Chemical water treatment

Following up to the last post about the type of pathogens we can run into when getting water “au natural,” today we’ll cover one common way to remove the Blue meanies from your water.

Since World War I we have used iodine to treat water. The iodine kills many, but not all, of the most common pathogens present in natural fresh water sources A major drawback at Yosemite is that iodine is not effective against Cryptosporidium. It does have medium effectiveness on Giardia and a high effectiveness on bacteria and viruses. Iodine can be extremely dangerous if used in incorrect quantities, if used over an extended period of time (more than a few weeks) or if the hiker is pregnant or has a thyroid disease. This could lead to serious hyperthyroidism. Iodine based tablets only have a usable open bottle life of 3 months. The CDC recommends against using iodine as your main water purification/treatment method on a multi-week long distance backpacking trip. In fact, the European Union has banned the sale of iodine water purification drops or tablets.

That aside, the way iodine or other chemical products work is to place a tablet into the water then wait 30-minutes for it to do its thing. Make this longer for cold or turbid water. So you will have to sit at the water source while the chemical action takes place. Then you drink an iodine-flavored mixture. “Corrector” tables are used to mellow the taste. If you want more water, then you have to wait another 30-minute period.  When you are on this hike, you need to be drinking constantly and the wait period will slow you down. Other possible chemicals that can be use include chlorine, chlorine dioxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach).

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting tale of mechanical and ultraviolet light water treatment. I’ve discussed this in past posts, be we have a lot of newbies, so I think these topics are worth bringing to the front.

I’ll be on another free cruise – speaking on a voyage through the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. I leave in January for 2 weeks, so the blog may be slow. Internet onboard is $$$$. But if you want a TShirt email me now so I can get it to you. $18 plus shipping & tax per the website STORE. Only a few Smalls in stock.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I’m not scared of dying, and I don’t really care. If it’s peace you find in dying, well then let the time be near. If it’s peace you find in dying, and if dying time is here – Just bundle up my coffin cause it’s cold way down there.” – Blood Sweat and Tears

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comment on Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *