Water Filtration 101 - Families, Individuals & Preppers

3/19/2017 - Optimized for Firefox 52.0.1

COPYRIGHT 2014-2017 - David R. Woodsmall

I am NOT a Doctor NOR do I have any Medical Training


Water Purification - BACKGROUND Information

Click HERE for Background information about types of Water Purification Filtration may be used to make water more pure - it is one type of Purification.

OVERVIEW - Water Filtration for Families / Individuals

This web page is about filtering water to make it drinkable, probably in an emergency or for preppers and survivalists
This web page exists because my brother and sister wanted to help a friend living in Nicaragua, where her water supply contains E. Coli and other such bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc. Karen and Roger (my siblings) did some internet research, with the help of Frank and friend from Brazil (and myself). None of these systems require any electricity. There seem to be two widely used systems in countries with bad water supplies: 1] Ceramic Water Purifiers (CWP) with embedded Colloidal Silver (CS) and 2] LifeStraw - which consists primarily of activated charcoal. CWP and LifeStraw Comparison information is located here (click here).

Ceramic Water Purifiers (CWPs)

CWPs are also called, Filtrons, ceramic filters, filters, filter pots, CSPs, CWFs, CSFs and Filtros. In Brazil, everyone uses a ceramic filter (with imbedded CS [a CWP]). The small pores filter out the bacteria and Parasites. The ceramic filter has pores that are larger than LifeStraw FAMILY (0.6-3.0 microns vs 0.02 microns [LifeStraw FAMILY - PERSONAL = 0.2 microns), but lab testing finds that sufficient to remove E. Coli without further disinfection. The Potters for Peace Organization creates the most widely used version of a ceramic filter with embedded Colloidal Silver. Peace by Piece (PbP), a Fair Trade organization began dealing in Nica pottery, and then started selling the Potters for Peace CWPs. If the Potters for Peace tub doesn't get cleaned enough it only affects flow rate, which in any case, is slower than the LifeStraw. Since you can load a bunch of water in the PfP all at once, it may not matter so much that the flow rate is slower. Because CWPs are bulky, they would need to be available in the country (not shipped), but according to a web site Karen found, they aren't heavy. The CWP should be impregnated with Colloidal Silver on BOTH sides. "Ceramic filters are extremely effective at removing all contaminating particles. They most commonly use nano-silver particles, which excel at removing heavy metals, microorganisms and other impurities." - Heavy metals in Drinking Water NOTE - I am not certain that I personally believe all they (ehow) say about Fluoride. "The benefits of ceramic filtration are: Proven reduction of bacteria and protozoa in water Simplicity of use and acceptability Proven reduction of diarrheal disease incidence for users Long life if the filter remains unbroken A low one-time cost The drawbacks of ceramic filtration are: Not as effective against viruses (probably filters almost no viruses) No chlorine residual protection - can lead to recontamination Variable quality control for locally produced filters Filters can break over time - need for spare parts A low flow rate of 1-3 liters per hour for non-turbid waters Filters and receptacles must be cleaned regularly, especially after filtering turbid water Ceramic filtration is most appropriate in areas where there is capacity for quality ceramics filter production, a distribution network for replacement of broken parts, and user training on how to correctly maintain and use the filter." - Quoted from: Ceramic Filtration - CDC Field Experience with a Ceramic Water Purifier (CWP) This company manufactures the filters in Nica and sells through this web site Ceramic Filtration - the safe Water System - CDC Summaries of Reports and Studies of the Ceramic Water Purifier (CWP) - PDF


LifeStraw is a brand of water filters that primarily use activated charcoal and are especially made to filter water for either small Families, Individuals (includes Campers) or even small communities. LifeStraw filters work very well. "Activated carbon does not bind well to certain chemicals, including alcohols, glycols, strong acids and bases, metals and most inorganics, such as lithium, sodium, iron, lead, arsenic, fluorine, and boric acid." - Activated Carbon (Charcoal) - Wikipedia NOTE: LifeStraw FAMILY units filter with much smaller (0.02 microns) pores than do LifeStraw PERSONAL (0.2 microns) units. Sold at buylifestraw.com (1-888-451-6752) LifeStraw dot COM = vestergaard.com - the manufacturers

LifeStraw - Personal

LifeStraw - Personal / (human) Camper Water Filters
- sale/description It can get rid of protozoa and the like and even filter out fecal matter It is a very low cost solution and it seems to work well. The personal LifeStraw device costs 19.99$ and will filter up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water (before it is not useful anymore). THE MANUFACTURER DOES NOT STATE IT WILL FILTER VIRUSES, SO DO NOT EXPECT VIRUS FILTERING. The LifeStraw FAMILY unit on the other hand SHOULD filter out viruses because it filters down to 20 nanometers. LifeStraw PERSONAL - Bacteria removed include: Escherichia coli (E. coli), Campylobacter, Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella and Salmonella LifeStraw PERSONAL - Protozoa removed include: Giardia lamblia ("Beaver Fever"), Cryptosporidium Parvum and Entamoeba histolytica.

LifeStraw Family®

LifeStraw Family® is a family of group water filtration device designed for removing biologicals and turbidity, essentially materials suspended in the water, but does not filter out the following: "Water polluted by chemicals or radiation salt from salt water Water with naturally occurring chemicals, such as calcium and iron in Australian bore water, or arsenic, a contaminant that occurs naturally in well water in some countries - cleanwateraustralia.com On testing by Australia's Red Cross recently, their scientist's comments were that the filtered water from LifeStraw Family® is of the highest standard and clean enough to use in a scientific laboratory. It turns out that amazon.com also sells the filter, in both sizes (Family and Individual). I found their reviews interesting (and positive). I gather that the original company gives one filter to an African family for every filter that they sell, so since the price is similar, I'd opt for the original company, buylifestraw.com (1-888-451-6752) (personal opinion).

LifeStraw Family 1.0

LifeStraw Family 1.0 unit is Priced at $ 79.95 USD and is a point-of-use microbiological water purifier capable of removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa (parasites) to protect against waterborne diseases. It filters up to 18,000 liters of water, enough to supply clean drinking water for a family of five for up to three years. Filters out most bacteria, viruses, protozoan parasites and dirt - .02 micron filter The LifeStraw Family 1. 0 water filter without packaging is 15 x 8 x 5 inches and weighs about one pound. One of the Amazon reviews mentioned that the unit requires 5 feet of vertical space, presumably along a wall, but when you factor in the container under it to collect the clean water, it comes out to more like 6 feet of vertical space needed. Our Nicaragua (Family 1.0) installed unit filters about Five (5) gallons of water in FORTY Minutes. Frank thinks it would be easy to set up a hand pump to get the water to the bucket at the top.

LifeStraw® Family 2.0

LifeStraw® Family 2.0 is the next generation of Vestergaard’s high-volume point-of-use water filter. It converts microbiologically contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water, filtering up to 30,000 liters of EPA-quality water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for three to five years. LifeStraw® Family 2.0 is NOT FOR SALE, YET (3/20/2014). From the web site LifeStraw® 2.0 is a durable, tabletop version of LifeStraw® Family. It includes a large dirty water storage tank and built in safe storage container with tap. Filter removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999 percent), protozoan parasites (99.99 percent) and viruses (99.999 percent) that can contaminate water. Needs NO electricity. Removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, including Giardia & Cryptosporidium.

COMPARISONS Between CWPs and LifeStraw

The ceramic filter one has pores that are larger than LifeStraw FAMILY (NOT PERSONAL) (0.6-3.0 microns vs 0.02 microns), but lab testing finds that sufficient to remove E. Coli without further disinfection. The LifeStraw IS more effective but perhaps the Potters for Peace model is effective enough, and it's certainly easier to use. It turns out that most viruses are larger than 0.02 microns, hence the claim by LifeStraw FAMILY to filter out 99.9%+ of viruses, but the CWP and LifeStraw PERSONAL would allow many viruses to get through. According to Wikipedia, most viruses studied have a diameter between 0.02 and 0.03 microns. ONLY the LifeStraw FAMILY (or very similar products) CAN filter out MOST Viruses, including Hepatitis. (CHECK THIS "FACT" WITH THE MANUFACTURER - MAKE YOUR OWN CONCLUSION - not responsible) I see some conflicting reports on the internet about successfully filtering out Hepatitis A, B and C viruses. Apparently some internet resources have not looked at activated carbon filters such as LifeStraw. According to our research (DO NOT TAKE OUR WORD FOR THIS - CHECK WITH THE MANUACTURER OF THE FILTER - we are NOT responsible if this NOT correct - use at your own risk): HepatitisA = has a diameter of 27-32 nm = 0.027-0.032 microns HepatitisB = has a diameter of 42 nm = 0.042 microns HepatitisC = has a diameter of 30+ nm = 0.03 microns 0.0001 microns = 0.1 nanometers (nm) Convert Microns to Nanometers 0.02 microns = 20 nanometers (nm) LifeStraw FAMILY filtration size 0.2 microns = 200 nanometers (nm) LifeStraw PERSONAL filtration size 0.6 microns = 600 nanometers (nm) (the American spelling is "nanometers") 3.0 microns = 3000 nanometers (nm) (the International spelling is "nanometres" (British) Since LifeStraw FAMILY filters 0.02 microns, it should filter out all contagious Hepatitis, although the manufacturer does NOT state this "fact". Since LifeStraw PERSONAL filters 0.2 microns, it should probably NOT filter out viruses. Since Ceramic Filters can filter 0.6-3.0 microns, Ceramic filters can not filter out ANY normal sized (0.02 to 0.03 microns) virus.

REFERENCES for Water Filtration

POTABLE WATER HOSES (drinking water safe) Regular garden hoses are NOT safe to use for drinking water (they usually contain lead). UNSAFE and SAFE Plastics around food and drink SILVER IONS (CS) ARE DEEMED NOT GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Hippo Water Rollers used to TRANSPORT WATER OTHER means of creating purified water - too expensive History of Water Filters and the effects of NOT filtering specified elements Heavy metals in Drinking Water Water for Developing Countries - Water Advocate dot ORG A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use - CDC Field Experience with the Ceramic Water Purifier This web site mentions a Nicaraguan silver-impregnated ceramic water filter - CDC This company manufactures the filters in Nicaragua and sells through this web site Reviews of Potters for Peace Effects of Health Promoter Training in Improving Ceramic ... Oligodynamic effect - some metals kill viruses - silver does it best - Wikipedia - "The Toxic effect of (some) metal ions on living cells, algae, molds, spores, fungi, viruses, prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, even in relatively low concentrations." - "This antimicrobial effect is shown by ions of mercury, silver, copper, iron, lead, zinc, bismuth, gold, aluminium, and other metals. NOTE: mercury, lead, bizmuth and others are Toxic to humans. 100 Items That Disappear Fast And First When A Disaster Strikes For areas that always have electricity and can afford to use it, Reverse Osmosis Filter systems are probably the best solution for treating bad water (my OPINION). A reverse osmosis filter has a pore size of approximately 0.0001 microns. Solar distillers are more of an evaporator, not a distiller I haven't really read all of this yet, so I have no opinion about it. A true Distillation system boils the water and is very effective: "Distillation Systems use a process of heating water to the boiling point and then collecting the water vapor as it condenses, leaving many of the contaminants behind. very high effectiveness in removing protozoa (for example, Cryptosporidium, Giardia); very high effectiveness in removing bacteria (for example, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli); very high effectiveness in removing viruses (for example, Enteric, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus); will remove common chemical contaminants, including arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, nitrate, sodium, sulfate, and many organic chemicals." - quoted from the CDC


activated carbon - Activated charcoal/carbon is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms." Activated carbon does not bind well to certain chemicals, including alcohols, glycols, strong acids and bases, metals and most inorganics, such as lithium, sodium, iron, lead, arsenic, fluorine, and boric acid. - Activated Charcoal - Wikipedia USA would call it activated charcoal, some people call it activated carbon. bacteria - "Bacterial cells are typically 0.5 – 5.0 micrometers in length. As far as humans are concerned, there are both good bacteria and bad bacteria." - Bacteria - Wikipedia Colloidal Silver - "Silver ions in sufficient concentration readily kills bacteria in vitro. Silver exhibits low toxicity in the human body, and minimal risk is expected due to clinical exposure by inhalation, ingestion, dermal application." - Colloidal Silver - Wikipedia CS - Colloidal Silver csf - Colloidal Silver Filter / Ceramic Silver Filter csp - Ceramic Silver Pot cwf - Colloidal Silver Impregnated Ceramic Water Filter A simple clay filter, incorporating the microbiological inhibiting properties of colloidal silver. CWP - Ceramic Water Filter (needs Colloidal Silver to do a good job) Click HERE for more CWP information E. coli - Escherichia coli (commonly abbreviated E. coli) is a bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. IT CAN BE FATAL IF IT IS INGESTED (eaten). filtros - Filters filtrons - A Colloidal Silver (CS) Impregnated Ceramic Water Filter LifeStraw - is a device used to filter water and make it drinkable. There are different sized LifeStraws (family, individual, community) microbes - "A microbe is a microscopic organism, which may be a single cell or multicellular organism" - Microorganism - Wikipedia Nica - Nicaragua (a country in Central America) parasites - A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host and gets its food from or at the expense of its host. Parasites can cause disease in humans. PbP - Peace by Piece - a Fair Trade company now selling the PfP Ceramic Filters with embedded Colloidal Silver products. According to the PbP, site, the Purifiers are available for research and promotional purposes. These CWPs are not approved for use in the United States. PfP - Potters for Peace. Click here for more information about PfP potable - drinkable (without causing harm). Potable water is water suitable to drink. Preppers - "A survivalist or "prepper" is an individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons (i.e., being self-sufficient), or without substantial assistance from outside resources" - Preppers - Wikipedia protozoa - Protozoan are usually single-celled, restricted to moist habitats. Many protozoan species are symbionts, some are parasites. Protozoa can be 0.01 mm to 1.0 mm in length. Dangerous Protozoa found in almost all natural water sources include Giardia & Cryptosporidium The vast majority are microscopic, many measuring less than 1/200 mm, but some, such as the freshwater Spirostomun, may reach 0.17 in (3 mm) in length. Protozoa - Wikipedia viruses - A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. In general, viruses are much smaller than bacteria. Most known viruses have a diameter between 20 and 300 nanometers.

Water Purification - BACKGROUND Information

Survival Water Purification - practicalsurvivor.com Methods of disinfecting water during an emergency situation and in the wilderness (This is a great site, and provides some information about the various Methods used to purify water. For this web page, I am interested only in Methods of Filtering Water for Individuals and small families. This would normally mean for camping, recovery after a natural disaster and for persons in developing countries, where it is not safe to drink the water). This site discusses the following methods of water purification: Chemicals Iodine tablets crystals tincture of iodine Sodium Chlorite / Chlorine Dioxide Potassium Permanganate Chlor-floc Micro-Filtration Ceramic Filters with embedded Coloidal Silver Filter Straws (LifeStraw, for example) Distillation Solar Stills - really used to get moisture out of the air, not to purify existing turbid water NOTE solar stills do not boil the water, so will not kill parasites in turbid water. Pit Solar Still Box type Cone shaped Transpiration (plants exhume moisture) Do not use this method on a poisonous / toxic plant Survival Water Purification 101 - Knowledge Weighs Nothing