From Lake Water to Drinking Water

Thank you LifeStraw!  You’ve made life at the cabin a whole lot easier!

LifeStraw Family
When the LifeStraw is not in use, it hangs like this.

This week, one of the many little jobs I did at the cabin was to finally set up the LifeStraw water filtration system.  We opted to get the LifeStraw Family system because of its ability to filter up to 2L at a time.  Something to consider when choosing your LifeStraw system is the weight of the water itself in the filter.  There is an even bigger one that can hold up to 18L but its meant to wrap around a tree branch or something equally as strong.  18L of water is really heavy!  The 2L filter is light enough to hang off of a hook in the house.  I bought it online at Amazon.com and it cost around $100.

There are a few particular steps that are involved when setting it up so watch the instructional video carefully.  I actually watched it the first three times I used it.

LifeStraw Family
The LifeStraw in use.

The LifeStraw hose is a little over a metre in length and it should hang straight down so do some measuring before you decide to drill holes into the wall to hang it.  Because we are reusing taller containers (empty water cooler jugs) for filtered water storage, the LifeStraw hangs at a level too high for me to see into.  Which means, the first time I used it, I poured WAY too much water in and it overflowed all over everything.  So now I have a small step stool that allows me to see how much water I’m pouring into the filter.

As with any filter, it’s not fast.  When we get about halfway down one cooler jug, we start the slow process of filtering the next 10-15 L of water.

We are currently filtering lake water since we don’t live directly on the lake and therefore can’t pump water in from it.  Our lake is a very clean lake as there are no motorized vehicles allowed on it and it is spring-fed so the water is always moving.  In fact, it’s probably clean enough to drink as it is.  But the water that comes out of the filter is crystal clear.  And it tastes really good as well.  For our first few glasses, we tasted a slight plastic taste and I’m not sure if that was because of the new filter or if I happened to use water that had been sitting in a sealed plastic jug for a day or two.  We haven’t tried filtering rainwater yet mostly because the lake is cleaner water.  If we ever have to, I’ll update this post to talk about it.

Anyone who lives through cold winters should also be aware that these filters were not designed to survive sub-0ºC temperatures.  If the filter freezes with leftover water in it, it is useless and it will be ruined once it thaws.

Now that we have this sustainable clean water system, I don’t have to stress about how much water we are using.  It’s okay to cook pasta now!  We no longer need to boil lake water to use for dishes!  Now we can use soap to wash our hands instead of always relying on hand sanitizer (which never really feels clean)!  Now we don’t have to make a special 30-minute drive into town to buy drinking and washing water!  Obviously we are still conscious of conserving but now clean water is just a short 30-second walk away.

Life Straw
Cheers!

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