Back In The Old Days...
The major complaint usually leveled against water filters is simple inconvenience. Who wants to have to squat uncomfortably next to a stream for a half hour and exhaust their arm muscles pumping a gallon of water and do this several times a day during a hike? Also, a filter takes up space and weighs a pound or more with the filter cartridge wet (and let’s face it, that’s how it gets carried around).

Pump filters often have many loose parts to keep track of: hoses, cartridges, levers and more. The plastic case can be fragile -- especially in cold weather when the plastic is brittle -- and, if manhandled or dropped, will crack, leaving you with a useless, heavy souvenir from your camping trip.

This is especially true for those popular units, which have a plastic weld line along the side of the plunger where it is prone to cracking.

Almost no one does it, but to prevent mold and mildew, the filter on the pump should be rinsed in dilute chlorine solution and dried after each trip. Micro-pore water filters are very good at protecting against protists, fair against bacteria and poor against viruses. Some filters attempt to compensate with chemical impregnation of the filter element with iodine.

The more expensive, and heavier, ceramic based filters do screen well for bacteria but still let viruses through.

However, iodine takes time to work against pathogens and water is not long in a filter. Thus with iodine tablets, the recommended exposure time is ½ hr up to 4hrs if the water is cold which inhibits the antibiotic activity.

Even the newer "mixed oxidant" (MIOX) portable systems still require several hours to be effective, depending on the electrolytic conversion of salt to a form of pool chlorine that might kill most, but not all, the pathogens in the treated water.

Meridian Design Inc. has developed products in fields as diverse as fiberoptic transceiver modules, LED flashlights, kitchen composters, laboratory test equipment, shape memory muscle actuators, avionics, microscopy, medical centrifuges, model train electronics, and pulse detonation wave engine controllers.

Meridian Design believes in the Guiding Principles of Appropriate Technology, and strives to build products and solutions that follow these principles. Please Click or Call us today for more information.

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