Need Ideas on Small Scale Water Purification

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MNwr786

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How can you tell if the radiation detector works?
By comparing the time it takes for the leaves to fall back down in the presence of known sources of radiation. I do not have a radiation standard, but there are a few radioactive materials around here to experiment with. Thoriated TIG rods, thorium mantles, americium smoke detectors, uranium pottery pigment, tritium watch hand paint, granite (weakly above background), radon (by proxy via fan filter) etc.

The theory of operation is to hang two foils off light threads and apply a like charge to both foils so they repel. Radiation ionizes the chamber and slowly takes the charges away and the foils stop repelling one another. There is typically a view window and paper scale involved in getting a useful reading from it.
 

Schattentarn

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I read the chapter on filtering water of radioactive particles and biohazards. Boiling the water or adding one-two teaspoons of bleach and mixing it will kill the bacteria. The book recommends an earth filter using commonly found clay soil. What this means to me is the Berkey filtering system will work just fine for removing radioactive particles. Add boiling and/or bleach just to make sure and even swamp water ought to be drinkable. The Berkey filter probably will do this alone, however. There really seems no reason not to have a Berkey filter setup.
 

MNwr786

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The book also mentions digging seep wells. Taking water from a well dug by shore will remove the majority of the lake crud and save on the filter. Also, those filters are normally seeing a flow of reasonably fresh water under intended use. Introducing bacteria and nutrients from lake water will greatly reduce the filter life and algae will quickly plug it. I would treat with bleach before filtering.
 

Schattentarn

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That Chinese seep well was particularly interesting MNwr786. I have a relative who has lived Northern Idaho. There are so many streams and rivers and lakes there which might make this sort of thing practical on a long term basis. If the sides could be lined with stones and it was a stream perhaps bacteria, algae and so forth would not be a problem.
 

MNwr786

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That Chinese seep well was particularly interesting MNwr786. I have a relative who has lived Northern Idaho. There are so many streams and rivers and lakes there which might make this sort of thing practical on a long term basis. If the sides could be lined with stones and it was a stream perhaps bacteria, algae and so forth would not be a problem.
I believe that would be a safe assumption. Algae will not grow if it is kept dark and bacteria might be filtered out depending on the soil type. We have solid clay here so what filters through it is very clean. We also have 3 tapped artesian springs within a few miles and dozens more locally waiting for a pipe to be pounded in. This area will not go thirsty in my foreseeable lifetime.
 

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I make my own bleach from calcium hypochorite flakes. It stores for at least 10 years and will make a lot with a small amount. Use this formula.

(50000 x 1 x 3.785)/(1000 x .78) = 242 grams of your calcium hypochlorite per gallon of water would make an equivalent amount as one gallon of household bleach.

Since this is a weight (we’re dealing with solids here) and not volume, it’s best to use a kitchen scale (digital being ideal). At that point if you want exact tablespoons you’ll need to figure how much grams of your calcium hypochlorite would fit in a level tablespoon. Then you can have that as your personal formula for future reference.
 

AmmoCan88

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My grandparents did exactly this in Oklahoma. They also heated with a wood burning stove. They collected rain water, pumped it up to a cistern with a windmill pump and lived happily ever after.

The problem for me is I live in California. This year it is a desert. My grandparents used their roof as a collection area but I would have to use much, much more surface area which I don't have.

The Lifestraw thing is a little too small for me. I have to purify water for the dogs too. Also, this is going to take a trip to the river or lake in a SHTF and it would be nice to carry back a supply. The Berkey filter would work better for me because I could carry gallon bottles, fill them up with water at the source, and purify it at home.
I see. :)

That Berkey system also looks really great. I guess the LifeStraw items are more outdoorsy. The Berkey not only looks better in the kitchen, but probably also more practical there. I read that the Berkey filters lead too, which the LifeStraw doesn't, so that's a plus. But they don't sell the Berkey in California, apparently, neither is it made for softening water, or so it says on their webpage.
 

Mountain Dragon

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Got two filters for the moment, it's enough to support myself or proably an smaller group:
Katadyn BeFree Gravity 10L -
it was called Katadyn Camp before (which i have)
In my backpack i'm having this one:
 

Schattentarn

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Got two filters for the moment, it's enough to support myself or proably an smaller group:
Katadyn BeFree Gravity 10L -
it was called Katadyn Camp before (which i have)
In my backpack i'm having this one:
This does solve the problem of carrying water back to your camp or place of residence. In a SHTF world municipal water systems might not even flow and you may have to hike to a water source and carry the water back. Evidently, this system will let you filter the water while you are carrying it back.
 

Schattentarn

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I tried to buy a Berkey system today and sure enough, as someone said, they refuse to ship to California. I called and asked them why. They said California law precluded sending their filters to California. I asked them to send the main unit and send to filters to someone who would forward them to me. They refused. I was about to tell them that whatever California said or didn't say they don't write or control laws for the US Postal Service but I just gave up. Let them wallow in ignorance.
 

Amish Heart

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I heard it was because they didn't pay the California tax for that sticker that warns everyone not for use by pregnant women, yada yada.
Have someone from another state buy it for you and mail it.
California has retarded laws.
I love the gun cases that say, Not Legal in California. I suspect it's because of the magazine.
 

Schattentarn

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I heard it was because they didn't pay the California tax for that sticker that warns everyone not for use by pregnant women, yada yada.
Have someone from another state buy it for you and mail it.
California has retarded laws.
I love the gun cases that say, Not Legal in California. I suspect it's because of the magazine.
California has no standing whatsoever to regulate US Postal Laws. If that is their excuse, it is totally bogus. I am done with them.
 

Amish Heart

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I don't think it's the postal law. I think Berkey Company would have to pay for special testing for the California warning label. It's still retarded.
Who are you done with, Berkey or California?
I'd keep Berkey, and I'm a California native.
 

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