, and what ever moisture collects on the roof of the lid is wiped away with a rag and then squeezed into their mouths. That is survival and a primitive form of desalination.

    The bottom line is this, you boil the water and that kills all the bacteria. The moisture that comes out of the copper tubing is drinkable water (no salt). My method of choice is sound and time proven. Go troll elsewhere.

    Distilled water is water that has had many of its impurities removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container.

    Desalination means any process that removes the excess salt and other minerals from water in order to obtain fresh water suitable for animal consumption or irrigation. If almost all of the salt is removed for human consumption, sometimes the process produces table salt as a by-product.

    The two methods (video) above does both.

    Yes you are spot on. I've seen this done as well. If I was alone and without the necessary tools and fire making techniques, I would definitely go for this method. But I was thinking in terms of a group of people. A cup or two in a span of 4 to 6 hours wouldn't cut it. So of course I leaned more towards something that could provide for more then one individual.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  12. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    The idea is that you set up the still whilst you still have water to drink, you take the water from the still & store it. There is absolutely no reason why a solar still can not supply a group, especially if everyone is adding their urine. You can also set up more than one still, there is no limit.
    Keith.
     
  13. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    It is a viable option. I never said I was only going to do a fire made distiller/desalination method. If it was a do or die situation I wouldn't put all of my marbles in one method. I would do everything in my power to take advantage of materials presented in front of me. Solar is the way to go, no doubting that. But when night falls, I will take advantage of the fire being lit. Simple as that.
     
  14. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    I have never built one of these before but have seen some videos on these. They are great, this simply means that if you build one of these you can spend your time doing something else like collecting wood or building a shelter rested assure that at the end of the day you will have water.
     
  15. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    its a possibility no doubt but it takes a lot of time for minimal returns, okay if that's your only option of getting water and you aren't far from the coast in the first place. not a viable option for me i'm afraid as I am about as far from the coast as its possible to get in my country.
     
  16. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    What I have seen of this method is that it doesn't produce a lot of water as you have pointed out but little water is better then no water at all. The good thing is that it doesn't take a lot of effort to build, so this is good if you are in a survival situation and you need to prepare for the night and can't spend the whole day looking for water. Once you have your shelter built up it's better to look for another source of water.
     
  17. Lakeisha Brown

    Lakeisha Brown New Member
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    I too have seen this method and it is very time consuming. It doesn't produce a good amount of clean water. Not only that, it is very costly. I would take my chances with finding water somewhere else, such as plants.
     
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