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Water Quality questions

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Offline Charlie

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Water Quality questions
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:27:30 PM »
Hi everyone,
This is my first time posting here.  I'm planning on making my first trip to Big Bend the first week of December and doing the OML.  From reading other posts, it seems likely that there will be water sources at the pipe at Boot Canyon, and Fresno Creek.   I own a Steripen water sterilizer and I am a huge fan of how easy and convenient it is for clear water sources.   I was wondering if you could tell me what the water is like at these two sources and any others that could possibly be flowing in December.  Would a water sterilizer be sufficient or do I need something to filter the water?



Offline mule ears

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Re: Water Quality questions
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2019, 01:49:22 PM »
Welcome to BBC Charlie!

The water I usually pull is clear maybe, with some floaties but you should be fine, I don't use a steripen so someone else here who does may chime in.  The pools up stream from Boot Spring will be the nastiest and the tiny pool at Upper Juniper spring can be hard to get clear water out of without some kind of prefilter, even a bandana.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 06:31:12 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water


Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: Water Quality questions
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 04:21:15 PM »
ME is spot on with his descriptions. Water from the Boot Spring pipe is clear when it's running.

I've taken Steripens on a couple of backpacks in the past and had them fail. I now use a Sawyer gravity-powered filtration system and carry iodine tablets as backup.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey


Offline PacingTheCage

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Re: Water Quality questions
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2019, 08:15:52 AM »
I use a steripen and a Sawyer mini squeeze filter.  No issues so far.

Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat


Offline Keepa

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Re: Water Quality questions
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2019, 10:59:28 AM »
I use a Steripen Ultra and love it. I have a Katadyn BeFree as a backup. The Steripen has never failed me. I own four of them.

The water has to be clear. Prefilter through a bandana or use the Steripen prefilter, it screws on top of a Nalgene bottle.

Boot Spring will be clear. The pools above may have particulates. Fresno will be clear, especially if it is running.

Prefilter your water if it is not clear. Even if you are using the BeFree or the Sawyer, you still need to prefilter turbid water.

The Steripen has a constant purification time of 90 seconds per liter, and it kills viruses. I like the BeFree and the Sawyer, but they eventually clog and have to be cleaned.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 02:00:12 PM by Keepa »



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