Sunday, October 28, 2012

Purifying Water

Purifying Water | Nov 30th -0001

The easiest way to purify water is by keeping it at a rolling boil for 10 minutes to kill any disease-causing bacteria. To improve the taste, try adding a pinch of salt to each quart. Water that has been stored for any length of time is best aerated by pouring it from one bucket to another several times to improve its taste.

However, though "It is common knowledge that boiling water for 15 - 20 min is sufficient for destruction of the pertinent microorganisms. This treatment is limited to emergency situations and is frequently recommended by utilities in such cases." ----Chemistry of Water Treatment, 2nd. Edition; 1999. And it may not get all cysts and spores.

Note the key words, pertinent microorganisms and emergency situations. What this means to the reader of this page is, if you did not prepare for The Total Collapse of the Financial System, etc.; boiling should get you through, but you want to have more for water purification (what this page is about) than just heat for boiling. You want clean, pure, potable (drinking) water. But, many of the microorganisms in water are not all bad. It is the harmful ones you want out and boiling seems to do the job in most cases.

Boiling does kill pertinent bacteria. The boiling process "kills vegetative bacterial and fungal pathogens and many viruses within 10 minutes; less effective on endospores." (See: Physical Methods Used to Control Microbial Growth, table later). And, as the water is boiled, some is evaporated off in the process thereby concentrating any heavy metals, salts, nitrites/nitrates and other contaminants left in the raw water or even the tap water if a problem presents a temporary to permanent malfunction in the water treatment process. You don't want these contaminants either. This document will show you how to get ride of these too.

You can also use the metal ions, (Ag+), Silver, for the purification of water. This has been known since antiquity. There are reports, and more will occur in the not-too-distant future, of European and Russian uses of this precious metal in the water supplies of villages. The advantages of silver are long residual bactericidal activity with low concentrations of the metal.

The disadvantages are that you must pretreat the raw water to remove turbidity, organic color, dissolved volatile organic chemicals, and so forth. Also, spores and cysts are resistant. Cold temperatures reduce the efficiency of the silver ions. You need long contact times of the silver with the microbials.

To improve taste by pouring stored water from one bucket to another prior to use, does not improve taste by putting oxygen in the water; but does so by helping--in a very small manner (possibly)--remove some volatile organic chemicals, and help in removing hydrogen sulfide that causes bad taste and odors.

Most people assume, often erroneously, that if the water is smelly and taste bad, it is bad. This is seldom the case, but, nevertheless, people won't drink smelly, off-colored, tasting water. More often than not, after aeration, bucket to bucket type, a small, depending on the supply of water, sludge is formed trapping the odorous components that must be removed by coagulation (flocculation) and sedimentation; then filtration. Also, you want to get rid of naturally occuring organic matter, such as Amino acids, algae, breakdown products of humic and fulvic acids that can lead to off-tasting water, and other things. We show you how, as best possible, on this page for the harsh things coming. Water will be one of the dire things in short shrift when this all goes down.

In the J. Am. Water Works Assoc., Pangborn, R. M. and L.L. Bertolero; 64:511 (1972) points out that the insipid, flat tasting of water is not caused, as commonly believed, by low levels of dissolved oxygen or the salts of minerals. Test were performed for dissolved oxygen on distilled water vs non-distilled water (clean and pure of course) with 1000 mg/L NaCl, and it was found that no significant distinctions could be made as to the oxygen content or mineral salts affecting taste. "These data led to the conclusion that DO (dissolved oxygen) content had little, if any, effect on the taste of drinking water." ----The Chemistry of Water Treatment, 2nd. edition; 1999.

Two chemicals usually found in the home will be effective for water disinfection.

Chlorine bleach (Clorox, Purex, etc...) is an excellent disinfectant for water. (Note: Chlorine kills bacteria, but only some to many viruses, depending on the chlorination (simple to Superchlorination). Iodine kills bacteria and viruses.) Check the label for the percentage of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) present. Then follow this chart:

  • 1% 40 drops per gallon
  • 4 to 6 % 8 drops per gallon
  • 7 to 10 % 4 drops per gallon

Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat the dose and let the water stand 15 minutes more. Chlorine tends to break down after 6 months in your stored water.

People just can not store enough liquid chlorine bleach for what is coming. Also, it weakens over time. I have investigated this matter and have found that swimming pool water purifications have the bleach in dry form. But, beware, you don't want something that has all sorts of other chemicals listed. It may not list them, but will say it has clarifiers, anti-foamers, etc. in the dry bleach---stay away from this type.

One brand we recommend is Granular Dry Chlorinator by PoolTime. You can get it at Home Depot for $44.00. It comes in 25 pound plastic buckets and consists primarily of Calcium Hypochlorite. We like this brand because Calcium Hypochlorite [Ca(OCl)2] is not hygroscopic (does not attract water); practically clear in water solution; and, which is very important, a stable chlorine carrier. A strong oxidizing material (read our book, Chemical/Biological WarFare ... How You Can Survive for more information on oxidizing material for chemical and biological agents.

Note :

  • Sodium hypochlorite is the liquid form of chlorine, known as Laundry Bleach (Purex and Clorox, for example) to most persons.
  • Calcium hypochlorite is the dry or solid form of chlorine and comes in tablet or powder form.

Iodine from your medicine cabinet or first aid kit will also purify water. It will usually be found at the strength of 2% United States Pharmacopoeia (U.S.P).

  • For clear water, add 20 drops per gallon
  • For cloudy water, add 40 drops per gallon

Let stand in a sealed container for 30 minutes before drinking.

Other iodine water purification methods use Iodine Crystals. Two that we highly recommend, and have tested ourselves, are:

  • Iodine Crystals; USP For Water Purification Use Only: 4-ounce bottle treats 1,000 gal. water. Millennium Outfitters, LLC (541) 865-3370.
  • Polar Pure Water Disinfectant. Treats up to 2000 quarts of water (500 gal). Call NITRO-PAK; Voice: 1-800-866-4876; Fax: 1-888-NITRO-PAK. Also, ask them to send you their complete catalog. Tell them we sent you.

Another alternative is water purification tablets, available at drug stores or the camping supply areas of other stores. Follow the manufacturer's directions. One researcher writes that the water purification tablets tend to last only 6 months or so... And, if they are turning gray and/or powdery, they have lost most of their potency!

Or, you might want to invest in one of several household water purification systems. This usually includes a filter for suspended particles, an activated carbon filter to absorb organic molecules from contaminants, such as herbicides (they'll probably be volatilized: removal--fair to excellent for Granulated Activated Charcoal (GAC), and poor to good for Powdered Activated Charcoal (PAC); and, an iodine treatment for bacteria. NASA uses iodination in the astronauts space flights to protect the water supply. Iodination is also used by the U.S. Forest Service---and has for years---in its remote stations. The armed services uses iodine under field conditions.

We have found a new product called the E Still. The product is new and purifies water from any available heat source. The still removes 99% of any water contaminates, making it usable in a medical situation.

You can use river water, creek, sloughs, sea water, and swimming pool water---many homes have pools. The unit has no moving parts and produces 3/4 of an ounce of water per minute! It holds 24 ounces of water for purification. Price: Approximately $159.00 - $190.00. Limited supply. Only one company makes it and there are no commerical alternatives. We highly recommend one.

You can receive one now, but when the rush starts, you probably won't be able to get it---the demand will be too high. Order from The Natural Answer, 1108 Camino Real #301, Redondo Beach, CA. 90277, (310) 545-7676. Ask for Mark; tell him we sent you; or:

The Moss Company; 105 Moss Lane; Landrum, S. C., 29356; 1-800-786-1120; Price: $159.00 plus $5.00 s/h. Tell them we sent you.

A New Danger

A new crisis has now developed with our water that you are not being told about. Many people across the nation, where I am invited to give lectures about what's coming and how to survive, tell me they have developed cisterns for collecting, storing, and using their rain water supply. At one time, rain water was relatively pure, depending on how you caught and stored it. This is no longer the case.

Even if this rain water is distilled, you still have a problem with it. This information also goes for mountain streams, creeks, and so forth. According to Swiss chemist, Stephen Muller, at the General Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, much rain water is contaminated today with pesticides from crops.

Be Advised:

The mechanics happen this way: the organic chemical, common pesticides, such as alachlor, atrazine, 2,4-dinitrophenol, and the herbicide glyphosate, after being sprayed over the farming community (even popular weed killers such as Roundup®, Eazy Weeder®, and Slam®, that non-farmers use throughout America) are volatile (vaporize) to the air, combining with water vapor in the clouds to rain down miles away. If a rain occurs just shortly after crop spraying, then that which falls in the immediate vicinity is extremely concentrated with pesticides and herbicides.

Being in the falling rain, if used as such, you could be setting yourself up for various diseases. Even if you drink the tap water, these pesticides and herbicides are now reaching the ground water, not to mention the rivers, lakes, etc. Oh.....they're also reaching your swimming pools!

At a time you need problems less, you may inadvertantly be setting yourself up for, according to European Research, to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a very rapidly increasing cancer in Western societies. Also, according to the latest research, much bottled water is actually tap water that may not have been filtered as you would expect. In fact, a recent survey by the FDA states that 31% of the 52 brands they tested had traces of bacteria in them.

To further the problem, manufacturers often use a cheap plastic for their bottles, such that methyl chloride and xenoestrogens (carcinogens that cause fertility problems and initiate reproductive tissue cancer) and other toxins are leached out, and you drink these, too.

The Swedish scientists discovered that Europeans and Americans who developed this cancer were more likely to have been exposed to the glyphosate herbicide. Other researchers point out that this herbicide and other well used pesticides inhibit the immune system and bring about initiation for the formation of cancer. The glyphosate herbicide is in our drinking water and rain water.


With what you have just been given, then if you distill your water, from whatever sources---and we feel you should, you will remove only 99% of the impurities. That leaves only 1% impurities, so your water is 99% pure. Thus, you want to distill your water by whatever means, but make sure you have a separate unit to filter out the 1%. Because, even if you distill, remember, this is just like a vaporization, and you are going to get the "pesticides"---small as it is, in the distillate---that which you drink.

A good distillation system will remove all kinds of bacteria, pathogens, parasites, viruses, as well as herbicides, pesticides, organic and inorganic chemicals, along with heavy metals (arsenic, lead, etc.), and copper and rust too, which may have been dissolved in the water and are too heavy to rise with the steam formed during the boiling process. All this stays behind in the boiling tank. Many organic chemicals can boil over to the distillate when they volitilize (convert) to a gas, combining with the water wapor during the boiling process, and then, condensing back into dissolved chemicals in the water to give the distillate. For this, you want a vented distillation system, and since the ones we have found use electricity, you will have to aerate using Method A or Method B below.

This is why you want a water distillation unit fitted with a carbon filter and a venting system to remove volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) ....and since we have not found any distillation units, fitted as such, that work without electricity----something we may not have for a while, or sporadically, then we suggest taking the distillate and filtering through a water filter pitcher unit to, hopefully, remove a portion of volitilized or boiled over gases, after stripping them from the raw water using the aeration methods given later.

When distilling, most to all organic chemical particulates, pesticides, herbicides, etc., have been left behind in the boiling tank of the distillation unit (or aerated off earlier--if you did not use sloppy technique). When the steam has condensed back into water----it is this water you pass through an activated charcoal filter for the final treatment. Test show granular activated carbon (GAC) removal of fair to execllent, and powdered (PAC), what is mostly found in most commercial water filter pitcher units, variable in the range of poor to excellent, for organic material. This is why we suggest a pre-treatment modality (follows below) for obtaining pure, clean, drinking (potable) water. When the going really gets rough, we also suggest you devise your own GAC filter.

We now have an E Still and it does have a carbon rod, also known as a carbon post-filter (simply an activated charcoal filter). We still suggest a water filter pitcher unit too. However, the E Still does not have a venting system, such that the volatile organic compounds/chemicals (VOCs) are removed automatically prior to reaching the distillate. You will have to use aeration Methods A or B.

We have not found any vented designs for distillation units not requiring electricity. A vented design purges volatile organics instead of concentrating them in the distillate, for example, chloroform, that is formed eventually from chlorine that is a disinfectant for water purification systems. Chloroform is one of the trihalomethanes (THMs) found in water so treated.

We will show you a pre-treatment modality or manner that will remove just about all or reduce to acceptable levels, any substances prior to your distillation thereby enhancing the distillation process for pure, clean water. The modalities that follow later will consist of Aeration, Coagulation (flocculation), Sedimentation, and Filtration with activated charcoal. The latter removes, among other things, contaminations caused by any stainless steel distillation units.

Activated Charcoal:

"Charcoal is a substance in which the surface atoms are an appreciable fraction of the total number. It consists of porous carbon having a net work of fine tunnels extending through the specimen." Activated charcoal is very spongy, and as such, it has a high ratio of surface area to weight. With such a large surface area, carbon atoms have a large unsaturated valence area too, to attract substances.

"They can attract molecules, especially polar molecules, thus accounting for the high adsorption that is characteristic of charcoal." Adsorption is the process whereby there is an adherence of atoms, ions, or molecules of a gas or liquid to the surface of another substance. For example, "When a mixture of hydrogen sulfide, H2S, and oxygen is passed over a charcoal surface, the H2S is selectively adsorbed. Because H2S is a polar molecule with the sulfur end more negative than the hydrogen end, it is more strongly adsorbed than the oxygen molecule, which is symmetric and nonpolar."

"The charcoal gas mask makes use of this principle of selective adsorption. The charcoal selectively adsorbs poisonous gases, which are usually complicated polar molecules, and lets the oxygen through for respiration."

"At higher temperatures molecular motion makes adsorption more difficult. Thus, spent charcoal with its surface completely covered may be reactivated"----Notice the word, reactivated!--- "by heating it up to drive off the adsorbed gases. At low temperatures, where molecular motion is slight, adsorption increases. In fact, at very low temperatures selectivity is less pronounced, and even nonpolar molecules may be adsorbed, presumable because of van der Waals attraction." -- Sources: Chemical Principles and Properties, Second Edition; Sienko and Plane, McGraw Hill, p. 253, 1974. Reviewing Chemistry; Gelender Amesco; and, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Tenth Edition, Revised by G.G. Hawley.

Wood Charcoal/Ashes Are Not Activated Charcoal:

Burning wood, gives you wood ashes---not activated charcoal. Many are unaware of this and assume they are both the same, they're not! By using the former (wood ashes and chunks of burned wood, known as "charcoal" to the unwary), they are taking a great risk.

They will not get charcoal or activated charcoal with an increased adsorptive (attracts and holds on its surface) area. Destructive distillation of wood gives wood alcohol, acetone, acetic acid, and charcoal (wood charcoal). Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been fashioned (see below), such that its surface area has been increased---it has been activated. By heating with steam, the surface area has been increased (adsorptive) to 125 acres per pound! This type of charcoal (activated) can be recycled by boiling, heating in steam, or burning off any impurities. Adsorption is not absorption---a quality of being assimilated; incorporation.

Therefore, you can recycle your charcoal gas mask canister recommended elsewhere on this web site. We suggested the Israeli gas mask and extra canisters. From the information we are uncovering, you should be able to boil the canisters out; or, try taking them apart and replacing the activated charcoal. But be warned! The outgassing principle (see Chemical/Biological WarFare .... How You Can Survive) will work against you when you reactivate them. Best to discard them after first neutralizing the canisters by pouring Clorox or NAOH (Lye--caustic soda) through the canister. After saturating with either of these chemicals, you should be able to then boil out the neutralized adsorbed neural agents and reuse. Or, if you prefer, replace with virgin carbon.

Wood Charcoal is wood that has been burned in the absence of air or oxygen (destructive distillation of wood). The highly carbonaceous material, wood in this case, is subjected to high temperature, in the absence of air, resulting in decomposition to solids, liquids, and gases. Its adsorptive powers are variable at most. It comes in technical grade, lumps; powdered, and in briquettes (charcoal). Use Activated Charcoal. Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences; 16th Edition, 1980, The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, says on page 752:

"Charcoal (wood) made by this process was variable in its adsorptive powers, frequently being entirely devoid of such properties. It was found that the adsorptive powers of charcoal could be tremendously increased by treating it with various substances such as steam, air, carbon dioxide, oxygen, zinc chloride, sulfuric acid, or phosphoric acid, or a combination of some of these substances, at temperatures [Underscoring WebMasters; also, other texts say similar] ranging from 500 degrees to 900 degrees.

"This treatment is referred to as activation, the activating agent presumably removing substances previously adsorbed on the charcoal and, in some instances at least, breaking down the granules of carbon into smaller ones having a greater total surface area. It has been estimated that 1 ml of charcoal, finely divided, possesses a total surface of approximately 1000 meters square."

Sooo...what does this mean to you. It means you need to get a water distillation unit and an activated charcoal (carbon) filter unit. You can use straight activated charcoal, the kind you buy at pet shops; set it up into some sort of filter unit for the distillate (water that has been distilled); or, simply get a water filtration unit for use after you have distilled your swimming pool water, swamp water, sea and any other kind of water---even, oh yes, urine, if it comes down to that, as it happened during WWII.

The units already have a carbon (activated charcoal) unit that comes with the water pitcher units. The thing is: You have to keep buying the carbon filters. What you're not told, as you can surmise from the above, is that you can boil or steam them for 5 minutes or so and reactivate the carbon elements---some more expensive units allow you to do this. If not, replace with virgin carbon.

However, there is some concern here. Because the temperatures for this second reactivation do not reach the 500 to 900 degrees C that some technical material calls for. But, High Capacity Water Filter (see below) with a carbon filter says its filters can be recharged by this method---boiling them for 5 minutes in water to evaporate chlorine used in chlorine treated water. We suggest the water be filtered.

Nevertheless, if you (a) boil out your filters, then you could try backflushing first. But, since the incoming port to the filter screen is so small, compared to the outport screen, you may not be able to backflush the refuse (contaminates) out sufficiently, by forcing clean water from the outport screen through the import screen. Then, pour (b) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) through the outport screen until the filter is saturated. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes to kill microorganisms; then boil for 10 minutes. We did our Brita® as such and it did not melt, and it works beautifully. If this does not work for you, after testing your spent filter, then replace the filtering unit(s) if you stored enough; or, make your own (see below) using Activated Carbon (charcoal).

Futhermore, Pur® says their filters can be used in Brita® water filtration pitcher units. We have found this not to be so. Upon testing for chlorine in filtered water, after replacing a Brita® filter with a Pur®, we discovered chlorine levels to be almost equal to unfiltered water. We suspect the fit was not what it should have been. Nevertheless, the chlorine levels were unacceptable to us. We used various tests given in this document. In the end, we boiled out our used Brita® and returned it to use and tested it. Chlorine levels tested non-existent, again, using the various tests given in this document.

And that is the thing you most definitely want to do---boil them out--- though, it will be good to store a number of the carbon elements, you can't store that many and they get expensive. If, after testing (discussed later), the activated charcoal, often powdered in the units, don't reactivate, you have to discard and use a virgin unit. Or, if you can, open up the unit and change out the powdered activated charcoal, and replace with either powdered or Granular Activated Carbon (charcoal), GAC.

Hopefully, the manufacturers haven't made them whereby the filter units melt in boiling water, or they have thought of this and took this into consideration in its manufacture, such that you have to continually buy new filters. Other elements in the filter could be damaged---but that is not the point! You're after the activated charcoal without having to fool with charcoal powder, a bucket with holes in it, etc., into ad infinitum, because the distillation process has taken care of the other contaminates.

So, get a water filter pitcher unit, such as the Brita® and/or Pur® found at Walgreens, and elsewhere.

These units elininate 99% of lead and other contaminates; however, be sure and check the labels and instructions to see what they purport to remove. The distillation, combined with this type of unit should give the most desirable results.

These cheaper units may not remove arsenic, lead, copper, parasites, sodium (more expensive ones remove some sodium), sulfates, nitrates, chlorine, and fluoride. Normally, however, chlorine and fluoride are removed and thus, these units are effective in removing the odor of chlorine. But with fluoride, you can't smell or taste it.

Water Test Kit:

Swimming Pool Test Kit: We suggest you get a home swimming pool test kit for chlorine and pH for around $5.00. This will give you a ball park figure for any excess chlorine coming over if you plan to chlorinate your water first---we plan to use iodine (see iodine crystals above)--- when tap water is suspicious, or when using any other source of water, and the water is still to be distilled. (We wish to be doubly safe!) However, the distilling process itself should take care of all germs, viruses, and so forth. This is especially so in the case of using other waters.

If you are using only an inexpensive everyday, storebought, water filtration system, then you had better chemically purify your water before using, if it is suspicious. This goes for tap water, too.

Also, start on distilled water or stored water several days in advance if possible. If nothing suspicious is happening around you, you're not out of any thing---namely, your health. One researcher says municipalities may not tell you that too much flouride or chlorine has been or was dumped into the water. Stay alert and look for signs of people getting sick from the drinking water---especially gastrointestinal problems.

Take into consideration this too: Your everyday, inexpensive water filtration pitcher units are not designed to clean ditch water, swimming pool water for drinking and so forth. They are to be used only with recognized clean tap water. This means, if you are suspicious of the water, purify it FIRST, using chlorine or iodine (preferably the iodine for reasons given above); then filter it through your water filtration pitcher. More expensive units allow you to filter even ditch water. We suggest you still purify it first; but before that, as in all purification process, remove as much debris as possible with a cloth, and then use your more expensive gravity filtration pitcher unit. Better yet, get an E Still and distill after removing debris and purifying with iodine or chlorine.

I think you now see why we still prefer the better distillation units that need no electricity, only a heat source. We still recommend several inexpensive units for the carbon filter reasons and also, one good, expensive gravity unit.

If you are using tap water, and problems occur, then you want to be sure you have some means of testing it to ascertain if there is any chlorine present. It appears the bigger problem will be "under" purification, and not over.

  • Reagent Strips for Urinalysis: If you have some extra lying around, then you can test for "nitrites" and this may help determine if raw sewage, bacteria, and nitrogenous fertilizers have contaminated your drinking water. Because, nitrites and "nitrates" are an indication for bacterial presence; but, most bacteria in water are not harmful. Bacteria convert protein into ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
  • Our Good Test: "Inexpensive and easy, but limited coverage. Everything you need to analyze your water at home is included. You don't need to send anything away to a lab. Test for Ph [sp], hardness, alkalinity, iron bacteria, hydrogen sulfide. #12-228; $29.95." Call 1-330-857-5757, Lehman's. Comment: This is a one-time test.
  • Water Test Kit: "Perform four important experiments about water pollution. Test water samples for dissolved oxygen content, chlorides, phosphates (a test for for fertilizers; phosphates can also be there from your home water treatment system, if you have one, to remove excess iron), and water hardness. All tests provide professional results. Includes all necessary apparatus and materials. #X81-578, $55.00." Edmund Scientific's; 1-800-728-6999:

The information booklet with the test, on page 12, from GSC International, Inc., Manufacturer and supplier of Scientific, Educational and Laboratory Products, Student Test Kit, #2000-29, says:

"Nitrates are a large pollution problem. They are introduced into the water system from natural and man-made sources. The natural sources are dead plants and animals that decay.

"The bacteria which causes decay break down chemicals, specifically proteins, into ammonia which is eventually changed by other groups of bacteria into nitrates. This process of decay takes place in the water. It is part of the cycle of life. It means that chemicals can be reused to provide nutrients (food) for other living things. For example, plants (simple ones, such as algae, as well as more complicated one such as trees) need nitrates in order to survive.

"A second source of nitrates is sewage (human and animal wastes). When the sewage decays, nitrates are one of the products.

"This type of pollution definitely makes the water undrinkable and unattractive due to the presence and the smell of decaying materials. It encourages the growth of several kinds of bacteria.

"Nitrates in the water can make the water unsafe for another reason. Young children (less than one year of age) can be poisoned by nitrates (WebMasters observation: Nitrates and nitrates are used in food preservatives).

"The United States Public Health Service recommends that water with more than 45 ppm of nitrates should not be given to children because nitrate poisoning causes a condition similar to suffocation.

"Small children change nitrate to nitrite. The nitrite then reacts with the hemoglobin (the substance in our blood which carries oxygen). After this reaction, the hemoglobin cannot carry oxygen. The nitrate to nitrite reaction only takes place in very young children."

  • How Clean Is The Water: "Conduct experiments about the chemicals and organisms that pollute our water and how our water can be purified. With this kit, you will be able to test the level of bacteria in water, the chloride content, the PH level, and the rate at which particles settle in water. #X81-577. $39.95." Edmund Scientific's; 1-800-728-6999.
  • Waterworks Test Strips: Rapid and accurate test results, from tap water, lakes and streams. Test a wide range of chemicals and metals. No reagents to mix or handle, nothing to add. Simply dip and read for accurate analysis of even low concentrations. H365330: Free Chlorine, $15.95; 50/Pk. H365335: Iron (Fe+2 Fe+3), $13.95; 50/Pk. H365336: Nitrate and Nitrite Nitrogen; $12.95, 50/Pk. All have a wide detection range. The Lab Mart®. J. & H. Berge, Inc. Serving Science since 1850. 1-800-684-1234. Highly recommended by the WebMasters.
  • pH~Fix Indicators Sticks: H365580PH-FIX. Range 0.0 - 14. Graduation. $12.75; 100/Pk. The Lab Mart®. J. & H. Berge, Inc. Serving Science since 1850. 1-800-684-1234. Highly recommended by the WebMasters.

Tortora, Funke, and Case, writing in their text book, Microbiology Fifth Edition, 1995, by The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc. say:

Tests for Water Purity:

"Historically, most of our concern about water purity has been related to the transmission of disease. Therefore, tests have been developed to determine the safety of water; many of these tests are also applicable to foods.

"It is not practical, however, to look only for pathogens in water supplies. For one thing, if we were to find the pathogen causing typhoid or cholera in the water system, the discovery would already be too late to prevent an outbreak of the disease. Moreover, such pathogens would probably be present only in small numbers and might not be included in tested samples.

"The tests for water safety in use today are aimed instead at detecting particular indicator organisms. There are several criteria for an indicator organism.

  1. The most important criterion is that the organism be consistently present in human feces in substantial numbers so that its detection is a good indication that human wastes are entering the water.
  • The indicator organism should also survive in the water at least as well as the pathogenic organisms would.
  • The indicator organisms must also be detectable by simple test that can be carried out by people with relatively little training in microbiology.

"In the U.S. A., the usual indicator organisms are the coliform bacteria. Coliforms are defined as aerobic or facultatively anaerobic, gram-negative, non-endospore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria that ferment lactose to form gas within 48 hours of being placed in lactose broth at 35 degrees C.

"Because some coliforms are not solely enteric (intestinal) bacteria but are more commonly found in plant and soil samples, many standards for food and water specify the identification of fecal coliforms.

"The predominant fecal coliform is E. coli, which cnstitutes a large proportion of the human intestinal population. There are specialized tests to distinguish between fecal coliforms and nonfecal coliforms. Note that coliforms are not themselves pathogenic under normal conditions, although certain strains can cause diarrhea and opportunistic urinary tract infections."

"A more convenient method of detecting coliforms, specifically the coliform E. coli, makes use of media containing the two substates o-nitrophenyl-B-D-galactopyranoside (ONPG) and 4-methylumbelliferyl-B-D-glucuronide (MUG). Coliforms produce the enzyme B-glucuronidase, which acts on ONPG and forms a yellow color, indicating their presence in the sample.

"E. coli is unique among coliforms in almost always producing the enzyme B-glucuronidase, which acts on MUG to form a fluorescent compound that glows blue when illuminated by long-wave ultraviolet light."

"These simple tests or variants of them [see How Clean is The Water?, above. This kit allows culture tests for coliform bacteria] can detect the presence or absence of coliforms or E. coli...."

How Clean is The Water? says in its test kit:

"Coliform bacteria are harmless bacteria which grow in human and animal intestines and therefore are found in their wastes. The presence of coliform bacteria is closely related to the presence of other very hardy bacteria and their presence is used to indicate the ability of other bacteria to survive in a sample of water.

"If there are a large number of coliform bacteria in the water, it suggests that other bacteria are likely to be present. If there are a very small number, it means that other bacteria are unlikely to be present in significant number. The Public Health Service requires that the coliform count (number of bacteria) in drinking water be less than one bacteria in a 100 milliter (ml) sample." The authors of Microbiology point out that "One coliform colony per 100 ml = satisfactory"; and "Four coliform colonies per 100 ml = unsatisfactory."

Note this....Tortora, Funke, and Case continue by writing:

"Coliforms have been very useful as indicator organisms in water sanitation, but they have limitations. One problem has been the growth of coliform bacteria in biofilms [see Well-Water] on the inner surfaces of water pipes. Their presence in tap water has led to a number of community orders to boil water even through these coliforms are not necessarily related to fecal contamination and there is no evidence that they have a significant effect on public health.

"A more serious problem is that some pathogens are even more resistant than coliforms to chemical disinfection--in their order of increasing resistance [underscoring by WebMasters] to chlorination, viruses and protozoan cysts.

"By using sophisticated methods of detecting viruses, it has been found that chemically disinfected water samples that are free of coliforms are often contaminated with enteric viruses.

"The cysts of G. lamblia and Cryptosporidium (protozoans) are so resistant to chlorination that eliminating them by this method is probably impractical; mechanical methods (we point this out in this document later), such as filtration are necessary."

Elsewhere, they write concerning Cryptosporidiosis, the disease caused by the protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum:

"Transmission to humans is largely via water systems contaminated by animal wastes, especially cattle. Thousands may be affected in such outbreaks. The cysts (actually oocysts), like those of G. lamblia, are resistant to chlorination and must be removed from water by filtration." Use Metronidazole (Flagyl) for amebas and giardia. See Medicine document on this Website.

The trophozoite (vegetative form; able to take in nutrients) and the non-vegetative form (cyst) of Giardia lamblia and that too of Cryptosoridium parvum are probably both killed by boiling water; especially that of Cryptosporidium. In 1995, June 16, Friday, The Houston Chronicle writes:

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a report saying boiling water for a minute is the surest way to eliminate the chance of contracting cryptosporidium, which can cause severe diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps."

However, there is no medicine that kills the Cryptosporidium. If on chemotherapeutic drugs, one is generally taken off of them and given supportive treatment as healing takes place. Also, malnourished persons should be given a nourishing diet. We suggest taking coconut oil and coconut cream, as the Thais do.

Coconut Oil :

In 1950 a Cornell University group investigated Thailand and their food habits. It appears that a protective factor in the Thai diet (and could be ours, too) that kills pathogenic bacteria in the intestines and also kills parasites, viruses, and yeast, is the use of coconut oil there, as concluded in The Journal of The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (619-574-7763), winter 1998.

In Thailand, its peasantry drinks raw river water; also that from canals, streams, and other unpurified water sources too---and they don't seem to get sick from waterborne illnesses. They don't even boil it in many cases; nor do they filter out the sediment. This is the same canals, rivers, streams, and so forth that their animals use for drinking and wallowing in. Their kids swim and play in it. The Nutrition Foundation's Journal (, Health & Healing Wisdom, Vol. 22, No. 4, p. 13, concludes, that coconut oil is the most protective factor in the Thai diet, since the oil contains nearly 50% of a 12-carbon saturated fat, lauric acid. The body converts this into mono-laurin, which effectively kills "parasites, yeast, viruses and pathogenic bacteria in the gut."

The Thais also practice fermenting meats and pork, which kills the earliest stages of trichinosis organism, larvae. Fermented milks, and other foods develop large amounts of healthy bacteria that help keep pathogenic organisms in check. This may be a major source of their health from waterborne diseases, competitive inhibition of pathogenic microorganism in their diet.

Scenario for Obtaining Clean Water:

  • Draw the water. Approximately 1 gallon plus.
  • If debris (shurbs, leaves, mud, etc) is present, filter into another container through a cloth or two.
  • Aeration: The process by which raw water is brought into close contact with the air for removal of gasses from the water to the air, and placing oxygen into the water for oxidation of reduced substances such as iron, manganese, and sulfides. When you remove hydrogen sulfide you will improve taste and odor in ground and surface waters. Aeration (and stripping) removes Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), Synthetic Organic Chemicals (SOCs), Pesticides, Trihalomethanes (THMs), and THM precursors from poor to excellent. Thus, you want to also employ coagulation (flocculation), sedimentation, and filtration in your home water purification process and finally, distillation followed with adsorption.

Aeration also encourages the growth of aerobic bacteria and other microorganisms that facilitate the removal of dissolved organic matter to carbon dioxide and water. The resulting sludge is allowed to settle out, removed ; then, coagulate the raw water with alum. However, in the home water treatment system we give, we simply omit the primary sludge removal and proceed with adding alum; then sedimentation and filtration to remove the sludge, followed with distillation and activated charcoal filtration. We give the procedure as follows:

Method A--Spray Aeration:

Place the filtered water in a clean, never used for chemical spraying, stainless steel 1 - 2 gallon garden sprayer. Pump up and spray this water once or more with a 4 -6 foot spray upward at a large inclined angle into the sunny air, allowing it to fall into a clean, plastic wading pool. You have just aerated your water---as much as possible, without knowing Henry's Law and Mass Transfer, or having special equipment, nozzle sizes, and so forth. It is the best we can do under the harsh circumstances coming.

Method B--Incline Cascade Aeration:

This is the method the WebMasters call the Washboard effect of aeration. This method is simpler and easier for most women to use. You want a surface at an incline plane at 60 to 90 degrees. The surface must have a transversely corrugated face or surface, 1 inch in diameter, and a sinusoidal surface.

This is simply a ridge and trough that alternates from ridge to trough. The easiest way to build this is simply to get standard fiberglass corrugated, semicircular, 1 inch in diameter, and sinusoidal (alternate ridge-trough) section(s) for sun roofs. Get one 8' l x 26" w and one 5' l x 26" w. Cut it every 2' (24-in) down the length--use tin snip scissors. Turn it 90 degrees and nailed or glue the cut pieces to your incline, so there is a continuous Washboard Effect down the incline surface, taking care to assure that each cut section overlaps the preceeding section down the incline. You want it at least 8 - 16 ft long and 2 ft wide. We made ours 8 ft long and 2 ft wide. The research test board was 16 ft long by 2 ft wide.

Pour the gallon plus water slowly down the fiberglass ridge and trough incline. Collect in a large baking pan or wader pool. Repeat this several times.

Utilizing one the immediate above methods, you have vaporized volatile organic chemicals (VOC); removed carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from water, to the air; and added oxygen to the water for removal of iron and manganese, to be removed through coagulation (flocculation) and/or sedimentation, under home-made conditions; thus, removing a strain on your activated charcoal filter. You have also removed considerable odors, and possibly killed numerous micro-organisms. Under a municipal, professional system with adjusted pH, etc., even then, they do not get all of the VOCs.

Unless you have the time, money, and expertise to own and identify organic compounds in raw and finished waters by owning expensive nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry (spectrophotometer, an instrument that measures the degree of turbidity) instruments as well as gas-liquid chromatographic instruments too, then you do not know with certainty which contaminants are being removed by just one or two modalities from your water when you clarify.

Therefore, you should practice Aeration and Stripping, Coagulation (flocculation) Processes, Sedimentation, Filtration, Distillation, and Adsorption using Granular Activated Carbon, GAC. For none of these remove everything using them separately. By using a combination, one mode removes one or more things well; whereas, the other removes poorly, and vise-versa. The combination we have given here gives the best removal of contaminants that the average person can have access to. ----Source: Hamann, C.L., Jr., et al., Chapter 3 in Water Quality and Treatment, 4th ed., (Denver, CO: Am. Water Works Assoc., 1990).

Pre-Treatment: Coagulation (flocculation) is an excellent pretreatment for activated carbon adsorption after aeration:

  • Procedure For Coagulation (flocculation) Removal of Particulate Matter from Water:
  1. Apply 97.2 mg of Alum (aluminum Sulfate [Al2(SO4)3]), all at once, to the filtered, aerated 1 gallon plus of raw water (97.2 mg Alum, a small pinch, per 1.2 gal water).
  2. Stir rapidly.
  3. Allow to sit for 1 1/2 hours. A gelatinous material will form. If allowed to sit too long, re-stablization of naturally occurring organic matter (NOM) will form. This means the destablizing agent or coagulant, the precipitated Aluminum bound to the NOMs, will start letting go and much NOMs will go back into solution with the water.

This procedure, coagulation (flocculation), is trapping various types of micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, algae), organic matter, hydrous aluminum oxide, and "inorganic particles as clay, sand, or carbon, and such organics as color colloids, wastewater particulates...." Sources: Chemistry of Water Treatment, 2nd. Edition; Samuel D. Faust, Osman M. Aly; ©1999 by Lewis Publishers; Cost: $90.00. The Home Water Supply; Stu Campbell; Storey Communications, Inc. 1983.

Pour through a cloth filter. Rinse the cloth in unpurified water with a little liquid bleach for next use. Hang in sunlight to dry. You may have to scrape off the sludge into your sewer system, or dispose in a pit and cover. Or, filter through extra large coffee filters and discard properly. Get Alum at your local hardware store in the garden department.

"Many authors stress the significance and importance of pretreatment---especially chemical coagulation (flocculation)---for filtration processes. For example, it was concluded that 'Chemical pretreatment prior to filtration is more critical to success than the physical facilities at the plant.'" ---Chemistry of Water Treatment.

Pretreatment increases (1) the life of the filter bed substrance, in this case Activated Carbon. (2) Higher-molecular weight substances (macromolecules) are adsorbed to a lesser degree than low-molecular-weight species onto activated carbon; thus, coagulation (flocculation) removes the macromolecules giving you a more purified water, and, (3) organic materials are removed by coagulation at the best

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