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#165233 - 04/23/12 10:04 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I'm still waiting for specific literature citations from peer-reviewed scientific journals, not mountaineers or wikipedia, which contradict the guidelines for backcountry water treatment published by the Centers for Disease Control. I do have enough statistical background to understand the scientific studies. Should I run into trouble, I have a son-in-law who is head ER physician at a California hospital and is also a backpacker. He stands by the CDC guidelines, BTW.

In the absence of overwhelming scientific evidence--supported by specific citations of many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals--to the contrary, which nobody here has yet presented, I will continue to trust the CDC guidelines, my physicians and my veterinarians rather than the unsupported personal opinions to the contrary expressed in this thread. I will continue to treat my--and my dog's--drinking water and will strongly advise others to do the same.


Edited by OregonMouse (04/23/12 10:47 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165234 - 04/23/12 10:47 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2881
Loc: Portland, OR
I will agree with OM on this, sandia, to the extent that you keep saying 'this is science and not just my opinion'.

Rockwell, it is true, has Ph.D in physics. He admirably distilled a great deal of science for the lay reader, and cites something like 60 sources, many of them peer-reviewed articles in medical and public health journals.

Rockwell's point of view may be drawn from a variety of studies in peer-reviewed literature, but unless his own conclusions and methods were peer-reviewed, then it is still just his opinion. That's how real science works.

I do think your own experience is valuable and definitely worth sharing, as personal anecdotal evidence for other people to evaluate. It's just your repeated claim that it is more than that which I think is unwarranted.

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#165235 - 04/23/12 10:48 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: OregonMouse]
sandia Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
Science actually does draw tentative conclusions by testing hypotheses via data collection. Meta analysis is especially valuable in this regard, and one such analysis was reviewed by Rockwell.

Sufficient curiosity motivated me to look up Dr. Rockwell's many citations, most of which are available on line.

Without curiosity one cannot learn.

Failing all that, to repeat again, direct links to a fair number of these articles are embedded within the source list at bottom of Wikipedia article on "Wilderness Acquired Diarrhea."

You go to Google and type "Wilderness Acquired Diarrhea" and "Wikipedia."

Click on this item and scroll to bottom of window until you encounter section titled "Footnotes." Certain text in this section will be highlighted in a DIFFERENT COLOR. If you click on this highlighted text, in many cases you will be directed to SOURCES for the article. I recommend Zell, Welch Derlet & etc., as mentioned above.

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#165236 - 04/23/12 10:51 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Thanks, aimless, you said it better--and in a lot less words--than I did!

Sandia, for your information, most university professors will not accept wikipedia as a reference, and with good reason. The articles there are only as good as the generally anonymous people who contribute them, whose expertise in the areas about which they write is completely unverified.

The whole problem with non-peer-reviewed articles is that the authors can pick and choose their sources without anyone's being the wiser. It has happened with peer review, too, but it's a lot harder to get away with.


Edited by OregonMouse (04/23/12 11:06 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165238 - 04/23/12 11:24 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: OregonMouse]
sandia Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
If you are utterly unwilling to actually read the many relevant, reputable and peer-reviewed articles which are easily available, and you entirely discount a credible summary of the science (by Dr. Rockwell) then obviously, you prefer uninformed prejudice and whatever you perceive that your friends may believe.

This stance is unfortunately, much a part of the Human condition. You cannot be personally faulted.

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#165239 - 04/23/12 11:35 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: lori]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I thought I recognized the language in the quote talking about overreaction by Federal agencies, and, indeed, it is from the 4th edition of Medicine for Mountaineering, by Dr. James Wilkerson.

That was 1992, and his very fine volume is now in a sixth edition. Beginning on page 63 is a very thorough, reasonably objective discussion of treatment systems, and their pros and cons. The 1992 material is absent, but on page 63, at the beginning of his discussion, you will find the following, "In recent years widespread microbial contamination of backcountry water sources in the United States has been recognized. The single cell Cryptosporidium parasite is essentially ubiquitous......"

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#165241 - 04/24/12 12:22 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: oldranger]
sandia Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
Wilkerson, an emergency room physician in 1992 quote, was presumably citing available research, much as Dr. Rockwell has accomplished in a far more comprehensive and up-to-date manner.

Presently, there are at least a half-dozen EASILY AVAILABLE and statistically reliable investigations that are directly relevant to back country drinking water.

There are other studies that are statistically less reliable, and many, many others that place this research in a much larger context of drinking water safety.

Familiarity with a number of these studies is the barest threshold for the most minimally informed opinion on back country water safety.

I would suggest starting with the meta analysis of many previous studies by Timothy E. Welch. It's called "Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data" Reading this analysis will expose you to ALL of the most reliable research as of a few years ago, because it statistically analyzes various existing studies.

Among Robert Derlet's persistent and long-term field work on topic is "High Sierra Water: What is in the H20?" See also other works by Derlet.

If you are particularly interested in various disease other than giardiasis, see "Campylobacter enteritis from untreated water in the Rocky Mountains" by Taylor, McDermott, Little, et al.

S.C. Zell, Sorenson et al. showed how a notorious outbreak of back-country disease proved to be utterly misleading non-sequiter. "Cyst acquisition rate for Giardia lamblia in backcountry travelers to Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe"


Gardiner & Hill found no correlation of water treatment and avoidance of intestinal disease among long-distance hikers in Vermont: "Illness and injury among long-distance hikers on the Long Trail, Vermont"

There are at least several others that I am missing and some are very significant.

Try googling those few titles for a start if you want to be informed.

Or just read Rockwell's summary. It gives a very reliable overview.

If you can't handle this stuff, then you may as well say that you got sick because your neighbor is a witch.


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#165242 - 04/24/12 12:30 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
BradMT Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 148
Wow, what an amazing amount of hand-wringing over water... given the level of overreaction represented here, I'm surprised some of you venture past your doorways.

And no my opinion has not been peer-reviewed.
_________________________
There Is No Bad Weather, Just Bad Clothing...

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#165243 - 04/24/12 01:04 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
If you are utterly unwilling to actually read the many relevant, reputable and peer-reviewed articles which are easily available, and you entirely discount a credible summary of the science (by Dr. Rockwell) then obviously, you prefer uninformed prejudice and whatever you perceive that your friends may believe.


I have nowhere stated that I am at all (utterly or otherwise laugh ) unwilling to read such articles. Following standard scientific method, however, I do not accept information provided from non-peer-reviewed sources, such as the Rockwell article and anything in wikipedia.

On the contrary, I am quite willing, able and happy to read articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals that contradict established medical advice (as summarized by the CDC guidelines I cited above), but you haven't listed any for me to read!

So far you have given me a reference (no link) to wikipedia, a completely unreliable source, and another poster (not you) has provided a link to the Rockwell article, which is also not a scientifically reliable source in that it was neither peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. You have provided only vague references (not bibliographic citations or links) to articles which you state are cited in those two unreliable (from a scientific viewpoint) sources.

Please provide the evidence, in the form of a bibliography of or links to those "many relevant, reputable and peer-reviewed articles" you mention, so I can read them for myself and discuss them with my physician/backpacker son-in-law. He would like to read them, too, but again only peer-reviewed sources published in reputable scientific journals.

I'd really love to go back to drinking water directly from the source, as I did when I was young! Treating water is a big nuisance, and if it's really unnecessary for the health of either my grandchildren or me, I will certainly stop doing it. Please provide the overwhelming scientific evidence that it would be safe for me to do this!

Edit, later: in a post you made while I was typing this one (and doing a few other items such as eating dinner and letting my dog out), you did mention authors and titles of several articles, but not where they can be found. Please provide the complete source. Thank you!

Brad, it's not a lot of fuss over water; it's the health of readers of this forum and their families that is at stake here. Without overwhelming scientific--and yes, peer-reviewed--evidence to the contrary, I have to stick with established medical advice, like it or not. I really want to see that evidence, and so does my son-in-law, if Sandia will only provide it.


Edited by OregonMouse (04/24/12 01:21 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#165244 - 04/24/12 01:35 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: OregonMouse]
sandia Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
Fend for yourself.

I've offered at least a couple of easy options for investigation:

A) click on links embedded in Wikipedia source list, which will lead you (in many cases) to titles and authors I have mentioned (and other material).


Or B) do as I did, and google the titles mentioned in Rockwell's source list (or google the titles and authors I've culled for availability).

Rockwell, as scientist and scholar of long and at least reasonable standing himself, provides us with a comprehensive list of citations; many of which are peer-reviewed scientific articles and some of which are merely solid stuff from good sources.

Many of his key citations can be easily Googled, and moreover, are directly linked to, on Wikipedia's source list.

You can either dismiss Rockwell as a crank based your private world view, or (more reasonably) accept him as an authority based on his extensive and credible citations (which include 60 or more sources).

Your final option is to do what I did initially, which is to neither dismiss nor accept his thesis. This option requires actually reading as much as possible from the citations he provides.

But this costs the greatest amount of personal time and effort and thought.

And if you already know what you think, based on your decades-long, eye-witness experience of microbes in Antarctica, or what-not, then why bother?



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#165247 - 04/24/12 07:19 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: BradMT]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I was just musing about how many liters of water I could have brought to a rolling boil by the heat generated by an innocuous question about double treatment of water - remember the OP?

Frankly, the tone here is unnecessarily acerbic and confrontational. I am sure most of us are comfortable with our practices and will continue them. It is definitely a good idea to be somewhat conservative when making statements for general public consumption. But what a relief to have a Real Scientist in our midst......

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#165248 - 04/24/12 07:20 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
The problem with all the articles is they only address Giardia.

Generally I go upstream from trails to get water, but no matter how far I go, there could be a dead animal in the water around the next bend. Or there could be drainage from an area where a lot of animals poop.

The one constant I've seen since the 60's has been to purify water. We never actually did it in the 60's, but there weren't as many people around then.

In the 70's I started hearing about Giardia in Colorado. It has been a constant since then unlike a lot of the other scares that have come and gone. I don't know if Giardia even exists or if it has a big chance of making me sick. But I figure if I drink enough water from streams, I'll probably run across something that would eventually make me sick. Filtering is such an easy precaution to take.

Even if there were no germs in the water, there are many times I use the filter to get water I wouldn't otherwise be able to get. Such as hollows in a rock after rain. So it's not like I'm carrying any extra weight.

I put it in the category of wearing a motorcycle helmet. The chances of one ever protecting me from injury are very slim. Problem is, I don't know which time on the bike I'll need one.


Edited by Gershon (04/24/12 07:20 AM)
_________________________
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#165252 - 04/24/12 10:05 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: Gershon]
Tye Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Texas
Gosh, please make it stop. . .

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#165253 - 04/24/12 10:14 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: BradMT]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By BradMT
Wow, what an amazing amount of hand-wringing over water... given the level of overreaction represented here, I'm surprised some of you venture past your doorways.

And no my opinion has not been peer-reviewed.


I'm just saying I know 20 people (up from 14 due to the association with the swiftwater technicians) who have pieces of paper from a doctor telling them they have had giardia. Pretty sure those weren't peer reviewed, either, but somehow I look at it as though it must be relevant to me somehow, since we hike in the same areas.

I would have mentioned all the other people who have told me about the crazy stomach issues they had after backpacking trips, but they didn't bother getting a doctor into the mix, getting labs done, getting meds.... Might have been the Mountain House.

I think most of the hand wringing is really about someone who can't see the trees, just the library. And can't seem to comprehend what science is. But, I'm sure he won't get sick. It's the power of the mind....
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#165254 - 04/24/12 11:34 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: OregonMouse]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 862
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By OregonMouse

I have nowhere stated that I am at all (utterly or otherwise laugh ) unwilling to read such articles. Following standard scientific method, however, I do not accept information provided from non-peer-reviewed sources, such as the Rockwell article and anything in wikipedia.


I am sorry OM, I love what you bring to this forum, but you are just being stubborn on this issue. Sandia did not use a wikipedia reference. What is not typically accepted in universities is directly referencing Wikipedia articles. What Sandia said was at the bottom of the article is a concise list of references with links. Just because this list happens to hosted on Wikipedia does not somehow make uncitable. Why would you want him to recreate the list here (which would not include links)? I am beginning to conclude you are just being obtuse. Here is the list for you:

^ a b c d Zell SC (1992). "Epidemiology of Wilderness-acquired Diarrhea: Implications for Prevention and Treatment". J Wilderness Med 3 (3): 241–9.
^ a b c Welch TR (2004). "Evidence-based medicine in the wilderness: the safety of backcountry water". Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 15 (4): 235–7. doi:10.1580/1080-6032(2004)015[0235:EMITWT]2.0.CO;2. PMID 15636372.
^ a b Hargreaves JS (2006). "Laboratory evaluation of the 3-bowl system used for washing-up eating utensils in the field". Wilderness Environ Med 17 (2): 94–102. doi:10.1580/PR17-05.1. PMID 16805145. "Diarrhea is a common illness of wilderness travelers, occurring in about one third of expedition participants and participants on wilderness recreation courses. The incidence of diarrhea may be as high as 74% on adventure trips. …Wilderness diarrhea is not caused solely by waterborne pathogens, … poor hygiene, with fecal-oral transmission, is also a contributing factor"
^ a b c d e f g Boulware DR (2004). "Influence of Hygiene on Gastrointestinal Illness Among Wilderness Backpackers". J Travel Med 11 (1): 27–33. PMID 14769284.
^ Welch TP (2000). "Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data". International Journal of Infectious Diseases 4 (2): 100–3. doi:10.1016/S1201-9712(00)90102-4. PMID 10737847. Archived version April 20, 2010
^ a b c Rockwell, Robert L. (2003). "Giardia Lamblia and Giardiasis With Particular Attention to the Sierra Nevada" (PDF). Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16.
^ a b c d Backer, Howard (1992). "Wilderness acquired diarrhea (editorial)" (PDF). Journal of Wilderness Medicine 3: 237–240.
^ Derlet, Robert W. (April 2004). "High Sierra Water: What is in the H20?". Yosemite Association. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12.
^ (Backer 2007, p. 1371)
^ (Backer 2007, p. 1369)
^ Prepared by Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Health and the Environment (2004) (2004). "Protozoa: Giardia and Cryptosporidium". Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Supporting Documentation. Health Canada. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
^ Dickens DL, DuPont HL, Johnson PC (June 1985). "Survival of bacterial enteropathogens in the ice of popular drinks". JAMA 253 (21): 3141–3. doi:10.1001/jama.253.21.3141. PMID 3889393.
^ Backer H (2000). "In search of the perfect water treatment method" (PDF). Wilderness Environ Med 11 (1): 1–4. PMID 10731899.
^ Gerba C, Rose J (1990). "Viruses in Source and Drinking Water". In McFeters, Gordon A. ed.. Drinking water microbiology: progress and recent developments. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp. 380–99. ISBN 0-387-97162-9.
^ White, George W. (1992). The handbook of chlorination and alternative disinfectants (3rd ed.). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-00693-4.
^ (Backer 2007, p. 1374)
^ a b CDC Division of Parasitic Diseases (2004). "CDC Fact sheet: Giardiasis". Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ a b National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (2008-04-16). ""Crypto" - Cryptosporiodosis". Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ a b c Boulware DR, Forgey WW, Martin WJ 2nd (2003). "Medical Risks of Wilderness Hiking". Am J Med 114 (4): 288–93. doi:10.1016/S0002-9343(02)01494-8. PMID 12681456.
^ Scallan, E. J.; A. Banerjee, S. E. Majowicz et al. (2002). "Prevalence of Diarrhea in the Community in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United States" (PDF). CDC. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
^ Garthright WE, Archer DL, Kvenberg JE (1988). "Estimates of incidence and costs of intestinal infectious diseases in the United States". Public Health Rep 103 (2): 107–15. PMC 1477958. PMID 3128825.
^ Brody, Jane E. (2008-10-15). "HEALTH: Diagnostics; Test Unmasks a Parasitic Disease". New York Times (New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-10-15.
^ Hlavsa, Michele C.; John C. Watson, Michael J. Beach (2005-01-28). "Giardiasis Surveillance --- United States, 1998--2002". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
^ Sanders JW, Frenck RW, Putnam SD, et al. (August 2007). "Azithromycin and loperamide are comparable to levofloxacin and loperamide for the treatment of traveler's diarrhea in United States military personnel in Turkey". Clin. Infect. Dis. 45 (3): 294–301. doi:10.1086/519264. PMID 18688944.
^ (Backer 2007, pp. 1368–417)
^ Johnson, Mark (2003). The Ultimate Desert Handbook : A Manual for Desert Hikers, Campers and Travelers. International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-07-139303-X.
^ Backer H (February 2002). "Water disinfection for international and wilderness travelers". Clin. Infect. Dis. 34 (3): 355–64. doi:10.1086/324747. PMID 11774083.
^ (Backer 2007, p. 1411)
^ "Steripen - Proven Technology". Hydro-Photon, Inc.. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
^ "Steripen - Microbiological Testing". Hydro-Photon, Inc.. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
^ "Household Water Treatment Options in Developing Countries: Solar Disinfection (SODIS)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2008-01. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
^ a b (Backer 2007, pp. 1373–4)
^ Gardner TB, Hill DR (2002). "Illness and injury among long-distance hikers on the Long Trail, Vermont". Wilderness & environmental medicine 13 (2): 131–4. PMID 12092966.
^ McIntosh, Scott E.; Drew Leemon, Joshua Visitacion, et al. (2007). "Medical incidents and evacuations on wilderness expeditions" (PDF). Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 18 (4): 298–304. doi:10.1580/07-WEME-OR-093R1.1. PMID 18076301.
^ Taylor, D. N.; K. T. McDermott, J. R. Little et al. (1983). "Campylobacter enteritis from untreated water in the Rocky Mountains". Ann Intern Med 99 (1): 38–40. PMID 6859722. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
^ a b Zell SC, Sorenson SK (1993). "Cyst acquisition rate for Giardia lamblia in backcountry travelers to Desolation Wilderness, Lake Tahoe" (PDF). Journal of Wilderness Medicine 4 (2): 147–54.
^ Welch TP (2000). "Risk of giardiasis from consumption of wilderness water in North America: a systematic review of epidemiologic data". International Journal of Infectious Diseases 4 (2): 100–3. doi:10.1016/S1201-9712(00)90102-4. PMID 10737847.
^ Derlet, Robert W.; James Carlson (>=2003). "Sierra Nevada Water: Is it safe to drink? - Analysis of Yosemite National Park Wilderness water for Coliform and Pathologic Bacteria". SierraNevadaWild.gov. Sierra Wilderness Education Project. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
^ Derlet RW (2008). "Backpacking in Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks and neighboring wilderness areas: how safe is the water to drink?". Journal of travel medicine 15 (4): 209–15. doi:10.1111/j.1708-8305.2008.00201.x. PMID 18666919. Lay summary (May 2008).
^ Derlet, Robert W. (April 2004). "High Sierra Water: What is in the H20?". Yosemite Association.
^ (Backer 2007, p. 1372)

And I will remind you, you have yet to back up any of your claims with peer reviewed scientific literature. The CDC may in general be very good about using science to come to their recommendations, however they are not a scientific source. They are a government agency and their conclusions are political (even if they happen to be backed by sound science).

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#165255 - 04/24/12 11:49 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: oldranger]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 862
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By oldranger
...
Frankly, the tone here is unnecessarily acerbic and confrontational.....


I agree oldranger... I guess I am guilty of the same frown

My opinion on the issue is water treatment is much like having a first aide kit. I asked a while back what people have used the FAK for and several people much more experienced than me said they have never used it. The problem with leaving it at home is it could become life threatening if you don't have it.

I think the chance of getting sick in the high country from drinking well selected untreated water is minimal, however getting severe diarrhea out there is potentially life threatening. It is probably bad public policy to tell people not to treat their water, however I think it is also bad public policy to over-blow the threat. You could scare some people into treating their water... you could also scare some people into becoming so fearful of untreated water that they literally die of dehydration before they would sip out of a stream.

I always treat back-country water, but I don't think it is necessary to have back-up methods if my treatment technique (filtering) fails.

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#165259 - 04/24/12 01:30 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: BZH]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I always filter. If I lost or broke my filter (or had it stolen as happened to one fella I loaned mine to one day) I would just drink. I have been out of my mind dehydrated before, not because I was afraid of the water but because I was so out of it it just did not enter my mind to stop at one of the streams and take a drink.

If giardia was the outcome, I would not suffer until at home where I could worship the porcelain in private.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#165261 - 04/24/12 01:43 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: BZH]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3898
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think BZH sums up this entire issue spot on in his last post, but I'll chime in anyway...

I drink water straight from springs here all the time, and I've never got sick.

Now that you know that you still don't know near enough to find a good source of water here unless you've had some teaching and experience.

You can't tell someone that the water along the AT is safe to drink and do them any good. You teach them how to find water that is likely to be safe, and how to make water safe that might not be otherwise.

So I'm not at all swift to ignore the personal experiences of Lori, or OM, or OM's son, because I know they wouldn't offer them if they didn't believe they were relevant to the conversation at hand.

I am sure that Lori has taught many newbies how to source good water, what not to use, and why, and how to treat water to make it safe.

Teach and learn is what we all try to do here.

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#165268 - 04/24/12 08:36 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: Tye]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Tye, my condolences to your thread.

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#165275 - 04/24/12 11:22 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: skcreidc]
sandia Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
Filtering has become, undeniably, a prevailing cultural practice; a norm of the subculture of U.S. backpackers.

Yet there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the practice is not a useful means of avoiding disease.

A comparable fact is that more than half the U.S. population consume dietary supplements, in spite of adequate research showing clearly, that healthy adults get no benefit from these products.

Back-country water filtering in U.S is a cultural and behavioral fact that is now best viewed, academically at least, through the science of anthropology, independently from medicine or public health.

(I freely offer this as an idea for your next brilliant, useless graduate research thesis at Moo U!)


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#165276 - 04/24/12 11:23 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
RHodo Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 60
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Lab cultures are not subjective. Having been hospitalized myself, I agree with Lori.

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#165277 - 04/24/12 11:29 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
In one, concise sentence, what is your recommendation for U.S. backpackers?

Originally Posted By sandia

Filtering has become, undeniably, a prevailing cultural practice; a norm of the subculture of U.S. backpackers.

Yet there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the practice is not a useful means of avoiding disease.
_________________________
--Rick

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#165278 - 04/24/12 11:35 PM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: Rick_D]
RHodo Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 60
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Don't know about sandia, by my philosophy is very simple.
"No one ever got sick from treating their water."

Oh, and Tye, my sympathies about your thread too.

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#165280 - 04/25/12 12:02 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: Rick_D]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Rick_D
In one, concise sentence, what is your recommendation for U.S. backpackers?

Originally Posted By sandia

Filtering has become, undeniably, a prevailing cultural practice; a norm of the subculture of U.S. backpackers.

Yet there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the practice is not a useful means of avoiding disease.


It's probably going to have something to do with hygiene.

Problem is, none of the 20 people I know have hygiene issues. Swiftwater team does not backpack. SAR team are all self sufficient, and when we base camp, volunteers serve food to us with gloved hands. Most of the casual backpackers I know were career solo hikers who were not prone to poor hygiene issues - you know they know better when they mention that as ruled out of their situation.

I'll stick with my original position.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#165288 - 04/25/12 06:13 AM Re: Water purity overkill? [Re: sandia]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Flattery will get you everywhere.....

I should add that most of us venture outdoors and utilize untreated water sources while seeking recreation and enjoyment and not necessarily to provide data for testable hypotheses. Faced with potential really bad consequences, even at a low probability, it is worthwhile to take simple measures that will greatly lessen the consequences. The same reasoning causes us to carry FAKs, PLBs, and other items useful in the rare emergency situation.

Me, I am a knuckle dragging, mammoth hunting caveman who still prefers to boil his water. Back in the old days, I drank from many a spring and babbling brook with nary a consequence - but the woods were mostly empty then.


Edited by oldranger (04/25/12 08:41 AM)

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