My interest in making my drinking water ever purer has reached the point of obsession. And because I don't want to rely on factory made systems that I would not be able to keep running after TSHF I have built my own system. There is still one problem I haven't satisfactorily worked out.
I distill my own water. That process kills bacteria and removes heavy metals but still leaves pesticides and other chemicals which will evaporate with the water.
Carbon filtration will remove those items, but the problem with carbon filtration is that bacteria will grow inside the carbon media and contaminate the water.
My proposed solution is to add silver to the carbon media. What I am looking for is a way to do this myself. I don't want to have to rely on some store bought product that I may not always be able to obtain. I am thinking about soaking the charcoal in a solution of collodial silver, and allowing the water to evaporate leaving the silver impregnated charcoal. This should prevent bacterial growth in the charcoal.
Anyone tried anything similar? Or know of a reason this would not work? What about increasing the concentration of silver? And what are some of the better silver generators available? I have very limited knowlege of collodial silver, any info would be appreciated.
NVR2RDY: Collodial Silver WON'T work, what you need is silver halides (Silver salts) in minute concentrations embedded in the Activated Carbon Filter matrix.
There is NO practical way to do this yourself at home, that's why the silver-impregnated Katadyn filters are so $$.
All the silver does is inhibit growth of micro-organisms. It takes a long time for the bacterial load in the AC filter w/o silver to reach levels that anyone would consider "contaminated" - by that time, the AC is just about saturated anyway, and it's time to replace the filter.
Exactly, I built a homemade AC post-filter unit using Acquarium AC and filter mesh packed into a suitably sized piece of PVC. They're disposable once you detect objectionable odor or other indicators that AC is saturated.
Drill holes in the caps, thread hose barbs into ends, and seal with food-grade silicon sealer. Seal 1 end, and using dowel just slightly smaller than ID of pipe, push handful of mesh filter media into tube and pack against sealed end. Alternate AC and filter mesh in 1" layers until you've packed 6" tube full. Top layer MUST be filter mesh. Carefully seal open end with cap and allow glue to dry thoroughly.
Attach to output end of water filter/pump using flexible food-grade tubing. It might be necessary to use hose clamps to secure connections to maintain pressure between filters.
Don't pack TOO tightly or water won't pass through filter.
The berkey with the silver impregnated cart. is the best way to go. If you need to save on the expense you can rig up the filter element from the berkey as a siphon setup and eliminate the need for the whole unit. Obviously the output thru 1 cart will not match the performance of the berkey with several cart. You could also go with simple inline carbon filters with the same siphon setup and just change out the filter 2 or 3 times a year. If your water is distilled prior to filtering you won't have any bacteria in it to contaminate the filter so that shouldn't be a problem. Colloidal silver should work for bacteria prevention if you put it into your stored water. I realize that the topic of colloidal silver is hotly debated and do not want to get into it here. You research this and make your own decision. You could also add a stabilized oxygen product to the water (vitamin O/aerobic oxygen) or food grade hydrogen peroxide to take care of any bacterial contamination.
Nvr2Rdy, I installed a Cullagen whole house charcoal filter, we draw water from the lake and sometimes it smells of algae. We have a unit that has a chlorine back flush and was used for mineral removal. We filled it with charcoal media. The back flush comes on once per week and kills any bacteria. We mix the chlorine 1 quart to 6 gallons of water. Works great. Regards, Ed.