Rural Lifestyle Blog

Life in Rural America

Is Two Step Water Purification Needed?

Maxpedition Condor II backpack next to creek

Is two step water purification needed?  This could be in the event of a collapse of society, or on a hiking / camping trip.

There is a common misconception about filtration and purification. Filtration removes bacteria, protozoa and cyst, but does nothing to viruses. Purification affects bacteria, protozoa, cyst and viruses. Purification can be by any means – UV light, filters that remove a virus, chemical treatment.. etc.

Most water filters on the market have a pore size of 0.1 microns. The CDC recommends a maximum pore size of 0.01 microns for viruses. If a purifier says it has a pore size of .1 or .2 microns, it is only a filter.  A virus will slip through a .1 or .2 micron filter.

What is two step purification?

It is when two separate steps are used to purify water. For example, my first step is to run the water through a filter. Such as the Katadyn Vario. Then a SteriPen is used to kill any pathogens that slipped though the filter.

When do I use two step purification?

For the most part, I only use two step purification when I am down stream from where people live. While camping on the Angelina River, I use two step.  People living in rural areas usually have a septic system.  Sometimes the systems over-flow and waste water will be on top of the ground.  When a rain comes along, human waste is washed into streams, ponds, lakes rivers… etc.

While hiking in the woods there is no source of human waste, so rarely do I use two step.  the biggest threat in nature will usually be from some kind of bacteria or cyst, such as cryptosporidium.

When in doubt, purify

I have a saying, “When in doubt, purify.”  It only takes a few seconds to get the SteriPen out and purify a canteen of water.  Aren’t those few seconds worth your health or even your peace of mind?

 

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock

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