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Topic: black water in Gila Wilderness, quality of H2O in Gila< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2012, 9:38 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Ranger says the Middle Fork of the Gila River is running black from fire runoff. Any tips on how to deal with this water issue? Or should we just cancel & try another year to hike this area. -D.E.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2012, 3:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(closing9pm @ Aug. 27 2012, 6:38 pm)
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The Ranger says the Middle Fork of the Gila River is running black from fire runoff. Any tips on how to deal with this water issue? Or should we just cancel & try another year to hike this area. -D.E.

Bring a water filter that is field cleanable, like mine. I don't think there would be any problem filtering the stuff out, but you will have to clean the filter often.

-Don-


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-Don- South San Francisco, CA or Cold Springs Valley, NV (near Reno).
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 1:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a Katadyn base-camp w/ a ceramic element. But will need to purchase a pump for on the fly filtering. What brand is your filter?
An old pack'n partner's Katadyn clogged horribly at one particular lake in Yellowstone yrs. ago (only real problem we ever had w/ that great old Swiss model pump) Just thinking ash-river water would replicate that experience for the whole of this trip.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 1:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"D'oh!"
see you linked to the Katadyn Pocket Microfilter 8013618
now over $300.00 -tks, D.E.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are a lot lower-cost options that would be appropriate, but I wouldn't use gravity filter in that application.  In rough order of my preference, I'd use MSR Miniworks, Katadyn Hiker, or MSR Sweetwater (there are other candidates) with a prefilter.  I like the MSR SiltStopper (made for the Sweetwater, but can be used with other filters).  You may need a couple spare prefilter elements.

I would also avoid using other microtube-type filters on that sort of water, like the MSR Hyperflow.  I've seen a couple of those fatally clogged by water that was heavily laden with fine particles.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 2:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have never filtered water in the conditions described in the post. Would a few coffee filters work, wrapped around the intake ?
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(paula53 @ Aug. 31 2012, 2:03 pm)
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I have never filtered water in the conditions described in the post. Would a few coffee filters work, wrapped around the intake ?

They help, but in really bad conditions you can go through a lot of them.  I would use them only with something like Miniworks instead of a backflush-cleaning filter.

Here's a comparison that might be of interest: old gear forum thread.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 3:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(closing9pm @ Aug. 31 2012, 10:08 am)
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"D'oh!"
see you linked to the Katadyn Pocket Microfilter 8013618
now over $300.00 -tks, D.E.

I own several water filters. The "Katadyn Pocket Microfilter 8013618" by far, is the most reliable.

Sometimes less is better. Only one element to clean and is normally cleaned with UNfiltered water (filtered water can be used for cleaning too,  of course, but doing such has no real advantage in the field). You can even clean it with that black water from the fire runoff with no problem. See the reviews, here. Yeah, it cost more, but you get what you pay for.

But they do make carbon pre-filters for it, but I would only use them if i expected possible chemical contamination, which is unlikely out in the boonies.

-Don-


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you Big_Load, that was very helpful. I have never been out in conditions like that. I am in the Sierra Nevada most of the time. I find that I take too much for granted when I hike, compared to what others go thru in other parts of the country.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2012, 12:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're welcome.  By the way, I don't have anything against microtube or gravity filters in general.  I'm bringing an MSR Autoflow on my upcoming trip, but I don't expect challenging conditions for it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2012, 12:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fire ash should be rather large (as these things go) chunks so coffee filters probably would do it. Or find an online lab supply and look for pleated conical paper filters that are made more for that purpose. The Whatman brand is standard.

http://www.whatman.com/Qualita....es.aspx

Coffee filters would be cheaper.
http://www.mgscientific.com/product....whatman
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2012, 2:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Sep. 01 2012, 12:42 am)
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Fire ash should be rather large (as these things go) chunks so coffee filters probably would do it.

Much of the ash is larger, but that was a super-intense fire.  The soil burned thoroughly in a lot of areas and a lot of washed off in the monsoons, so there will be a lot of silt in with the ash.

Now that the rains are done, I expect it will clear up quite a bit soon.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 11 2012, 7:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I took my son there over labor day weekend and when I called the ranger station they mentioned the same thing but honestly the water was pretty clear.  I purchased a box of 2gal ziplock bags. and put ducktape around it twice  on both sides to form a makeshift bucket.   When we made camp I gathered water and let it set for a while and filtered from the top but honestly the water looked the same, pretty clear.  I filled it again at night and let it sit over night and by morning I still didnt see that much had settled.  I had no problem filtering and didnt see much on my filter when I took it apart at home.  Just so you know since I had my 5year old and the sun was pretty hot that Saturday we only hiked in about 4 miles.

Hope this helps


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

By the way, charcoal is actually a pretty good cleaning agent for water.  I'm sure you don't want to drink ash, but charcoal might be pretty good against the microorganisms.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 20 2012, 10:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The information regarding conditions in any wilderness that is the least reliable is probably that dispensed by the USFS. Whether it's bears, weather, snow conditions, or water quality., the courteous person at the desk  simply repeats what she or he as read from the last news release that was usually written a week previous. Chances are that person has never actually been in the wilderness. They simply regurgitate the USFS boilerplate.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 22 2012, 10:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Rics @ Oct. 20 2012, 10:53 pm)
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The information regarding conditions in any wilderness that is the least reliable is probably that dispensed by the USFS. Whether it's bears, weather, snow conditions, or water quality., the courteous person at the desk  simply repeats what she or he as read from the last news release that was usually written a week previous. Chances are that person has never actually been in the wilderness. They simply regurgitate the USFS boilerplate.
Rics in Wyoming

I've had that experience, but it's not the norm. I'm sure Ranger Tarol would take exception. I've gotten really good info about the Gila NF when calling the rangers. You need to try to read the person and ask the right specific questions. Many people ask questions that are so general and uninformed they can't be answered.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 22 2012, 11:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(toejam @ Oct. 22 2012, 10:48 am)
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I've gotten really good info about the Gila NF when calling the rangers. You need to try to read the person and ask the right specific questions.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Gila is cherry-stemmed and the rangers are at a couple locations in the middle of it, so they have a better feel for things than some other places.  For example, the office that handles the western half of the Superstitions is in downtown Mesa.
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