water filters

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Has any body tried out the Brita or Pur water filters they have at Kmart or Walmart? They are fairly cheat but are they any good?

-- nurse (rtf5653@ccp.com), February 20, 1999


Yes. I have a PUR Plus. It's fantastic, and for me, more economical than buying bottled water. As an asided there have been news items on contaminated bottle water.

I would love an RO system for my whole house. Can't afford it.

The PUR filtered decanter. You can buy a three pack of filter replacements for about 25 dollars. I get about 2 months out of one filter. I picked the PUR Plus because it supposedly filters out crytospyridia and giardia along with all the other nonsense that human beings are adding to the aquefers and ground water. (lead, etc.) Water tastes great.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 20, 1999.

I use Brita pitcher and filters myself, for the past 2 years. I love the water's taste and ease of use. A filter lasts 2 months. A 3-pack of Brita replacement filters is about $18 at Costco. The Pitcher with one filter is about $15.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 20, 1999.

Fairly "cheat"? :-)

The Pur filter that goes on a faucet seemed to me to be good, and I bought one. However, they use a cheap plastic threaded coupler (probably saved them a whole penny per unit as compared to stainless) to screw onto the faucet. Only a few threads, so naturally it (the coupling threads) stripped out. So I got a refund.

Disappointed that I had to do that as I thought that it supposedly did a better job, specifications-wise, than their pour-through types.

-- a (A@AisA.com), February 20, 1999.

Don't they say on the box/info not to use them for untreated water? I am not sure they would be good for pond water.

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), February 20, 1999.

No, you are correct Dinty. But I have thought about pond water as I have a cement pond of 460 gallons in my backyard. I think that if I treat the water with bleach first, or hydrogen peroxide, then put it through the filtered decanter I could use it for cooking where the water has to boil. I'm willing to give it a trial run. Otherwise I'm gonna use my pond for non-potable.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 20, 1999.

Note that while the PUR Plus will remove chemicals and cysts, according to PUR's website it will not protect against bacteria and viruses, which are smaller. PUR's best backpacker filters (Explorer, Scout) will. However, the filters are only good for about a hundred gallons and cost fifty bucks. Total cost comparable to bottled water, but good for a bugout bag anyway, they are very reliable and effective filters according to Backpacker Magazine.

For long-term Y2K use, a filter with a ceramic filter element lasts a lot longer, you can clean and reuse the element. Be careful, the ceramic is vulnerable to impact and freezing. Katydyn is well known but kinda expensive. Their website says the element is good for 12000 gallons or so. It will remove cysts and bacteria, not viruses or chemicals (unless you get the Combi, which Backpacker says tends to clog). The MSR Miniworks is similar, they don't provide an estimated life but do tell you how to tell when it's used up. It's also highly rated by Backpacker, has a carbon element to also remove chemicals, and costs $60 instead of $250.

Still won't take out viruses. This could be a consideration, if sewage systems go out all kinds of nasties could be floating around. Iodine will kill viruses or bacteria, won't do as well with cysts and nothing for chemicals, and ain't meant for long- term use...My idea is iodine first, then run through the Miniworks.

You can get this stuff from the better backpacking stores. I was at one recently and the guy mentioned the things are flying off the shelves because of all the Y2K people...I wasn't the one who brought it up either.

None of these filters, by the way, are designed to remove really bad chemical contamination. If anyone knows of any heavy-duty chemical filters, I'd like to hear about it.

The Backpacker Mag gear guide was on the shelves recently, still is at some backpacking stores, maybe bookstores too I don't know. Good resource.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), February 20, 1999.

Be careful about that cement pond. Your pool chemicals may have left a lot of copper ions in there. Not readily filtered and poisonous to you. Might want to empty pool and refill just before Y2K and treat only with bleach......


-- Paul Cordes (latemarch@usa.net), February 20, 1999.

Picked up at Target: Coleman 2-step Water Treatment. Says for Giardia control. Comes with Neutralizing Tablets (to remove iodine taste). 5 bucks. Does 50 quarts. But, says not for continuous use and to use "only when fresh drinking water is known or suspected to be bacteriologically substandard". I plan to use it on creek water, after boiling, and before the Brita. Is this a safe plan?

-- margie mason (mar3mike@aol.com), February 20, 1999.

Hey Donna B; You wanted a whole house filter system ,try the one from Home Depot,they have on for $29.95. It has double filteres one for sediment and the other charcoal filter for final drinking. Just ask the guys in the plumbing dept for help,they will assist you in setting this whole house system. Furie...

-- Furie (furieart@dnet.net), February 20, 1999.

Pur has come out with a pitcher filter that fits Britas. Its only apparent advantage over Brita is that it has a replacement indicator, which saves you trying to keep count of pitcher refills. Although this filter does not protect against water-borne organisms, it will certainly improve the taste of bleach-treated water. I intend to use my stash of Purs for post-storage filtering. (Each filters 40 gallons.)

-- Thirsty Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 20, 1999.

These sites describe the Doulton water filter cylinders (called "candles.") Their performance in removal of pathogens is outstanding. Pre-filtering of turbid water to remove suspended sediment is a good idea.

The Berkefeld water filter uses Doulton candles. The last two links below are domestic sources for the Berkefeld.

British Berkefeld Gravity Water Filters

are designed for use where portability is necessary or there is no access to a pressure fed water supply. They are highly recommended for "no water pressure" situations. International customers include: International Red Cross, Unicef, Oxfam medecins Sans Frontieres, U.S. & British Embassies, Hong Kong Health Dept, Save the Children Fund, Medicare International.


The latest designs of Doulton filter elements incorporate Oligodynamic silver impregnated into a porous ceramic outer shell [80,000,000 pores] that can trap bacteria down to as low as .22 of a micron in particle size [1/100,000 of an inch]. Laboratories consider a filtering medium with an effective pore size of .01 micron to .45 micron to be bacteriologically sterile and .45 micron to 1.0 micron to be bacteriologically safe. Regrowth of bacteria that becomes trapped either on the outside of the element or in the ceramic's pores is controlled by the silver which, on contact with water, releases small quantities of positively charged metals ions. These ions are taken into the enzyme system of the bacteria's cell and thereby neutralize it. The flow rate of the ceramic filter can be easily renewed by simply brushing its outer surface under running water. As the top layer of ceramic and the contaminants are brushed off and flushed away, a new layer becomes available. This process can be repeated several hundred times before the ceramic material is exhausted.

Detailed specs: http://www.doulton.ca/cu1200.html

Scroll down on this page to Portable Gravity Water Purifier

Cleaning & Maintenance: http://www.pangea.ca/~h2o/install.html#cleaning

Domestic sources:

Noah's Pantry

St. Paul Mercantile

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 21, 1999.

To everybody...thanks for the info. We went out and bought a Pur Plus with a supply of filters. We do need to get more of them. The water tastes great! And we will boil and chlorine the water before using when needed. thanks again.

-- nurse (rtf5653@ccp.com), February 22, 1999.

From what I understand, if you boil the water you don't have to put chlorine in it or filter it (unless you have a filter to take out chemical contaminants). The Canadian Ministry of Health says:

"Boiling is the best way to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. A full boil for at least two minutes is recommended. At elevations over 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) you should boil water for at least three minutes to disinfect it.

"NOTE: This is not appropriate for water that is obviously heavily polluted, or subject to chemical contamination.

"To remove the flat taste of boiled water, leave the boiled water in a clean covered container for a few hours or pour the cooled boiled water back and forth from one clean container to another."

If anyone would like to see the full text of the Canadian Ministry's piece on drinking water treatment, I'll be happy to cut and paste it.

-- Thirsty Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 22, 1999.

Thanks, Furie, for the info on the whole house system. Thanks to others for great links and info. My pond is not treated with chemicals....a few fish and plants and biological filter system. I'm serious about trying the boiling/+PUR filter process if it comes down to it. I'm storing potable water and hope only to use the pond water if my stored water is gone. Also have rainwater collection with guttering system. Believe me, out here in the Cadillac Desert subject of water is flashing neon in my mind. I'm not sure how many folks here understand how fragile the water delivery system is in S. California. Turn on the tap - water, right? Had I the funds I would have a well drilled. In the winter we can do without heat in the house,...makes my survival priorites somewhat simpler...WISDOM...WATER...FOOD...

"All day I've faced the barren wastes, without the taste of water. Cooooool water (water, water)." -from a Kingston Trio song learned when I was 11 years old.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 22, 1999.

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