Salt River - Filtering water? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-10-2019   #1
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 379
Salt River - Filtering water?

Invited on a low water Salt trip, and we are thinking about bringing less drinking water and filtering some, with the lower flows and potentially clearer water.

The Salt does get its name from salt drips that end up in the river, so was wondering if anybody that has filtered side stream or river water, had Feed back on water quality.

Thank you in advance for any beta!
Smart ass coments are also welcome, just so long as they are funny.

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Old 04-10-2019   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,428
I think that other thread says you can just fill up jugs straight from the San Juan on the way down.I didN't read it too carefully ,except the part about Ice cream caught my attention
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Old 04-10-2019   #3
cottonwood, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 9
Filtering water on salt river trip

I have kayak self supported on the salt river many times and never take any drinking water. I filter the water from the salt river or side streams. On a low water run you probably find water in cibecue,canyon,cherry and coon creeks. Lowest run was 500 cfs. Hope you have fun.
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Old 04-11-2019   #4
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 123
"Damn this is gamey!"

Our group was split evenly re: water taste. Half said it tasted terrible, half didn't mind. Coon Creek has great water.
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Old 04-11-2019   #5
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,845
I have filtered from cibique and cherry creeks on salt river kayak self support and no problems drinking it. my take is it depends a lot on your filter setup and that is your choice.

We were doing freeze dry and put various drink mixes into water bottles tho.
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Old 04-11-2019   #6
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Austin, Texas
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 117
We just got off the Salt and the same question about water quality was brought up. One of our circle of rafter friends who is an expert on municipal water systems answered w/the following:

Perchlorate is a chemical used in rocket fuel and has been found as a contaminant in drinking water. The main health effect is that it interferes with iodide take-up in the thyroid, resulting in thyroid dysfunction.

Most perchlorate in drinking water has been sourced to rocket fuel manufacturing and some fertilizers from a source in Chile, but it also has natural sources. It has been found throughout the southwest in unsaturated soils as documented in a 2007 paper published in Environmental Science Technology. A 2004 study led by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality sampled 88 sites throughout the state including Roosevelt Lake on the Salt River, which is downstream from the wilderness whitewater section of the river. Both samples were below detection limits for perchlorate.

Most of the salt in the Salt River appears to come from the salt banks at mile 10. They have been estimated to contribute 140 tons of dissolved solids to the river every day (I need to verify this number at some point in time). You can taste the salt when the river is running at 200 CFS, but it’s palatable even then. You may not even notice it at the flows you will experience, which will dilute it by a factor of ten.

Bottom line: Yes, I think the river water is safe to drink. FWIW, Roosevelt Lake is part of the Salt River Project, one of the main water supplies for Phoenix’s drinking water. Their treatment processes do not remove most chemical contaminants like perchlorate.

Have fun! The Salt was fantastic last week. Trip ended to soon.......
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Old 04-11-2019   #7
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 40
might be more uranium in that water than perchlorate, but you'll prob need to floc, settle, and filter if pulling straight from the Salt. bet those side creeks are good tho, but to me it doesn't get any easier than a small shaker of alum and a Sawyer point one bucket kit to treat anything.
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Old 04-12-2019   #8
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 379
Thanks guys, greatly appreciated!!
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Old 04-13-2019   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 6
I've had success finding surface water to treat at the following locations (RiverMaps river mileages) are listed below.

Our last trip was a low water, self-support trip. The Salt was running ~250cfs. We paddle rafted an Aire Puma in April 2015. The desert was in bloom. It was gorgeous and magical.

6.5 River Right - Cibeque Creek (We've always had water at this point in the trip).
15.8 River Right - Canyon Creek just before Granite (Major Tributary)
28-29 River Left - (2 spots) Catching water from the cliff in buckets and filtering it.
36 River Right - Cherry Creek
44.6 River Right - Coon Creek

Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2019   #10
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
You’ll be ok

I just came back from a Salt River trip. Filtered water directly from the river to cook and drink. I used artificial flavors on the drinking water out of personal preference. So far no issues.
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