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FOG HORN

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification.


By: Sal Palma Roughly 75% of the earths surface is covered by water, yet clean and clear sources of potable water are increasingly scarce. Its not redundant to emphasize the importance of water to ecosystems and to terrestrial life forms, or at least those based on the eukaryotic model, namely human. Availability of clean potable water dictates fate and fortune for us all. To accent the importance of water its valuable to understand how water is dispersed throughout our bodies. First, and by far the largest is Intracellular fluid; these are the fluids used by the cell to support all of its functions including mitosis, and in the case of a haploid cell, meiosis. Water is critical to cellular function; without it cells die. Intracellular fluid accounts for approximately 25 liters of water. Next, and second highest, is extracellular fluid. This is the fluid surrounding the cell acting as a solvent for nutrients and other compounds needed by the cell for nutrition and regulation (osmotic gradient just being one example). Extracellular fluid accounts for roughly 15 liters of water. Finally, plasma the fluid upon which our blood is built accounts for 15 liters of water.

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Twobirds Flying Publication

In total, our bodies are composed of roughly 40 liters of water. Converting liters to gallons, we have 10.6 gallons of water in our bodies, and given a weight 8.3 pounds per gallon, the average person carries 88 lbs. of water or roughly 52% (up to 66%) for an average male (160 pound and 510 tall). Its fair to say, subject to certain caveats like obesity, that greater than 50% of your body weight is water. Digressing for a moment, how many times have you heard people say I just want to lose some water weight, if youre like me, too many to count. So, to lose that water weight, they will go without water potentially dehydrating -a recipe for disaster. Its also natures way of saying this individual is too stupid to be your friend. So, how essential is water to our species? The average person can live without water for 3 to 5 days depending on level of activity yet they can go without food for several weeks given adequate hydration. But, you need not fear 75% of the earth is covered in water right? Lets just take a look at that 75%.

Copyright 2012, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification

2012

standards and the quality of ground water and surface water will be poor at best. Water quality revolves around the absence or presence of two contaminants; they are pathogenicity followed by chemical contaminants. Pathogenicity in fresh water is overwhelmingly attributed to the oral-fecal route. The presence of pathogens in fresh water is a key indicator of the presence of human excrement. A healthy human will ingest the pathogen (oral) and excrete the pathogen in solid waste (fecal); therefor the oral-fecal route. Pathogens can take two forms bacterial (I include in that protozoans) or viral. A virus is not considered living; it is a proteinaceous chain that exhibits specificity to a host cell or host cell receptor. However, viruses can and do mutate. To treat a virus, you must also attack the host cell. Bacteria on the other hand will replicate and mutate. Pathogens that you can expect to encounter as fresh water contaminates, in underdeveloped nations, include but are not limited to: E. coli, typhoid fever, bacillary dysentery, paratyphoid fever, and other heterogeneous bacteria (aerobic and anaerobic) that cause diarrheal diseases. Protozoans like Entamoeba histolytica, which causes amoebic dysentery are also sources of pathogenicity. Chemical contaminants can take the form of industrial waste, agricultural waste or in combat zones intentional contamination.

Of the 75% of earths surface thats covered with water, 97% is salt water and just 3% is fresh water. The fresh water available breaks down to 68.7% icecaps and glaciers, 30.1% ground water, 0.3% surface water and 0.9% other (principally in the form of water vapor in the atmosphere). The principal sources of surface water can be broken down to 87% from lakes, 11% from swamps and 2% from rivers. My review assumes that we have access to any source of fresh water albeit with varying degrees of difficulty. Icecaps and glaciers we have to melt, ground water we have to dig for; leaving surface water as the sole source of readily available water. The question that we must ask ourselves at this point is what percentage of earths fresh water is potable (i.e. drinkable)? The answer is less than 1%. Water standards are set and reviewed by the WHO (World Health Organization) internationally, and by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States. Although these standard setting organizations are proactively working to preserve water quality, many of the countries that you, as a traveler or service member, will be working in have no

Copyright 2012, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

Chemical contaminants are insidious in that they are hard to eliminate; however, their presence can usually be detected by simply paying attention to the behavior of indigenous populations, and to fauna and flora in proximity to the water source. One indicator of chemical contamination is eutrophication.

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification

2012

Turbidity1 is a measure of the clarity of water. It is the combined effects of microbial matter, silt, plant matter and other contaminants suspended in water. Ceteris paribus turbidity is not necessarily dangerous; however, turbid water provides a friendlier environment for pathogens. The most effective way to deal with turbidity is filtration. The filter needs to be fine enough to trap the particle matter in suspension. In the absence of mechanical filters, your best option is to use a cloth filter, for example your cotton T-shirt. In order for it to be effective, youll need a minimum of 4 layers of material- preferably 8; even better than your T-shirt is burlap. Again, youll need a minimum of 4 layers of burlap but 8 layers yield best results. Filtration increases the amount of time it takes to collect water. Once youve addressed turbidity youre ready for purification, and that gets me into my review.

Eutrophication occurs as a result of agricultural and industrial processes, or untreated sewage. Eutrophication is almost always the result of human activity but it can also occur naturally. For example, in agriculture soils are fertilized. During irrigation or rainfall the nitrates and phosphates in fertilizers enter the surface water supply creating the conditions necessary for a planktonic bloom. The resultant explosion in surface phytoplankton depletes the water of oxygen and sunlight; in turn killing aquatic plants and fish. Eutrophic sources of water will exhibit higher turbidity.

An EPA standard for turbidity is less than 1 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units); however, anything less than 5 NTU is considered safe. An acceptable level of turbidity is represented by the leftmost beaker.
Copyright 2012, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification


CamelBaks ALL Clear water purification system is quite a clever piece of technology consisting of three components.

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First, you have the bottle, which holds 750 ml of water. The water bottle is also nicely stenciled with instructions on how to operate the system.

Third, the optional Pre-Filter; I would remove the word optional from my mind and replace it with integral to the overall system solution. The Pre-Filter is a bottle top incorporating a fine mesh screen. Its role is to remove larger debris from the water. However, it will not have a measurable effect on turbidity - for that youll need a much finer filter.

Second, is the UV head; the heart of the operation. It is a processor controlled UV lamp that runs off a rechargeable lithium ion battery. With a full charge, the battery provides up to 80 cycles and can be recharged using a built in USB port.

Having identified all of it components, Id like to jump into the next logical step, which is water source selection. CamelBak suggests that you use clear water; however, collecting clear water in the outdoors is limiting, and frankly unlikely. The more probable scenario is that
Copyright 2012, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification


whatever water you collect will have a degree of turbidity exceeding the standard for potability as established by the EPA.

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Heres how it works 1. Install the pre-filter on the supplied bottle. 2. Fill the bottle to the 750 ml mark. 3. Remove the pre-filter. 4. Install the UV head making sure that you snug it down on the water bottle. 5. Press and hold the on/off switch for two seconds. Youll see the UV light come on and a countdown timer will tick off 60 seconds. 6. While the counter is ticking down slowly rotate the water bottle headover heel; continuing that process until the UV light goes out. 7. If the water exhibits turbidity, meaning if it was not completely clear when you collected it, repeat steps 5 and 6 for a second cycle. 8. Remove the UV head and wipe off the mouth of the water bottle before you drink from it. 9. In cases where you had a significant amount of turbidity, I suggest that you add 2 or 3 drops of Clorox to the water prior to drinking it. Heres what I keep in my kit along with a similar bottle of distilled ammonia 2.

So, here is the thought process that I recommend. Start by observing what the indigenous population does. Where are they getting their water: well, stream, river or a lake then use the same source. In the absence of that population, avoid stagnate water. Avoid water sources with a putrid aroma or water that appears to have a soapy slime on its surface. Look for signs of discoloration that would indicate the presence of heavy metals. Water is the core of an ecosystem, if you see an absence of wild life or a disruption in the food chain, meaning an absence of predators and prey chances are that water quality is poor. Reliable sources of good quality water are flowing waters such as rivers and rapids, large deep lakes, runoff from heavy rains, or water collected directly from rainfall - snow and ice accumulations are also reliable sources of water. A poncho is probably one of the best ways to collect rain water keep one in your kit. They weigh next to nothing and make handy shelters too. Irrespective of what water source you decide on, follow the purification steps. You can get away with out of spec. turbidity but you want to address the pathogenicity side of the water equation. It is, by far, the more serious concern.
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CamelBaks All Clear system makes that a snap.

The ammonia is effective against venoms (insect or other). Venoms are proteins and ammonia denatures proteins. Think of a zipper. Ammonia attacks the venom and destroys the proteins conformation (so its like unzipping the protein) neutralizing it. Red ants, for example, secret formic acid, a protein, when they bite; ammonia applied to the bit will destroy its effect.
Copyright 2012, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification

2012

This article contains embedded video demonstrating the use of CamelBaks All Clear System. To view the video, you first need to download the article. Reading the article online will not allow you to view the video. This is a limitation of the hosting site. Depending on your connection speed, it will take a couple of minutes for the download to complete. You can safely open the downloaded PDF file and watch the video.
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I keep 2 in my kit (one for Clorox and one for Ammonia)

Conclusion
In this article, Ive dimensioned just how scare potable water is. The days of walking into a brook or meandering stream, filling a canteen and drinking are gone; even in North America. All water, regardless of its source, other than bottled or purified, represents a potentially serious health hazard. This is specifically true when traveling abroad whether in the EU, SubSaharan Africa or Asia. CamelBaks All Clear System is an absolute must have for bikers, hikers, backpackers, campers, hunters and deployed personnel. Whether traveling for fun or business, you need an All Clear UV purification system with you. CamelBaks All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier makes pure and reliable water available to you at a nominal price of $99 M.S.R.P. It is money well spent when you consider the alternative. Theres also the added bonus that you wont need to carry a 6-pack of Avian in your gear.

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Manufacturers Specifications Treats 0.75L of water with each cycle Two rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries built into the cap deliver 80+ cycles per full charge Cap weighs 7oz System includes: UV Cap, 0.75L Bottle, USB Charging cable, Protective Carrying Case, Classic Cap

Note to Readers:
Copyright 2012, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

CamelBak All Clear - Microbiological UV Water Purification

2012

Copyright 2012, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved