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[pct-l] (Guest Post) Water Treatment - Clorox

d-low <dilorenz@hotmail.com> wrote:
>I used chlorox bleach this past summer for all water treated on a 39 day 
>trek of the Colorado Trail. I ened up with a case of giardia at the very 
>end of the trek. The chlorox treatment may have failed due to either a
>poor choice of campspot which resulted in nearly everything I owned
>freezing (bleach fails when the water is very cold), or strange mineral
>content altering the PH of some streams I drank from as a result of old
>mine run off.

A couple things to think about -

1/ according to the Colorado agency that monitors water sources (I've 
forgotten the alphabet mix for it), all backcountry water sources in 
Colorado are contaminated.

2/ it's my understanding that bleach (certainly in the concentrations used 
by thruhikers) doesn't kill giardia under any circumstances. I've seen a lot 
of opinions, but no evidence to the contrary.

>I didn't get giardia until i was nearly finished with the
>hike, and at the begining of the hike I was forced to drink from many
>cow contaminated streams, and due to not coming down with giardia sooner in 
>the hike, I felt bleach worked.

3/ Do you remember that the incubation period for giardia is 1 - 2 weeks?  
You got it long before you thought you did.

>I have never had an issue with the
>tast of chlorox bleach. However, I'm going to try Aqua Mira for water
>treatment on the PCT this year. Aqua Mira and some brief info about
>water treatment can be found at www.thru-hiker.com.[/url]

Good choice.

>Also check out the giardia fact sheet at the cdc web site:

Good site but it doesn't give the info that's needed for backcountry use.

Given the facts you presented (that you got giardia - regardless of the 
circumstances?), the bottom line is - the Clorox failed.  As it has at other 
times and places for other people.  Which is why I don't use it.

Good luck with the Aqua Mira - let us know how it goes.

Walk softly,

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