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Reviews > Water Treatment > Chemical Treatment > Aquamira Water Treatment 2007 > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi

AQUAMIRA WATER PURIFIER TABLETS

Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets

INITIAL REPORT: June 2, 2007
FIELD REPORT: September 24, 2007

Name Jo Ann Moffi Backpacking Background:
I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking, and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both countries for our outdoor excursions. When making a decision on gear, I like to go lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around extraneous bits and pieces.
Age 33
Gender Female
Height 168 cm (5 ft 6 in)
Weight  84 kg (185 lbs)
Email Address jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Product Information

Manufacturer:  Aquamira Technologies, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
URL: www.aquamira.com
MSRP: 12 Pack: $7.95 USD, 24 Pack: $13.95 USD
Listed Weight: 24 Tablet Pack: 10 g (0.34 oz)  
Actual Weight: 24 Tablet Pack 20 g (0.7 oz)
Note Regarding Weight of Product: The Aquamira website indicates the 24 pack weighs 20 g (0.7 oz), but the weight listed on the packages I received indicates the weight is 10 g (0.34 oz). I would guess the package is the error as the weight I got on my scale matches that on the website.
Active Ingredients: Sodium Chloride 6.4%, Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate Dihydrate 1.0%
Remainder of the ingredients (92.6%) are listed as 'Inert Ingredients'.

INITIAL REPORT
Item Received:
May 29, 2007

Each package I received contains 24 tablets individually wrapped in sheets of six tablets for a total of 4 sheets. Each package has a Ziplock closure. I was easily able to open the package by just tearing across the top, but to separate each individual tablet in the sheets I needed to use scissors. A knife would also have done the job.

Each package also contained a sheet with First Aid instructions, Precautionary Statements, Physical/Chemical Hazards, and Storage and Disposal instructions for the tablets. I find it interesting that a water treatment product could be as potentially harmful as indicated on this instruction sheet. I realize the manufacturer intends the instructions to be applicable to the tablets themselves and not the treated water, but if I followed the directions on the instruction sheet for handling the tablets, I would need to bring safety glasses, protective clothing, and rubber gloves with me on a backpacking trip. In other words to avoid having to bring such protective gear, I will be avoiding touching the tablets themselves when putting them into the water I'm treating. The tablets are also toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms, so dumping any un-used treated water into aquatic environments is a no-no too.

The tablets are easily stored inside my pack, they are very compact and lightweight. They lend themselves easily to carrying in my daypack, hydration pack, and multi-day backpack.

Directions for Use: Use one tablet per 1 L (34 oz) of contaminated water. Open package with a knife or scissors and quickly put the tablet into the water needing treatment. Place in an area away from direct sunlight for 4 hours to create a solution of 4 ppm chloride dioxide.

FIELD REPORT
September 24, 2007

I took the tablets on overnight trips in Lake Superior Provincial Park over the course of the test period. I used the tablets in water from the northern shores of Lake Superior and several streams and small rivers that flow into Lake Superior. The water coming from Lake Superior was very clear. Some of the streams had a bit of tannin sediment, but not a significant amount. The tablets did not remove this from the water.
Taquamenon River
I also used the tablets during trips on the North Country Trail in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I treated water from the Tahquamenon River and the southern shores of Lake Superior. The Tahquamenon River has a significant amount of tannin. Again, the tablets did not remove this colouring from the water.

Although I brought the tablets along on my day hikes to Lake Superior Park, the Hiawatha Highlands, and the Voyageur Trail, unless I had an empty water bottle at the beginning of the hike and a source of water to fill it, I found it challenging to use the tablets with the 4 hour wait time needed for the tablets to purify the water. Most of the time I was left with a full or nearly full bottle of treated water at the end of the day.

Functionality and Ease of Use:
Using the tablets was very simple. For purifying the water I would place the tablets in my 1L (34 fl oz) Nalgene bottles and put the bottles into my backpack to comply with the requirement for the solution to sit out of the sun for 4 hours. For my morning water requirements, I just left the bottles out in my tent overnight as I thought it was dark enough.

The treated water tasted just as good and sometimes cleaner than that I had either brought from home or filtered with my regular filter when the 4 hour wait time was inconvenient.

Durability of the Tablets:
I would carry the tablets in the small mesh bag that I use for my toothbrush and other toiletries. The packaging held up fine and kept the tablets from crumbling.

The packaging was a bit hard to deal with. I had difficulty tearing and used a knife every time. I'd also like to note that the tablets did not always want to come out of the package. Several times I used the edge of the knife I had just cut the packaging with to pop the tablet out. 

It is difficult to say just how well the tablets function without a chemical analysis before and after, but the manufacturer has already done this, so I trust they work as advertised. I had no adverse effects from using the tablets. Either they perform their job properly, or there wasn't a contamination issue with the water sources I was using. A couple of times I did filter the water through a small coffee filter to remove a bit of debris that was floating in the bottles, but that is the nature of using a chemical to purify rather than a filtering process. 

Overall I am satisfied with the ease of use and functionality of the tablets. The treated water is tasty and the treatment process is quite simple. Sometimes sitting beside a stream or lake pumping away on my filter can be a tedious thing, but with the tablets, I just had to pop one into my Nalgene bottle and let it sit.

Things I like:
Small compact size.
Tasty water.
Ease of use.

Things I don't like:
Having to wait 4 hours for purification.
Having to use a 1L (34 fl oz) bottle for water, it would be nice to be able to toss a tablet in a smaller bottle too.

This concludes this test series. Thank you to Aquamira Technologies, Inc. and BackpackGearTest for the privilege of testing this water treatment option.


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Read more gear reviews by Jo Ann Moffi

Reviews > Water Treatment > Chemical Treatment > Aquamira Water Treatment 2007 > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi



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