RFI- Water Filter for Soldiers

My Light Infantry Battalion is scheduled to go to JRTC late summer of 2017.  I am looking to acquire a small (rucksack packable) water filter system for my Rifle SQDs, Scout Teams, Sniper Teams, and Mortars that provides them the capability to self-purify surface water.  This will be the "E" in my pace, used when resupply and caches are unavailable.  

Through my research I understand I need a system that provides protection from bacteria, viruses, Protozoa, and particulates.   Through communication with Polk they have told me units are authorized to use these systems in the box but they didn't have much to offer on specific systems.  

The MSR Guardian is on the top of my list but I want to make sure I am giving this due diligence since my men will be putting this water in their bodies.  

Any recommendations/ suggestions are appreciated.  

Original Post

There was a real good discussion a few years back.  Don't remember which one it was but here are a couple threads that might help you out.  Davehal9000 was pretty much the SME around here on that stuff.  Not sure if he still hangs out here.  

If you read through, this one might answer your question

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...ation-systems?page=1

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...427#2843236910362427

http://www.lightfighter.net/to...ation-and-camelbacks

"A pirate is not the sort of a man who generally cares to pay his bills...and after a time the work of endeavoring to collect debts from pirates was given up."

          -Frank R. Stockton

The box is nasty, I suggest a decent pump plus tablets. Reason being pumping for a squad will take awhile and will probably need to be conducted as a long halt or part of patrol base activities. also, you don't want some pfc poisoning the whole squad.

Another consideration could be packs of flocculant plus tablet purification. the crystal light in the mre's should help guys keep hydrated if they dislike the tablet taste. 

Also, Drip-Drop is a ors that has a nsn now so your med section could order it. actually tastes good so guys like it. Staying deep in the woods works well out there

If you have the ability consider the small UV systems. As long as the water isn't cloudy ie run through a shirt or rag first if it's brown water...the UV systems are the nuclear option. They kill everything.  But they do take power either solar or battery. That said they're fairly quick in use from what I've seen. Working at an REI I sent a few ppl off to India with the Camelbak bottle version and they raved about them.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

Have you reach out to NATICK labs in Boston to see if there is a Army system that fits your need. That they need testing?

I know labs are always willing to have people T&E kit. 

https://www.army.mil/info/orga...natick#org-resources

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered and teach your subordinates to do the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide." - Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

 

Joined: 12/24/04    LOCATION : Moments away from BFG and DD

Fred1 posted:

My Light Infantry Battalion is scheduled to go to JRTC late summer of 2017.  I am looking to acquire a small (rucksack packable) water filter system

...

Any recommendations/ suggestions are appreciated.  

Kudos for thinking about training like you fight.

You may want to check with the Environmental Office at Fort Polk to see if anything non-filterable is in the water there.  Louisiana is well-known for its lack of enforcement of environmental protection laws and a lot of pesticides and chemicals get dumped.  You need to ask some specific questions.  Also recommend checking with sources outside of the Army such as the Louisiana EPA. 

Chances are that the gouge you have is right.

Are Milbanks Bags still around?

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

My 7-man section has a reasonable expectation to be without resupply for up to 72 hours, or worse if something goes wrong. Our water PACE plan is from that perspective. We've taken it upon ourselves to make this happen, as (so far) we haven't been provided filters. 

P - Platoon water - Where does the platoon get water?

A - Resupply by Company/Platoon - Platoon/Company brings water to us.

C - Section-level Gravity Filter - My section is using one personally purchased Sawyer MINI, and based on its performance we've requested 7 Sawyer Squeeze filters (possibly NSN 9330-17-924-8947) with 7 Inline Adapters (possibly NSN 4730-17-924-8946). It's an inline water filter attached to a hydration bladder tube. Can be used as an individual filter if everyone has one, can also be used as a gravity filter to fill other water sources if you take off the mouthpiece of a standard issue Hydramax and open the valve. The two possible downsides are A) the hydration tube has to be cut to install it, and B) once you fill your hydration bladder with contaminated water, it's safest to consider it a contaminated hydration bladder (ONLY using it with the purifier installed from that point forward). Realistically, neither of these have turned out to be issues.

E - Individual Lifestraw Filter - These emergency filters are small enough and cheap enough ($15) to provide to every soldier. If I was king for a day everyone would have one in their rucks.

 

Joined: 9/2/10                        Location: Northern Kentucky

Whootsinator posted:

My 7-man section has a reasonable expectation to be without resupply for up to 72 hours, or worse if something goes wrong. Our water PACE plan is from that perspective. We've taken it upon ourselves to make this happen, as (so far) we haven't been provided filters. 

P - Platoon water - Where does the platoon get water?

A - Resupply by Company/Platoon - Platoon/Company brings water to us.

C - Section-level Gravity Filter - My section is using one personally purchased Sawyer MINI, and based on its performance we've requested 7 Sawyer Squeeze filters (possibly NSN 9330-17-924-8947) with 7 Inline Adapters (possibly NSN 4730-17-924-8946). It's an inline water filter attached to a hydration bladder tube. Can be used as an individual filter if everyone has one, can also be used as a gravity filter to fill other water sources if you take off the mouthpiece of a standard issue Hydramax and open the valve. The two possible downsides are A) the hydration tube has to be cut to install it, and B) once you fill your hydration bladder with contaminated water, it's safest to consider it a contaminated hydration bladder (ONLY using it with the purifier installed from that point forward). Realistically, neither of these have turned out to be issues.

E - Individual Lifestraw Filter - These emergency filters are small enough and cheap enough ($15) to provide to every soldier. If I was king for a day everyone would have one in their rucks.

I think your E needs to be chemical. First, if your water has heavy or really fine clay like sediment (lots of the middle east) the life straw won't last long. Second, it ties you to the water source. Will you be able to resupply 6 liters per man from a life straw? 

Better to fill up on dirty water, bomb it with the tablets an keep moving, begin rehydrating 30 minutes later. 

Also, if you are in a situation to need this stuff, you should probably have some loperamide (immodium) and cipro from your 68W on standby in your E&E kits.

This is our current contingency plan for current conditions (CONUS training environment, JRTC). If we deploy our plan will have to change and your recommendations will definitely have merit.

Pre-filter sediment heavy water as best you can through whatever is available. The lifestraw is "cleaned" by blowing out after use, prolonging its life. The Sawyer comes with a syringe to do the same, on a less frequent basis. Not everyone would necessarily need to carry a cleaning syringe. Obviously that doesn't work forever, but it helps. You can fill up on dirty water and use the lifestraw to drink from whatever container you have on hand in an emergency, not necessarily just when you find a dirty source of water. The inline hydration bladder filter, used as a gravity filter, can be used to refill everyone when you have a water source. Or, if everyone is running the inlines individually, everyone can just fill up on dirty water as if it was clean. 

I'm ALL for adding chemical as "E2". More options more better.

Joined: 9/2/10                        Location: Northern Kentucky

The Sawyer PointONE  (0.10 Micron) Inline  Filter can be used as an inline water filter on Camelbak style hydration carriers, light weight and non-obtrusive.  It can also be installed on the canteen hydration tube kits, for the folks that like to use a 2qt canteen as a "Camelback/Source" substitute.   Another way to use it is to attache some tubing on each side of the filter, use some red tape & blue tape to mark the differing ends of the filter... use it like a survival straw on steroids (I've tried it, it works).

The SawyerPoint ZeroTWO  (0.02 Micron) Inline/Gravity  Purifier is a great option as well that offers nearly 100% purification of nearly all viruses and bacteria.  It can filter between  87gal - 127gal per day of clean water depending on several factors (such as the size/volume of the water container and altitude).  You can 3gal, 5gal, or even 55gal containers as the feeding source for the filter.

Or another way to use it is with a bag-to-bag gravity feed kit like this one:
https://sawyer.com/products/sa...ter-purifier-system/
which is net you 4 liters of drinkable water in 3-to-6 minutes (3min with PointOne, 6min with ZeroTWO).

The "ZeroTWO" has a more restrictive flow rate than the "PointOne" which is why I don't recommend using it "inline" with a canteen or hydration pack, same with using it like a "life straw".

As good as these products are I wouldn't only rely on just them as a group or individual water filtration plan.  Water filtration is something that requires layers of redundancy, so having some chem-tabs and charcoal filter pumps in addition to the Sawyer filter/purifier is wise... if your water Filter/purifier is damaged, broken, or becomes severally clogged you best have a backup plan or two.

 

 

 

Assume that all JRTC water is going to be "brown" or cloudy water, in addition to any potential non-filterables. In addition to the naturally occurring "swamp" water, another thing you will be dealing with is horse and hog shit contaminating almost any standing water source. Most of the flowing water sources are few and far between, and typically well off the beaten path, with a few exceptions. 

That stuff is nasty. Definitely an E on the PACE plan. We solely used bottled water, (I was OPFOR at JRTC for 3 years). We were at an advantage compared to RTU, simply because we were acclimated to the environment, and could work on a lot less water. 

It's the guardian filter and it also backwashes with a portion of the clean water each time. To keep the filter from clogging in water that has sediment in it. The pro price is $230. Iirc it's organial design premise was for .mil multiple person.  Basically any water anywhere is filter able. 

Two notes to add: First, let the crap settle out. Pre-filters and flushing are fine, but the best idea for really contaminated water is to put it in a bottle, and let the big chunks settle. Carry a transparent/translucent Nalegene (or something, a gatorade bottle...) for this if needed, and don't forget it's a contaminated bottle even when empty. Let the dirt settle (even 10 minutes is usually pretty good), pour off the clean to another one (carefully) or use the filter hose carefully. Extends the life of filters a lot.  

Second, get the right tablets! There are two types or tablets available on the market and in the supply chain. Iodine and chlorine dioxide. U.S. military or commercial iodine tablets are suitable for purification of bacteria and viruses but have no effect on Cryptosporidium and a low to moderate effect on Giardia so are not something I even permit people to carry for purification. 

Chlorine dioxide tablets are suitable for bacteria, viruses and has a low to moderate (slow) effect on Cryptosporidium and is highly effective on Giardia. You're most likely to find Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets available in the US. Aquamira tablets are NSN 6850-01-551-7850. 

Chlorine dioxide tablets come in individual foil blister packets and have a shelf life of 4 years. Do not use old tablets! Also, none of that taste worry with iodine so use them.

  • If you suspect the area you are in (proximity to livestock) has Cryptosporidium contact time is 30 minutes for clear water, 4 hours for turbid water. 
  • Remember that the colder/dirtier your water the longer any purification tablet will take to work. It won't become re-contaminated if you wait longer, so just wait longer if not sure, plan for purification before rest cycles so it's ready when you get up. 

 

And actually last: Read the instructions and follow them carefully. Practice and make sure everyone understands procedures. It's easy to mess up which hose or bottle has been where and contaminate your drinking water, or to do things like forget to flush the threads. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I just replaced a 15ish year old MSR waterworks filter with the Guardian Purifier. While I have not yet had the chance to use the Guardian in the field, it does filter (tap) water a whole lot faster than my old filter, even when I have a new filter element in it.

The auto back flush feature on the Guardian is what attracted me to the product, as I have in the past filtered water that would clog prior filters in <1L of water. Add in many years of reliable service from my old filter and it became an easy choice.

I also agree with having Aquamira tabs as an emergency plan, they have worked well for me in many environments.

After research and testing we have selected the MSR Guardian filter, working the NSR for purchase for enough to outfit each rifle squad, mortars, scouts, and snipers in the Battalion.  Developing a train the trainer program and SOP for employment.

I want to thank the LF community for your input and guidance; it has been an invaluable resource.  Hopefully the funds come through and I get this filter for my men, BDE is on board and wants to dovetail rest of Maneuver Battlions into req. 

Following completion of JRTC I will post an AAR here detailing employment, capabilities, and limitations to assist the next guy in solving the same problem.  

Thanks again. 

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