14 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Liquid Oxygen & Giardia

A few years ago, a nephew of mine, who works at an outdoor wilderness program, indicated that this product called Areobic 07, (there are other similar products under other brands) was effective in treating water in the outdoor environment. They supposedly drank out of cow troughs, out of creeks, lakes, yet in several years of using this product on a daily basis, never had a reported case of Girardia (their dose was 4-6 drops per liter). I liked using it because it was much portable and convenient that a water filter and used it off and on for a couple of seasons of backpacking and trail running.

During the summer of 2009, I went backpacking for one night with my scout troop, which included my teen-age son. We camped near a creek that had many active beaver dams on it (Fish Creek which feeds into Scofield Reservoir in Central Utah). After we ran out of city water which we brought with us, my son and I both filled our 1-liter water bottles from the clear-running creek. We added about 6 to 8 drops of O7 to each bottle. We waited a half an hour and then drank as needed. None of the scouts used the O7. I had a Katadyn Hiker Microfilter for them, if they needed to refill their bottles, but none needed to. About two weeks later, my son and both came down with flu-like symptoms. After some rather expensive lab tests, it was confirmed we both had Giardia (Giardiasis). Within a few days, the problem was remedied with oral medication.

Was my dosage too low? Did I not wait long enough? This bottle is a few years old — has it expired (no date indicated on the bottle). Is it supposed to be effective as most water “filters,” but not as effective as the commercial “purifiers?” (There is a difference between backcountry filters and purifiers but off-hand, I can’t tell you what that is). Needless to say, I can no longer trust this product for the purpose of purifying questionable water (the distributor of this product currently make so such claims, but may have done so years ago). I guess I need to fall back on my rather heavy and bulky microfilter pumps or try the new batch of UV treatment methods (Steripen), which have been proven to treat water (unless is muddy).

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