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Water you can not purify ...

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Dexters, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Dexters


    May 3, 2004
    I am not a big supporter of those who think they can bug out to the country and live off the land. Here is another reason - acidic water that contains heavy metals.

    Here is a map of Colorado showing where it is located. Water Natural/Pages/ImageGallery.aspx

    The heavy metals in the water is naturally occurring and you can not filter them out.

    More info here

    What you need to do is test the water with this.
    [ame=""] ColorpHast 9578-0001 Test Strips, 2-9.0 pH (Box of 100): Industrial & Scientific@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]

    If lower then 6.5 or higher then 8.5 - do not drink the water.
  2. Haldor

    Haldor Retired EE

    Oct 22, 2006
    Central Arizona
    Use a solar still to remove the metals.

    Takes a sheet of clear plastic, a can and a rock.

    If you are totally inept I'll bet one of these would do fine on land or sea.

    [ame=""] Aquamate Solar Still Emergency Water Purification Inflatable Kit: Sports & Outdoors@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]

  3. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    Aug 8, 2004
    One can't drink distilled water indefinitely, but short-term it will work.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  4. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    The "sheet of plastic over a hole" just doesn't work very well. It's not a viable solution, despite appearing as an easy fix in most survival texts. Not only from my own testing, but this is the consensus of most of the academic lit on solar stills as well. There is one form of plastic that actually does well...I think it was a DuPont product...and I'd have to go back and re-read hundreds of pages to find it.

    Sheet-plastic stills are horribly inefficient. They block a lot of solar radiation but worse, they allow the drops of distillate to fall early (unless you can obtain just the right kind of plastic, which I've never found). Unless you have a really big tray, your yield will be minimal. The exception being the still pictured above...that is a very efficient still because of its unique blow-up peaked design. It's also expensive and can't be opened, so once the solids and crud start to build up, you toss it. It's truly a "bail out" short-term solution.


    Much better to make or buy a glass-topped solar still

    ...and better yet, for truly contaminated water, is not to use an evaporation-style still at all. You'd want to distill by boiling, so you could draw off the nasties that boil early and late.

    All merely my opinion, worth what you paid for it.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  5. the Hudge

    the Hudge

    May 29, 2006
    Why can't I drink distilled water indefinitely?
  6. Travelin' Jack

    Travelin' Jack Misinformed

    Jul 20, 2007
    0 .· ` ' / ·. 200
    You can. You get plenty of minerals from the foods you eat.
  7. Akita

    Akita gone

    Jul 22, 2002
    Just change the pH and the solids will drop out (assuming it is totally pH controlled as the origional post implied).
  8. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA
    Myth. Water is water, drink all you want.
  9. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    I can't document it, but I don't believe most people in modern America get enough minerals even now. Jmo, as I said I can't prove it.

    That said, I'd drink distilled water for as long as I had to. Definitely beats the option of 'no water'.

    All water can be purified - regardless of issues & contaminants - IF one has the knowledge & tools to do it. Distillation works well, although cumbersome.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  10. auto-5


    Nov 13, 2011
    You can drink distilled water all you want. Just remember to add a little salt to your food and don't skip on brushing your teeth. Personally I would rather have city water.
  11. Syclone538


    Jan 8, 2006
    This reminds me that I've seen antifreeze jugs that say "can not be made non-poisonous". I assumed they were talking about the 50/50 mix, but I'm not sure.
  12. maustypsu


    Jul 19, 2009
    Solar stills are not the only way to distill water. Ever make spaghetti??? Boiling water is much quicker and you can easily distill enough for daily consumption.

    However, it is correct that after months of drinking distilled water you will have negative impacts. Salt on your food will not fix this. Eating lots of veggies and other raw foods will.

    The danger isn't so much that the distilled water doesn't bring additional nutrients to your body. The danger is that it actually takes nutrients away. I'm no chemist but I understand enough to know that after water vapor condenses and rains it picks up minerals along the way (chemical attraction based on either positive/negative charge or the shape of the molecules). When you drink purely distilled water it does the same thing normal rain water does as it rolls down the stream - it attracts minerals and takes them with it. As it goes thru your system, especially thru your kidneys it attracts or picks up minerals that you would like to keep around. It hangs onto them as it exists. Normal, drinking water already has a "bunch of minerals" connected to it so it is "full" and won't pick up more.

    I know there are more scientific answers out there. But I'm confident enough in my understanding of this topic to share enough truth to clear some of this thread up. Drink it if you have to but know that if it is an indefinite period of time you are risking depletion of some vital minerals. Also know that a solar water still is not the only way to distill water.
  13. Dexters


    May 3, 2004
    Boiling water for spaghetti is not distilling.

    Distilling is boiling the water into steam then condensing the steam back into water.
  14. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    Actually, de-ionized water is more of a problem than distilled water, inerms of mineral leaching..

    Boiling water does not remove heavy metals. It kills living things. It removes volatiles that have a boiling point lower than water or over a longer even higher boiling points depending on the vapor pressure at the temperature of the water.
  15. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Getting OT on this discussion of minerals in distilled water, but it's easily added back. Most minerals picked up naturally by water flowing through rock, you can do the same for distilled water.

    Aquarium fish and plants don't thrive on "too pure" water either, which is why you can add back minerals with a bit of mineral powder available at any aquarium store. I believe it is actually a rock powder.

    Search SeaChem Equilibrium, for example.
  16. maustypsu


    Jul 19, 2009
    Yes, I wasn't referring to the fact that the spaghetti water left in the pot was now distilled.

    I was referring to the amount of evaporation that we all see (steam). It's much more than you get from a solar still created by digging a hole in the ground and covering with a tarp.
  17. the Hudge

    the Hudge

    May 29, 2006
    city water is why we distill. We used to live in an area that did not fluoridate and just filtered but now we do.
    Fluoride is a toxic waste and the Gov. uses our water supply to get rid of it, and make money. Also, we only use sea salt and use supplements.
    Sorry for the potential highjack but health is a big part of survival and clean water is paramount to good health and the less we have to depend on the medical community (government) the more we can do to prepare.