overheadx2 wrote:I just looked at the wilderness medicine site, and it stated that effective water treatment with boiling is 1 min for every thousand feet of elevation. That would put the boiling time at 10 min for most trips. That seems very fuel inefficient. Is that time different for cleaner Sierra water? Phil
That's an older, conservative recommendation.
Pasteurization at 89°C takes only 1 second. This corresponds to the boiling temperature of water at an alititude of about 11,000 feet. There is a time-temperature curve for killing water-borne pathogens and the time it takes to actually heat the water to boiling should be included in this analysis. The bottom line is that at any Sierra elevation, simply achieving a boil is sufficient.
Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines: For Wilderness Emergency Care
William W. Forgey
Methods of Water Disinfection
As in pasteurization, temperatures above 160°F (70°C) kill all enteric pathogens within thirty minutes, and 185°F (85°C) is effective within a few minutes. Thus, disinfection occurs during the time required to heat water from 140°F (60°C) to boiling temperature, so any water brought to a boil, even at high altitudes, is safe.