PDA

View Full Version : Aqua Mira



Seeker
2005-06-23, 16:49
does anyone out there use AquaMira (chlorine dioxide) for water purification?

the company web site sort of dodges the giardia/cryptosporidia question, and i saw a disclaimer on the campmor web page for A-M that recommends you use a filter for them, sort of avoiding saying that A-M won't kill them outright. yet i've seen reviews by doctors saying it kills everything.

i've used the stuff for a year or so and haven't gotten sick, but most of my trips are either in the Smokies or in part of LA that has a lot of springs. maybe i've just been lucky. any comments?

dropkick
2005-06-28, 06:05
I don't use AquaMira, but I have been reading about it and thought I might try it as an alternative to the iodine crystals I have been using.

It seems to have 2 things going for it over iodine, taste and the killing of cryptosporidia (have read several articles that say AquaMira kills crypto) .
On the downside, it won't treat anywhere near the amount of water that iodine crystals will, and crypto isn't really that large a threat.

The downside of both these methods is that if there is to much water turbidity (dirt in water) you need to strain it through a sock before treating or the treatment might not work - besides having to strain it with your teeth. This is one thing filters have over iodine crystals.

-On a related note I have been thinking about using an activated charcoal fishtank filter and running the iodine treated water through it (small weight and might fix the taste). Don't know if it will work, but won't hurt to try.

Just Jeff
2005-06-28, 10:45
Vitamin C pills will remove iodine taste from water.

I like Aqua Mira. I can detect a little bit of taste, but not much. It actually makes the water taste a little bit sweeter to me, and is usually more detectable on the last swallow in the container.

SGT Rock
2005-06-28, 11:18
I didn't mind the taste of Aqua Mira that much, but I prefer iodine with vitamin C. I wonder if vitamin C would kill the residual taste of aqua mira.

deadeye
2005-06-28, 11:28
I sometimes use AquaMira to treat a 2-liter platypus at camp so I have plenty to drink from evening to morning. No taste (at least no objectionable taste that I can discern), not much fuss, and it says it takes care of Giardia & crypto. Most of the time I just use a filter bottle. The ultimate treatment for nervous GI systems or truly suspect water is to filter, then purify, but that seems over the top to me in most cases. Don't forget to wash your hands - that's just as critical as treating your water.

Seeker
2005-06-28, 17:17
I sometimes use AquaMira to treat a 2-liter platypus at camp so I have plenty to drink from evening to morning. No taste (at least no objectionable taste that I can discern), not much fuss, and it says it takes care of Giardia & crypto. Most of the time I just use a filter bottle. The ultimate treatment for nervous GI systems or truly suspect water is to filter, then purify, but that seems over the top to me in most cases. Don't forget to wash your hands - that's just as critical as treating your water.

after i posted, i did some more googling... and found an article or three which vouch for AM's ability to kill both crypto and giardia...just thought it interesting what WASN"T being said in some articles... (ok, i'm an intell geek, and i still get suspicious of things sometimes). still, it might be wise to let it sit a bit longer than the directions say for crypto. i don't mind the taste at all (and i actually missed that sweetish chlorinated taste of the water when i got back from somalia. but i degress), so maybe i've actually found my solution. i've started carrying a filter bottle, just to see if it works well for its weight. most of the water around here is pretty clear, or clean enough not to have to filter floaties out of. and i'm not really picky. wet is good. so i'll probably just go back to the plain AM... have yet to try iodine with vitamin c, but if i do, and learn anything new that's worth passing on, i will do so.

thanks all for you kind responses.

Just Jeff
2005-06-29, 03:10
I never really thought I could taste AM (except for that last swallow) until I went on a trip last April and didn't treat my water. Going from city water to AM, I can never taste anything. On this trip, after drinking water straight from the rocks or mountain streams for a few days, then drinking a treated bottle, I could immediately taste it. Not a bad taste, just a taste.

Nightwalker
2005-06-29, 05:55
I just use bleach, and only with water that seems iffy. I used it for wate that I got below the Standing Indian shelter, because it was pretty swampy and I thought that stuff could grow there easier.

Maybe it's just because I was raised in the country, and didn't know better than to drink from the creek growing up, but I don't get sick out there.

Anyway, Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) is what many municipalities use to purify water, so that works for me.

Plus, MSR will sell you a 4 ounce bottle of it for ten dollars, they just call it Viral Stop. It's just a 3.5% Sodium Hypochlorite solution, the same as regular-strength laundry bleach.

Seeker
2005-06-30, 02:00
i checked out my wife's bottle of bleach, wally world brand, and it's a 6% solution. no matter. but i always thought it (bleach) was straight "chlorine", like in a pool... didn't know it was called sodium hypochlorite. never actually gave it any thought at all...

so, do you add some sort of acid to it, like the phosporic acid that comes with the aqua mira as an activator, or just straight? and how much of each?

Redleg
2005-06-30, 09:22
Seeker, try the clorox website, The red cross disaster relief page used to have it.

I use 3 drops for my 1.5 ltr bottle. shake well, then loosten the lid and let the clorine evaporate out(about 20 min at 70 dig).

Only use the cheep bleach. NO additives or purfumes or soap.
jaf

Seeker
2005-06-30, 12:03
ok. thanks... i will. and i'll see if i can't investigate the use of the acid 'activator' with the bleach as well... would be nice to have a cheaper alternative than AM.

Just Jeff
2005-06-30, 12:23
I don't think bleach kills crypto, but it's better than nothing and crypto is pretty rare.

A lot of municipalities use Chlorine Dioxide, which is what AM creates when you mix it.

Lanthar
2005-06-30, 14:27
Very Few municipalities use true "Chlorine" as Chlroine is technically a gas, and is EXTREMELY dangerous in it's gaseous form, highly corrosive, highly toxic, highly volatile, and very hard to contain.

Most pools, and water treatment center use chlroine in the form of chlorine dioxide (AM - think hyper active chlorine) or sodium hypchlorite (bleach), much safer to handle and store.

Seeker
2005-07-01, 13:57
did a little more research, and there's definately a difference in performance between bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and chlorine dioxide (aqua mira). found a website by lenntech, a chemical company that seems to specialize in municipal water supply purification. can't remember what the kill time was for bleach vs giargia, but it wasn't very long. but for cryptosporidium, it was counted in days... (not that crypto is that common).

also, on the line of logic that canadian pharmaceuticals are often cheaper than us prices, i looked up 'pristine' (canadian version of AM). it cost's $20 canadian (or about $16 US) to buy from a company in canada, vs about $10 US if bought here in the states. but the dosage was a little different... my AM instructions are 7 drops each for a qt. canadian directions were 5 drops each for a liter... but a liter, though smaller than a qt, is not 5/7 of a quart... it's 9/10 of a qt... hmm... maybe i could save a bit of money using only 5-6 drops instead of 7... us manufacturers are notorious for overkill in order to get you to buy more product (like 'lather, rinse, repeat' on the shampoo bottle).

oh. while i'm on the subject of cheaper alternatives, campmor has a $70 wenger swiss army knife on sale for $30. check the 'internet deals' portion of their website.

dropkick
2005-07-05, 09:24
did a little more research, and there's definately a difference in performance between bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and chlorine dioxide (aqua mira). found a website by lenntech, a chemical company that seems to specialize in municipal water supply purification. can't remember what the kill time was for bleach vs giargia, but it wasn't very long. but for cryptosporidium, it was counted in days... (not that crypto is that common).

also, on the line of logic that canadian pharmaceuticals are often cheaper than us prices, i looked up 'pristine' (canadian version of AM). it cost's $20 canadian (or about $16 US) to buy from a company in canada, vs about $10 US if bought here in the states. but the dosage was a little different... my AM instructions are 7 drops each for a qt. canadian directions were 5 drops each for a liter... but a liter, though smaller than a qt, is not 5/7 of a quart... it's 9/10 of a qt... hmm... maybe i could save a bit of money using only 5-6 drops instead of 7... us manufacturers are notorious for overkill in order to get you to buy more product (like 'lather, rinse, repeat' on the shampoo bottle).

oh. while i'm on the subject of cheaper alternatives, campmor has a $70 wenger swiss army knife on sale for $30. check the 'internet deals' portion of their website.


Just thought I'd post 2 things that I've hit in my research.

1) According to a Canadian Gov. website (don't remember the site name/address) they won't let you bring any form of chemical water purification into Canada. You are supposed to buy it there (even if it is the same brand). - Though, I would bet that if you had it in your pack the border guard would let it pass through.

2) Reported cases of crypto are fairly rare. And while crypto might make you miserable for a couple of weeks, many people get infected, recover, and don't even know it. You also develop an immunity to crypto after getting infected.
I'm not going to worry about it.
-normal warnings though - pregnant, small children, immune deficient persons (aids, etc.), should worry about getting infected.

RudyB
2005-07-11, 14:51
I used Aquamira on a three-day backpacking trip last year. Fortunately, I also carried iodine tablets. The Aquamira dried up my throat pretty badly. I used it to purify about two liters of water before I noticed the effect, so I gave it to one of my hiking partners to try. I went back to iodine, and the dryness went away. My partner used it for the rest of the trip and was very happy with it.
RudyB
Weare, NH

John B.
2005-07-13, 16:08
I seem to be in the opposite camp on this question. I started a long section hike with Potable Aqua, which I believe is an iodine tablet, and I couldn't stand it to the extent that I chose to boil water until I could find a replacement rather than continue to use it. I then bought Aqua Mira and have been happy with my water ever since.

I don't have any info on how effective Aqua Mira is at killing the bad stuff in water, though.

I never noticed any weird taste with Aqua Mira, either. But maybe there's so many chemicals in the water in my city that I've grown accustomed.

KLeth
2005-07-14, 01:45
I don't have any info on how effective Aqua Mira is at killing the bad stuff in water, though.Aqua Mira mixed together gives Chlorine dioxide (http://www.epa.gov/safewater/mdbp/pdf/alter/chapt_4.pdf) as mentioned earlier in the thread. Link is for a nice PDF article on Chlorine dioxide.



I never noticed any weird taste with Aqua Mira, either. But maybe there's so many chemicals in the water in my city that I've grown accustomed.Yup! Your tap water tastes like swimmingpool, at least for us not accustomed to additives in our water :smile: Never got used to chlorine in tap water.

An interresting issue goes for all of the water additives since they have to work for a certain time, but most chemical reactions are temperature dependent - In my MIOX manual there is a nice table over how long I have to treat the water, but no table over temperature/time.
If it's cold e.g. 10C and the table is made for water at 20C then I actually might have to let the solution work for twice as long as mentioned in the table.
Does anyone know more about this ?

It got to my ear that some silver based water additives, actually doesn't disinfect but only prevents bacterial growth.

http://www.lenntech.com (http://www.lenntech.com/water-disinfection/disinfectants-sodium-hypochlorite.htm):
Both sodium hypochlorite and chlorine do not deactivate Giardia Lambia and Cryptosporidium.

Nightwalker
2005-07-14, 14:17
so, do you add some sort of acid to it, like the phosporic acid that comes with the aqua mira as an activator, or just straight? and how much of each?
The "ultra" strength is 6%, the normal is 3.5%. I carry ultra with me in a Visine bottle (I took the label off).

MSR says to use 5 drops per liter on their 3.5% Viral Stop. 3.5/6 = 0.58333, and 0.58333 x 5 = 2.91665 drops of the 6% stuff. I use 3, just because it's so hard to pour out that last .91665 piece of a drop. I use 4 drops right after a heavy rain, when there's so much runoff water in the rivers, only because I once got a little bit "loose" after drinking water from the Chatooga right after a storm. The pale yellow color should've warned me, but it didn't.

:D

Seeker
2005-07-21, 15:45
sorry for the delay. been off for a few weeks. even got to do some camping with my brother back in ny. he didn't like the aqua mira i used on our trip. said he could taste a slight acidic flavor, and it burned his throat. yet i love the stuff. oh well. maybe some of us are just more sensitive to it than others. thanks all for your input/thoughts.