How much Alum - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-02-2016   #1
 
cataraftgirl's Avatar
 
Sandy, Utah
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How much Alum

Heading out for a flatwater kayak trip next weekend, Potash to Spanish Bottom. I did this trip in the spring and carried my drinking & cooking water, but another person in my group did the alum/settle/filter thing. I'm bringing a small collapsible bucket & filter as a back up. I don't remember how much alum my friend used for the small bucket on the spring trip. Stupid Guide Tricks had info on amounts to use, but that website has disappeared. So....How much alum per 1-1.5 gallons of river water?

Thanks

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Old 10-02-2016   #2
 
Westminster, Colorado
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One of the small 1" tall spice jars will be more than enough for your length trip. It just takes a sprinkle, and you can watch it work. If the water isn't clear in 15 minutes, add a little more.
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Old 10-02-2016   #3
 
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You can also make a supersaturated solution by heating water to its boiling point then adding alumin powder until it starts to precipitate out. A mini nalgene bottle should be more than enough. When you're ready to use, Pour about one oz in your bucket.
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Old 10-02-2016   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars View Post
One of the small 1" tall spice jars will be more than enough for your length trip. It just takes a sprinkle, and you can watch it work. If the water isn't clear in 15 minutes, add a little more.

And be sure to mix it in when added.
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Old 10-03-2016   #5
 
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Sandy, Utah
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So, maybe 1/8 tsp or less for a one gallon bucket? I do remember that my friend stirred the water with a stick as he was sprinkling in the alum.
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Old 10-03-2016   #6
 
Westminster, Colorado
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That sounds like a small amount, so yes. I've never measured... And it depends on how much sediment is in the water you're trying to flocculate. Be careful with your filter hose, it's easy to stir up the sediment again as you filter. I use a second bucket and decant off the clear water leaving the muck behind before purifying. And, since the Colorado is not exactly pristine headwaters, I would bleach after filtering, since viruses (Hep A, Norwalk, etc) aren't filtered, and E Coli often isn't depending on the filter.
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Old 10-03-2016   #7
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Sleepy:

Isn't the idea to sterilize after de-sedimienting and before filtering so that the filter might remove the chlorox taste? I have an MSR filter with a charcoal core that is supposed to remove some of that taste. I have yet to use Alum as I have successfully carried water on all of my trips.

If this is wrong, please advise.
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Old 10-03-2016   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twmartin View Post
Sleepy:

Isn't the idea to sterilize after de-sedimienting and before filtering so that the filter might remove the chlorox taste? I have an MSR filter with a charcoal core that is supposed to remove some of that taste. I have yet to use Alum as I have successfully carried water on all of my trips.

If this is wrong, please advise.
Would boiling kill the nasties? I could filter then designate that water for cooking and coffee. Would an MSR filter with the ceramic cartridge remove the bleach taste if you bleach after settling with alum, before filtering?.
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Old 10-03-2016   #9
 
Westminster, Colorado
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Just leaving the container open works to let the bleach off-gas too. Boiling kills everything, so if you're boiling you don't need to filter or bleach. I've found that filters let the taste through, but the time filtering probably lets the bleach evaporate on its own. Maybe I just haven't tried the right filter yet though... I've never used a charcoal one. We were using a ceramic filter when a side creek full of juniper bushes flashed, and our water tasted like trees for the last few days of the trip.
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Old 10-04-2016   #10
 
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We have done it several different ways but have found this way to work much better than sprinkling it straight in to the bucket and uses less Alum.
Mix aprox. a teaspoon of Alum in a cup of water.
Pour the solution in to the bucket of water you are trying to settle.
Wait and hour or so and gentle scoop or pour off your clear water.
This works for a 5 gallon bucket of water. Before using this method we used way more Alum trying to get the water to settle. Not sure why mixing it in a small amount of water works better than stirring it straight in to the bucket but it does.
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