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Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

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Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:12 pm

Does anyone here know about the water quality that is available in SN for drinking?
Specifically along the JMT and areas around Garnet Lake and Lake Sabrina. And perhaps the water fountains at Agnew Meadows, etc...campgrounds at trailheads.

The type of water I drink is very important -- not all water is created equal.

Is the water in lakes just melted glacier/snow water? Does the water in streams / lakes come up from an underground source or is that just melted snow?

Has anyone here ever measured the pH from different sources? PPM content?

The difference is important because glacier / snow water will (tend) not have any minerals in it and will have a low pH (acidic) whereas spring water (from underground sources) will (tend to) be alkaline and a higher pH due to minerals picked up from percolating up.

I'm tempted to bring a pH meter / solution with me...but on a multi week trip would prefer not to

Any insights appreciated.



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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby rlown » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:28 pm

you're not serious, right? If it's important to you (water quality, check it yourself on the trail!)

Umm, I thought I'd say more but water is water (for me filtered, of course).. just bring a filter.

Russ
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby markskor » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:40 pm

Sierra water purity?

Some use filters (in-line, ceramic, etc), others depend on drops (Aqua Mura)...some prefer to boil their water, a few rely on chlorine, others Iodine, and there are those who utilize electronic gadgets and gizmos like a Steripen...never considered a pH meter though. Undoubtedly, take one of each along and make sure. HYOH.

However, like I may have mentioned before: Hiking smart includes drinking smart.
BTW, I have not filtered any Sierra water (above 6,000 foot elevation) in the last 25 years, but then I only get out 50 - 60 days a season. YMMV.
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:00 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:13 pm

I guess I should have rephrased the question...it is not the safety of the water that concerns me...although I do have a Steripen that I may or may not use depending on the situation.

Not so concerned about micro-organisms / contamination per se...more just about the acid vs alkalinity aspect. It's the (inorganic) minerals I desire. It relates to our bioelectricity / electrolyte levels - which relates to our energy levels.

At home I use a reverse osmosis filter with a calcite cartridge which produces water with a pH of 9.5+ from tap water that is a little over pH 7.

During this upcoming trip I will be water fasting (No food of any kind) and relying solely on water and sunlight. I think I said I was traveling very light earlier! :) No worries about bears!

For a short trip the water pH is not too important as our bodies have sufficient mineral reserves. However, on a longer multi-week trip if one is to only drink acidic water (No minerals) one would slowly get weaker for one's internal electrolyte levels would gradually go down.

On a side note by eating less/ no food / higher water content food (fruits) -- there is less concern about getting sick from contaminated water or getting sick in general, as the UV rays that enter our system can purify our blood (which is 80% water) better. It's called UV transmittance.
UV light kills viruses / bacteria INSIDE our body...

The interaction of UV light inside our body is similar to what a Steripen does...one reason to never wear sunglasses or glasses / contact lenses of any kind. Most contacts also block UV.
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:20 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:30 pm

Thanks for the link Maverick. The REI article too is semi-helpful from a general perspective.

I did not think to bring any sort of solution to add electrolytes to water. I've never done that before - though I think I heard about it quite sometime ago.

I guess that is one way to "guarantee" I get enough minerals. Xlnt idea...it sounds like one of these bottles or similar product may indeed be part of my pack. I can test it at home first by adding the solution to distilled/pure reverse-osmosis water (Simulating glacier/rain/snow water) then measuring the pH/ppm. Make that, I would test it since I am a little paranoid about matters such as this.

cool...
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby circusoflife » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:46 pm

This is the product that I had heard of before...I read the guy's book too some time ago...and enjoyed it.

http://www.alkalife.com/

I've never used it before...and frankly...was a bit skeptical for various reasons. Perhaps because it wasn't a good long term solution for my alkaline water needs (Which is how I ended up with a RO system and calcite cartridge, which also gets rid of plastic contamination from PVC pipes..) ...but this backpacking trip is of a short term nature.

Sound like I have some "home lab testing" to do....
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby freestone » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:56 pm

http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/apr/past ... 32-192.pdf

This PDF covers a very specific area of the Sierra, around the Crater Mountain and Pinochet Pass areas. It's mostly about PH, bugs, frogs and fish, but it may help you in understanding the factors controlling PH in Sierra waters. It certainly helped me in discover the possibilities of this area for my favorite Sierra pastime.
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby pez_leon » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:18 am

circusoflife wrote:During this upcoming trip I will be water fasting (No food of any kind) and relying solely on water and sunlight. I think I said I was traveling very light earlier! :) No worries about bears!

For a short trip the water pH is not too important as our bodies have sufficient mineral reserves. However, on a longer multi-week trip if one is to only drink acidic water (No minerals) one would slowly get weaker for one's internal electrolyte levels would gradually go down.


And from viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7428&p=52660#p52660 :

circusoflife wrote:1) My hiking trip is anywhere from 3-4 weeks I'm guessing, so I should just enter in the last possible date that I might leave?

Please advise.


(Emphasis mine)

I suggest that your concern over the pH of water is misplaced. If I understand you correctly, your plan is to spend more than two weeks simultaneously (a) covering a great deal of mileage at altitude and (b) eating nothing. This strikes me as a terrible idea. While I'm not a nutritionist, I've never seen anything to suggest that minerals and electrolytes will provide you with the energy you'll need to be anything more than a cautionary tale by the end of your trip. What you're talking about is as long as a dangerous hunger strike, as physiologically demanding as several marathons, and situated in a remote location where help will never be close at hand. I certainly wouldn't do it.
Your primary concern for your upcoming trip to a dangerous and remote place should be bringing food, warmth, and shelter. Until you address those needs, mineral supplements are unimportant.

James
Last edited by pez_leon on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:39 am

Ditto - hiking burns a whole lot of calories. Getting your body chemistry out of whack in the high country is an invitation to disaster. You can start making really bad decisions if you're not feeding the brain properly.

For the sake of all my brothers and sisters in Search and Rescue who risk their lives getting out there to find people who make mistakes of this nature, as well as for your own health, I implore you to reconsider this plan. Fast at home and take sustenance when undergoing rigorous physical activities in remote places. You are compounding your risk exponentially by thinking you can do this, as well as the risk to others who WILL come looking for you.
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Re: Water pH / quality in Sierra Nevada streams / springs / lak

Postby circusoflife » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:21 am

Thanks Freestone for the post. I'm going through it right now. After I saw your link it occurred to me that I hadn't done a proper Google search of my own on pH - Sierra Nevada - lakes, etc...search terms. Preferring to ask first. But lo and behold I have found some articles...including for future destinations on the calendar this year.

Here is one on Gem Lake I am reading through. Numerous others I need to organize....

http://www.nospam.aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_3 ... 4/0825.pdf


As for the last two posts -- thank you for noticing my statement! I was wondering if someone was going to say something about that!

I hesitate as to how to respond because it would diverge from what HST is about, and perhaps what fellow readers on here are comfortable with. If we all met in a bar or something or on trail face to face, well -- perhaps it would be different. But there are limitations in the virtual world...
Communications is up to 90% non-verbal...

Let's just say the things I know about our human physiology (Body & Mind) go far beyond what is accepted by "modern science/medicine" let alone the general public. Besides, much "science" has been corrupted by commercial interests. Like all the anti-UV advertising (Hmm..selling sunglasses anyone?) ....when in fact...it is "not bad/to be avoided" if we understand it. Plenty of books and some videos on this...

But talking about this knowledge -- opens a pandora's box which (For the inquiring mind) could lead to many other tangent discussions. Many clues are on documentaries and linking together numerous science stories...and looking at things from a different perspective so to speak. Sometimes just asking "dumb questions" and having the persistence to get the "right" answer.

This upcoming summer in the SN won't be the first time for water fasting for a significant amount of time for me, nor being at altitude for a sustained period of time, but it will be a first for the combination. Perhaps the best answer I have is to offer a couple of video links to documentaries that may get one thinking...if one wants to know more you can PM me or if the moderators permit -- we can continue in this or another public thread. I got roasted by cyberbullies (After <10 posts on the theme) just for posting videos (Often from Discovery Channel, BBC, etc..) and a little explanation in another hiking related forum. Many closed minds...while the documentaries may seem unrelated...they are not...

Too often our brains shut off when we hear certain key words or encounter information which goes against "beliefs we hold sacred" - whether they be religious, or scientific, cultural, or otherwise.
Better to have KNOWledge than Be-LIE-fs.....

Enjoy!

Discovery Channel - Boy with Divine Powers - full doc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhMnSzOEe1E

or on Dailymotion in 5 parts - (u can see who uploaded it in 2008!)
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6bb2j ... s-1-5_news

The Beautiful Truth - about cure for cancer, but really about regenerative capability in body
and distortion of the/our mainstream system...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzDHGLEUyw

Forks over Knives part 1 of ?? - also about distortion (from milk and beef industry for example)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXo_Pi3 ... re=related

Dutch Iceman - a sampling of what hidden powers are latent in all of our bodies...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... RsNh0eB-Io

Marathon Monks of Mt.Hie - Japan - 20 minutes of an hour long documentary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S06oMxdt40A

Many, many, many more videos...available for the inquiring mind...soon we'll find out who wants to open and who wants to stay closed...
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