Water, weight and Filters

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hufty
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby hufty » 8 Feb 2017, 2:55pm

pwa wrote:
hufty wrote:
pwa wrote:And how do these things cope with the potential pollutants from former industrial activity, such as lead and cadmium? Lots of apparently remote and unspoilt places in France have old abandoned mine workings upstream.

A variant of the "there could be a dead sheep lying in the beck higher up" line that someone always trots out whenever you announce that you drink from streams in the Lake District.


There are streams and rivers in the apparently unspoilt centre of Wales that have water that is unfit to drink because of the presence of toxic minerals from abandoned mine workings. Cwm Yswyth is one of the better known examples. The remote areas of France have a lot of abandoned mines. Some used to produce uranium! So it is not a myth. A bottle of apparently clean water could contain something really nasty. The dead sheep thing is easier to deal with. Just find a point where the water emerges from the ground. Never a river. Unless you are desperate.

I am very much in agreement with Gattonero, in that I think a little bit of dirt is good for you, so long as that dirt is only stuff that might give you a bad tummy for a couple of days.

Ooh uranium sounds really scary doesn't it, but unless there was a refinery to extract all the useful isotope out I imagine there won't be a problem with tailing pond leakage and so on. You might not want to start a bottling plant in that part of Wales but a few litres as you pass through is not going to cause a dangerous build-up of toxins in your kidneys.
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pwa
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby pwa » 8 Feb 2017, 3:42pm

hufty wrote:
pwa wrote:
hufty wrote:A variant of the "there could be a dead sheep lying in the beck higher up" line that someone always trots out whenever you announce that you drink from streams in the Lake District.


There are streams and rivers in the apparently unspoilt centre of Wales that have water that is unfit to drink because of the presence of toxic minerals from abandoned mine workings. Cwm Yswyth is one of the better known examples. The remote areas of France have a lot of abandoned mines. Some used to produce uranium! So it is not a myth. A bottle of apparently clean water could contain something really nasty. The dead sheep thing is easier to deal with. Just find a point where the water emerges from the ground. Never a river. Unless you are desperate.

I am very much in agreement with Gattonero, in that I think a little bit of dirt is good for you, so long as that dirt is only stuff that might give you a bad tummy for a couple of days.

Ooh uranium sounds really scary doesn't it, but unless there was a refinery to extract all the useful isotope out I imagine there won't be a problem with tailing pond leakage and so on. You might not want to start a bottling plant in that part of Wales but a few litres as you pass through is not going to cause a dangerous build-up of toxins in your kidneys.


What you drink if you are desperate and an hour or more away from a tap, on a hot day, is down to how you feel at the time. I've consumed dubious water in the past. But my preference, probably like yours, is for water from a reliable tap or a spring that I'm pretty sure about.

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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby rualexander » 8 Feb 2017, 4:10pm

Gattonero wrote:
rualexander wrote:
Gattonero wrote: Add a Chlorine tablet and you're good to go.


Sawyer is an amazingly small and light filter compared to the Katadyn I used to carry in some places, the flow rate with the Sawyer is better too.
But why would you filter the water and add a chlorine tablet as well?!
If you're adding chlorine then there's not much point in filtering it first.


I use the Sawyer first, to remove all the big particles like mud/leafs/pollen/etc., to my knowledge, it does not remove bacteria and stuff like that. That's why the Chlorine tablet goes after this first stage treatment.
Still, I have, and will never, not used any water downstream from farms, land where sheep or cattle is grazing, or things like that. That is just asking for trouble.


The Sawyer mini filter does remove bacteria, protozoa etc., that is the whole point of the device.

The only pathogens it doesn't remove are virus particles which are much smaller than the filter pores.

"big particles like mud/leafs/ pollen/etc" should ideally be prefiltered out of the water before feeding it into the Sawyer device but if not done can cause the filter to block up quickly requiring backflushing using the provided syringe or similar technique.

Pathogenic virus particles are likely to be attached to larger filterable particles such as faecal matter etc which would be removed by the filter. Virus particles do occur in free floating unattached form but not generally in numbers sufficient to cause illness in water that would be used for drinking after filtration.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Cyril Haearn » 8 Feb 2017, 5:46pm

Don't bother with tablets or river water. Learn a few words of the language and ask at a friendly-looking house. Usually the inhabitants will be glad to help, often they will invite you in for tea. Or coffee
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Gattonero
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Gattonero » 9 Feb 2017, 8:26am

Cyril Haearn wrote:Don't bother with tablets or river water. Learn a few words of the language and ask at a friendly-looking house. Usually the inhabitants will be glad to help, often they will invite you in for tea. Or coffee


That is probably the best advice 8)
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Gattonero » 9 Feb 2017, 8:28am

rualexander wrote:
Gattonero wrote:
rualexander wrote:
Sawyer is an amazingly small and light filter compared to the Katadyn I used to carry in some places, the flow rate with the Sawyer is better too.
But why would you filter the water and add a chlorine tablet as well?!
If you're adding chlorine then there's not much point in filtering it first.


I use the Sawyer first, to remove all the big particles like mud/leafs/pollen/etc., to my knowledge, it does not remove bacteria and stuff like that. That's why the Chlorine tablet goes after this first stage treatment.
Still, I have, and will never, not used any water downstream from farms, land where sheep or cattle is grazing, or things like that. That is just asking for trouble.


The Sawyer mini filter does remove bacteria, protozoa etc., that is the whole point of the device.

The only pathogens it doesn't remove are virus particles which are much smaller than the filter pores.

"big particles like mud/leafs/ pollen/etc" should ideally be prefiltered out of the water before feeding it into the Sawyer device but if not done can cause the filter to block up quickly requiring backflushing using the provided syringe or similar technique.

Pathogenic virus particles are likely to be attached to larger filterable particles such as faecal matter etc which would be removed by the filter. Virus particles do occur in free floating unattached form but not generally in numbers sufficient to cause illness in water that would be used for drinking after filtration.


You're probably right, but is not easy to know what's inside the water, if bacteria or virus, how am I supposed to find it out?
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Sweep
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Sweep » 9 Feb 2017, 8:11pm

In Sardinia, which can get damn hot so water is important, I find churches, even locked up ones (many these days) have a water source if you look around a bit.

And there are rather a lot of public taps in towns/villages and even the countryside - some folk drive miles to fill up with their favourite tipple.

By the by, in this country and abroad you quite often find signs, in public toilets and the like, advising that the water is NOT DRINKABLE.

I have always assumed that it most certainly is but that they are just saying they haven't got the paperwork from an authorised lab/are trying to cover themselves with a bit of legalese caution.

Is my assumption fair?
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ConRAD
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby ConRAD » 9 Feb 2017, 8:34pm

Sweep wrote:... is my assumption fair?

... fair enough I'd say !!
Sardinia, Malta and so on so forth, everywhere in the world today seems to be exactly the same story: "just legalese caution"

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ps: Sweep, better than churches don't forget cemiteries !!!!
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Sweep
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Sweep » 9 Feb 2017, 8:45pm

Hi Conrad

Why are cemeteries better? Or did you just mean as an addition?

Don't know about cemeteries in the rest of Italy (never sought them out as a cyclist) but in Sardinia, the only issue is that some have somewhat restricted opening hours (as a Brit this always shines a light on certain poor aspects of Italy) and when closed you will have severe issues getting in - most are like fortresses.

Once in of course, you may have the bonus, apart from the water, of some really interesting sculpture, interesting even funny grave photos.

all the best from someone who has a tortured love/hate thing about Italy.

PS - I do know that you have cycled extensively in Sardinia.

thanks for the reassurance on the legalese - unlikely you are going to die isn't it? - consequences for a Bit can't be worse than many Italians fear the consequences of eating Brit food :)

all the best again
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Cyril Haearn » 10 Feb 2017, 5:24am

Sweep wrote:In Sardinia, which can get damn hot so water is important, I find churches, even locked up ones (many these days) have a water source if you look around a bit.

And there are rather a lot of public taps in towns/villages and even the countryside - some folk drive miles to fill up with their favourite tipple.

By the by, in this country and abroad you quite often find signs, in public toilets and the like, advising that the water is NOT DRINKABLE.

I have always assumed that it most certainly is but that they are just saying they haven't got the paperwork from an authorised lab/are trying to cover themselves with a bit of legalese caution.

Is my assumption fair?


I imagine drinking dead-sheep-water or uranium-water once would probably not be harmful, anyone here with medical knowledge care to comment?

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thornie1543
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby thornie1543 » 10 Feb 2017, 8:37am

I've filled up my bottles out of the tap in French cemetaries tons of times,infact it became a regular thing to look out for them,found them very handy.and never had any ill effects what so ever.I just presumed that as it came from the tap it was plummed into the same source as all the other taps in the villages.

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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2017, 9:28am

Cyril Haearn wrote:
Sweep wrote:In Sardinia, which can get damn hot so water is important, I find churches, even locked up ones (many these days) have a water source if you look around a bit.

And there are rather a lot of public taps in towns/villages and even the countryside - some folk drive miles to fill up with their favourite tipple.

By the by, in this country and abroad you quite often find signs, in public toilets and the like, advising that the water is NOT DRINKABLE.

I have always assumed that it most certainly is but that they are just saying they haven't got the paperwork from an authorised lab/are trying to cover themselves with a bit of legalese caution.

Is my assumption fair?


I imagine drinking dead-sheep-water or uranium-water once would probably not be harmful, anyone here with medical knowledge care to comment?

Diolch



I get the feeling that everyone here, like myself, is willing to take a chance with water that appears crystal clear and smells okay. And if you are in a truly remote location with no taps, a filter can only add to confidence. I mentioned the heavy metals issue (including uranium, but more commonly things like lead) just to point out that filtration may not guarantee safety. Having an idea where the water has been is helpful, and if possible collecting water as it emerges from the ground is generally best. But the OP was talking about the Netherlands and France, where decent tap water is usually not too difficult to find.

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Sweep
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Sweep » 10 Feb 2017, 9:46am

thornie1543 wrote:I've filled up my bottles out of the tap in French cemetaries tons of times,infact it became a regular thing to look out for them,found them very handy.and never had any ill effects what so ever.I just presumed that as it came from the tap it was plummed into the same source as all the other taps in the villages.

Yes, this has always been my assumption - that the authorities would have had to go to a hell of a lot of trouble and extra expense to deliberately feed the tap from an entirely separate line fed straight from a nuclear power station outflow or cattle slaughtering slurry tank. So they would curse under their breath and feed it from the normal supply. As kids we were told that old taps might be supplied through lead pipes but you aren't going to get lead poisoned from a single bottle refill surely?
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Feb 2017, 9:50am

As others have said, I can't see a filter being any use in the lowland streams you'll find in the Netherlands. They'll be full of agricultural run-off and industrial pollutants.

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Re: Water, weight and Filters

Postby nosmarbaj » 10 Feb 2017, 9:52am

Cyril Haearn wrote:I imagine drinking dead-sheep-water or uranium-water once would probably not be harmful, anyone here with medical knowledge care to comment?

I've no particular medical knowledge, but the two risks are quite different.

The dead-sheep-water will either make you ill, or be completely harmless. The chance of getting sick will depend on which type of, and how many bugs are in the water, and on your personal immune system. Drinking it once will often have no effect, but there is a finite chance of getting quite ill.

The uranium-water will always have a bad effect on you. How bad will depend on the level of contamination and your personal physiology. Drinking it once will often have a completely negligible effect, but to be sure, you need to be confident that the pollution level is low.

FWIW I've never carried a filter in Europe, and never been ill through drinking from streams etc. But I would always try to find a stretch of fast-flowing shallow water (hence well-oxygenated), and if possible in bright sunlight, since oxygen and UV are both bad for the bugs that cause gastric problems. And of course the higher up a hill you are, the less chance that something has got into the water on the way down, so water tends to be less of a problem for hill-walkers than for road-touring cyclists.