Thursday, September 5, 2019

Water Filters Compared

Most of us have water filters for use in the event of Bad Things that might require bugging out.  Perhaps filters for when you're out in the woods, hunting or even just hiking and don't want to lug gallons of water in and out.  Even bugging in - staying locked in your house - can require the use of filters if the infrastructure goes down or isn't well maintained.  After the 2004 hurricanes, we were on boil water advisories for a couple of days, but it's not just then.  We've had water mains break and the pressure go down at random times without the S getting remotely near the Fan, let alone hitting it.  One time, Mrs. Graybeard was in the local hospital and the city lost a water main, rendering all of the water sources in the hospital unsafe.  I bought a diet Coke, patients had nothing to drink! 

Like many of you, I get notices from a few gun/outdoor/survival related companies calling attention to a big project they've done or a blog post they're proud of.  Ordinarily, I don't post these because I prefer to deliver content everyone else can't, doesn't or won't.  Today, though, I got a link to a water filter test and evaluation from Widener's, the shooting and reloading company. 

Without a doubt, this is the most thorough and well-documented set of tests I've ever seen.  I looked up some good names, that we have, and was concerned about some of the results I saw.

The testing group worked with BCS Laboratories, an accredited water testing facility in Gainesville, Florida, to get quantitative results.  They sent water from three sample locations to the lab for assays of bacteria, viruses, and cysts. Then sent sent water from the seventeen filters they tested in to see how well they filtered. 

Go read.  Long, but worth looking at.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to publish this, SiG. I received the email, too, but didn't look at it.

    I agree, it's an eye-opening report, and very interesting. I'll have to get my filter out of our "Earthquake Barrel" and see if they listed or tested it.

  2. Interesting and illuminating, and yet still half-@$$ed.
    They tested the Katadyn Hiker, the cheapest and shoddiest filter they make, but not the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, pricey at >$300, but rugged and solid, and a world standard for filtration for 30 years, including the ICRC. Too cheap too get one, or just too lazy?
    Either way, leaving it out was stupid.

    The non-shocker is poorly-made wimpy filters for cheapskates don't work.
    While actual quality elements, like the Berkey with ceramic filters, turn sewage into tap water, as advertised.

    Buy once, cry once. It's only your life.

  3. Thanks for the link - the 'straws' held up surprisingly well. I need to get busy on this, as I have only a home filtration system (the Nikken water filter).
    I've bookmarked the link, and will be comparing them (availability and price) and scheduling a purchase ASAP.


  4. Interesting article with some good takeaway. While most straw/ in line filters do well, they won't filter out viruses. Conversely Chlorine or Iodine will kill viruses, but won't kill cysts (cryptosporidium). Boiling kills everything IF done for long enough. Sounds like I will need to modify my hiking protocols.