Giardia treatment?

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Addict
Posts: 3748
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:01 pm

I use Chlorine Diox tabs all the time. It is my understanding that it zaps Giardia within an hour, and the 4-hr wait is for viruses. It takes some getting used to but I have established a routine that works OK. I put 2 liters of water in a 2.5-liter Platypus first thing when I get to camp and put in 2 tabs. If I am really thirsty, I will heat water and have tea, although I usually can wait for dinner when I boil water anyway. I use the treated water ONLY for drinking water. No point in wasting it if you boil cooking water. If I get into camp late, then I may have to drink the treated water prior to the 4-hour wait before bedtime. I usually get into camp 4-5PM so the water is usually ready by dark. I pour 1 liter into my drinking bottle and drink half that at night. That leaves me with a bit more than a liter of water for the following day. I use untreated water for breakfast and coffee, because I boil it anyway. So, just take enough water containers to hold the amount of treated water you need for the next day and sipping in the evening and night. After a while it becomes routine. If I think I am going to run out during the day, I will treat a liter and just drink it sooner (after half an hour, ideally an hour). I have never been in a situation where I could not wait at least half an hour for a drink. I have noticed that if you drink the water early it tastes of chlorine. When it is fully done, it has no chlorine taste at all, but it does make the water taste "flat".

This works for me because I am not a big water consumer on the trail. I prefer to "tank up" in the morning before walking and at night, after the water is treated. I also view water treatment as reducing risk, not eliminating it. Even if I have to drink some water directly from a stream during the day, I have at least reduced the overall risk. Not perfect, but OK with me.

User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Addict
Posts: 2479
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:27 pm

Viruses are zapped in 15 mins with chlorine dioxide. Cyst borne pests take longer. Turbid water and cold water take much longer.

4 hours is a time mandated by the EPA for killing cryptosporidium in water that is both very cold and very dirty. All bacteria and viruses, except cryptosporidium and giardia, are killed in 15 minutes (even in cold water). Cryptosporidium and giardia are both killed in 30. In cold, very dirty (cloudy) water, it can take 4 hours for a full crypto kill.

User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by quentinc » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:01 am

Does it leave a chlorine taste in the water?

User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 1773
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Redondo Beach

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by Jimr » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:49 am

The best you'll get is what WD described as "flat". I think that is the best taste you'll get from any chemical treatment in the field. If you are seriously considering CL02, then test it by treating a quart of refrigerator cold, distilled or reverse osmosis treated water for 30 min, then smelling and tasting. Using pure or near pure water will give you the highest free chlorine residual for a given period/temp and give you an idea of the what the worst taste is likely to be.
When life closes a door, open it again.
It's a door, that's how they work.

User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Posts: 2266
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Mammoth Lakes

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by markskor » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:51 am

quentinc wrote:Does it leave a chlorine taste in the water?
yes...IMHO yucky
Mountainman who swims with trout

User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by quentinc » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:15 am

I wonder if Vitamin C would improve the taste, like it does with iodine. Even if it doesn't chemically neutralize the chlorine, it imparts a slightly sweet taste and it's acidic. So I'll test it out if I go the chlorine diox route.

User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 10137
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by maverick » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Why not use the Steripen. It kills everything, takes 90 sec to purify 32 oz of water.
A set of 4 Lithium Batteries gives you 140 cycles, so you can get a few trips out of
it, and weighs next to nothing, especially compare to a water filter (pump), which
takes a lot longer, and can clog up. Chemical treatment takes to long, and doesn't
taste to great, though Vit C or Lemonade Mix does help.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

User avatar
cmon4day
Topix Regular
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:08 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Dublin, CA

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by cmon4day » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:45 pm

Am I missing something. No one filters their water?

User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Addict
Posts: 2479
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by AlmostThere » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:01 pm

Lots of people don't. I don't pretend to be an expert on water sources, nor do I feel like discovering the hard way that I am in the 50% of the population who WILL show symptoms of Giardia once infected. So I always do. I take some Micropur tablets as a backup to the filter. If I run out and the filter's broken, I would then just drink the water from wherever, because I'd rather be home getting treatment for something nine days later than wandering the wilderness so dehydrated I can't make rational decisions. (Been there, don't recommend it to anyone.)

User avatar
gdurkee
Founding Member
Posts: 730
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:20 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Giardia treatment?

Post by gdurkee » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:53 pm

You also have to consider whether you were infected by the water. There's at least one Sierra study suggesting infection occurs by poor camp hygiene -- aka fecal contamination. This is certainly the route of transmission in day care centers.

George

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests