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UV Water Purification

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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby MarkM on Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:03 am

[quote="Boon"] Heh. As I recall, you were using a miox setup for a while. Which would you recommend, now that you've had experience with both?
[/quote]

The miox setup affects the taste - a pretty big downside as far as I'm concerned. The main downside to Steripen is that you're SOL if the batteries give up, as they did for me recently on morning 4 of a 5 day outing. Fortunately, I had brought along some iodine tablets for just such a contingency. The lesson is that you should replace the batteries every couple of years, even if you haven't used it a whole lot. I understand that the new ones have a battery strength indicator, which would be a big help.
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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby mikesplain on Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:46 pm

Boon- maybe you mean this link?
http://pweb.jps.net/~prichins/giardia.htm
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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby Boon on Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:29 pm

Very interesting stuff. Hopefully this nameless backcountry microbiologist will publish a paper on his theory and findings in a peer-reviewed journal soon, at which point his informal and anectodal spew will be lifted from the realm of off-the-cuff theory to science. Until that time, I'm inclined to believe the folks from steripen, although you never know. Damned if I can find the link, but a few years ago I read some scientific study about giardia in the Sierra being way overblown, and one of the recommendations was to take one's water from the upper 6-8" of still lakes, since baking in the sun all day would have denatured any giardia cists. Hey MarkM, are you same guy that was known for a while as JApundit? Heh. As I recall, you were using a miox setup for a while. Which would you recommend, now that you've had experience with both?

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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby MarkM on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:20 pm

The studies I've read indicate that the Steripen is highly effective at making Giardia unable to reproduce. Your microbiologist may be right, that it doesn't kill Giardia. But you don't get sick from Giardia until they reproduce and start a colony in your gut.

There are pluses and minuses to any method, including Steripen. But there are numerous studies showing that Steripens are effective at preventing giardiasis.

I've already got a Steripen, but would definately grab one up for $40 if I didn't.
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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby JasonG on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:10 pm

I dunno, the guy was a for-real microbiologist doing research in the backwoods, and he wouldn't trust it for himself. (I don't think he was lying about his CV, since he had a ton of heavy equipment on his back and an entourage of grad students with him, and keys to the research cabin.)

So I just bought a ultralight MSR filter that weighs about the same, and has actually ended up being a lot more convenient, especially when sourcing from shallow streams.

I've got a barely used Steripen for sale if anyone wants it for 40 bucks.
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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby MarkM on Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:04 pm

Interesting. If what the microbiologist said is true, the company should be sued for false advertising - or worse. They have a link to a bunch of "independent test reports". I suppose it could all be a big scam, but I find that a little difficult to believe, considering how long they've been on the market.

Some quotes:

Steripen is highly effective. It exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements for Microbiological water Purifiers. Numerous studies conducted at leading universities and laboratories show SteriPEN destroys over: 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses and 99.9% of protozoa (i.e. Giardia and Cryptosporidium). All of SteriPEN's independent test reports are available online.

Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia are among the easiest microbes to destroy with UV – even in the cyst form. They require far lower exposures to UV light than bacteria or viruses. UV light kills Crypto and Giardia – 16 oz (0.5 L) in less than a minute (32 oz (1 L) in a minute and one-half). While it takes 4 hours to kill crypto using chemicals, UV light is extremely effective in scrambling its DNA and rendering it incapable of reproducing.
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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby JasonG on Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:24 pm

dknapp1 wrote:I have one that's a couple years old. They are nice, but mine at least had a few drawbacks - battery operated, so to be really safe, you need spare batteries, glass, so you have to be a bit careful with it, and mine was kind of a pain to use with a wide mouth nalgene because you have to hold it at the right level in the water, and IIRC a 32oz nalgene requires the longer time setting, so you have to hold it for a long time.

My quick glance at the website seems to show that the latest versions have solved all those problems!

Might be also worth a quick glance at backpackgeartest.org to see if they've reviewed one too.

dbk


I know this is an old thread but I thought I'd add my two cents. I have a Steripen and it was nice, until I met a microbiologist in the Sierras who was doing water purity surveys (seriously, what are the chances? He was going to that research cabin in Redwood Canyon). He said that Steripens are not reliable for killing giardia. He described how giardia has a UV-resistant coating. Since it floats down sunny streams all day, so a couple of minutes of UV aren't going to kill it.

I was *pissed* to learn this. Luckily he let us water up at the cabin that has a house-sized filter or we would have been SOL. So now I carry an ultralight MSR filter that weighs about the same as the Steripen with batteries and works pretty fast. So if you are hiking anywhere that has giardia, use a filter.
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Re: UV Water Purification

Postby dknapp1 on Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:56 pm

I have one that's a couple years old. They are nice, but mine at least had a few drawbacks - battery operated, so to be really safe, you need spare batteries, glass, so you have to be a bit careful with it, and mine was kind of a pain to use with a wide mouth nalgene because you have to hold it at the right level in the water, and IIRC a 32oz nalgene requires the longer time setting, so you have to hold it for a long time.

My quick glance at the website seems to show that the latest versions have solved all those problems!

Might be also worth a quick glance at backpackgeartest.org to see if they've reviewed one too.

dbk
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UV Water Purification

Postby Boon on Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:51 am

Anyone have any experience or thoughts regarding the Steripen UV water purification systems? It sounds like a promising concept, and I sure like the idea of being able to quench my thirst within a minute or two of reaching a water source when hiking through cow country or downstream of the more popular camps. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.steripen.com/outdoor
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