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Water Purification

I recently wrote up my notes (to share with a fellow graduate student) on how I chose between various personal water filtering options for a field school and fieldwork I’ll be apart of this summer. Please find them below. I hope this is helpful for others as well.

Río Maniqui, Beni, Bolivia; Source: Flickr User Sam Beebe

I began by quickly narrowing my options down to two companies–though, I did later find a third viable option, which I’ve included as a footnote below. I was able to do this after talking with several colleagues (who have tried these in Africa, South America, and the American Northwest, among other places) I was dissuaded from going with a ceramic or other hand pump. The biggest drawback to traditional pumps seems to be that they clog too easily and most don’t filter out viruses. Also, they can be a pain to use, since you have to pump while one hose dangles in a river and another sits precariously in a bottle or bucket. Hence, contamination is an issue. The two products/brands I settled on are both purification bottles but they have significantly different initial prices–and significantly different costs/L and flow rates. These include three Katadyn bottles (i.e. the Water Microfilter, Exstream and the new Mybottle) and the Lifesaver Bottle. The Katadyn’s are $35-$50 on Amazon and the Lifesaver is $150 (or $180 for the 6,000 L model).

Katadyn Bottles vs. Lifesaver Bottle

The biggest differences between these are their flow rates, the total volume Continue reading Water Purification