Boundary Waters Blog
I knew you could use some special UV ray water treatment system to purify water but I didn't realize you could use the sun to do the same. I came across an article describing the process of taking water from a stream and placing it in a clear plastic bottle in the sun for 6 hours and having it be safe to drink afterwards.
Who knew sun exposure could kill parasites, viruses and bacteria? Not me! Here's how...
How to Purify Water with Sunlight
April 19, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin
UV-A rays from the sun, (Ultraviolet-A, longwave, 315-400 nm), will terminate harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses in water, given enough sun exposure.
A clear plastic bottle filled with water, exposed to the sun for 6 hours will make the water safe to drink (see the caveat list). In fact, the effectiveness of terminating harmful bacteria is an amazing 5-Nines, that is, 99.999 percent!
The recommended bottle to use is a “PET” bottle. It is very common and is typically used for soda or other soft drinks.
PET, PolyEthylene Terephthalate, Recycle code #1 on bottom of bottle.
The bottle must not be colored. It must be a clear bottle. Again, it must be a clear plastic bottle. Not glass (glass blocks too much of the UV-A for this purpose).
The bottle must be clean. Common Sense.
Know your water source (as best you can)… if you believe it to be chemically toxic, don’t use it.
Fill the bottle with water. If the water is very cloudy, it must be filtered by first pouring through a cloth or such material to capture sediment.
Lay the bottle down in the sun. Do not stand them up. Ideally the bottles would by placed so that they face the the sun at a similar angle, to maximize the UV-A penetration.
Even better… lie the bottles on a reflective surface to increase the UV-A exposure using direct and reflected sunlight. This is not necessary, however it would shorten the required time and ensure optimum UV-A exposure.
If the sky is partly cloudy with only a few clouds, then 6 hours sunlight exposure will be enough. If the sky is half filled with clouds, or more, then 2 days will be required.
Note that the outdoor temperature does not matter, so long as the UV-A sunlight exposure has been 6 hours.
List of germs that are terminated from UV-A sunlight exposure at 6 hours
Bacteria – Escherichia coli
Bacteria – Vibrio cholera
Bacteria – Salmonella
Bacteria – Shigella flexneri
Bacteria – Campylobacter jejuni
Bacteria – Yersinia enterocolitica
Virus – Rotavirus
Parasites – Giardia
Parasites – Cryptosporidium (needs 10 hours exposure)
List of caveats to UV-A sunlight water purification
This method kills germs. If the water is already contaminated with chemicals from pollution, the chemicals will remain.
If the water is cloudy and dirty, it should be filtered first to allow the UV-A rays to effectively penetrate into the water.
The plastic water bottle should be no bigger than 2 liters. In moderately cloudy water, UV-A will lose 50 percent effectiveness at a depth of 10 mm (about 0.5 inch), whereas UV-A will only lose 25 percent effectiveness at a depth of 10 mm in clear water. Just use a typical size soda bottle or water bottle.
National Get Outdoors Day is next Saturday, June 8th, 2013 but that shouldn't give you an excuse to stay inside today. Adults and children are spending way too much time inside and "playing" with their electronic gadgets. It's difficult to go anywhere these days and not see people of all ages poking at the screen on their telephone. I want to see people unplug and get outside today!
It's a shame when you go to Valleyfair and see a bench filled with kids texting. They should be running from ride to ride or bumping each other on the Bumper Cars but instead they are sitting down eating their Dots while texting someone who is probably sitting right next to them. Many adults are just as bad as they text away while ignoring pleas from their small children. These people need to set their devices down and experience some real communication and recreation in the great outdoors.
I realize it's difficult to unplug and let go. I've spent a considerable amount of time around middle-school aged kids this year and getting them to give up their phones is like tearing a limb from their body. They argue, beg and plead to just be able to listen to music, or look at Pinterest or to check a Snap Chat from a friend. None of them carry a camera or wear a watch because they are so dependent on their telephone and the constant need to stay in contact with their friends and/or family.
Times have changed and I get that but I also get how important it is to get outside. These same electronic dependent kids have a great time when forced to give up their gadgets. They play games like "Red Rover, Red Rover" or "Kick the Can" when they aren't allowed to be on their phones. It's great to see and I hope they can see how much more fun it is to be outside playing than it is to be inside on Facebook.
I'm never the most loved Mom of my children or their friends when I insist they unplug and get outside to play but I encourage other parents to become more like me. And the best way to convince our children to unplug and get outside is by getting out there with them. So go on, unplug and get outside today and every day.
If a Governor proclaims a month Great Outdoors Month in 2012 does he have to proclaim it every year after? It seems like it would be alot of busy work to keep making all of those proclamations every year. If you know the answer to that question and can post or email me an answer then that would be great.
Regardless of the answer to my above question Governor Dayton proclaims June as Great Outdoors Month and June 1st is the kick off day. June 1st is also National Trails Day so it is especially vital you get outdoors and explore some trails on June 1st!
If you're on the Gunflint Trail then you have a number of great hiking trails to choose from including my top 5 Favorite Trails.
- Caribou Rock
- Honeymoon Bluff
- Centennial Trail
- Seagull Lake Nature Trail
- All of the trails at Chik-Wauk
If you're somewhere other than the Gunflint Trail then take some advice from the DNR and choose one of their suggested activities for the kick-off to Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day.
Gov. Dayton proclaims June as Great Outdoors Month
NEWS RELEASE — St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages Minnesotans to pack a picnic, grab a fishing rod and visit a state park or trail on Saturday, June 1, which is National Trails Day as well as the start of Great Outdoors Month, as proclaimed by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Minnesota’s extensive trail system is well known as one of the best public trail systems in the nation. In fact, Minnesota was voted Best Trails State in America by American Trails in 2010.
“As Gov. Dayton noted in his proclamation, Minnesota is home to an extraordinary state park and trail system with 230,000 acres of land and thousands of miles of trails to explore,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day provide great opportunities for Minnesotans to get away with family and friends to enjoy hiking, biking and a variety of other activities in the beautiful settings that have been preserved for current and future generations.”
For anyone in need of ideas, Nelson suggests 10 ways to spend National Trails Day:
Paddle a state water trail. The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Minnesota’s state water trails. The DNR’s new Guide to Minnesota State Water Trails features photos and descriptions of the 33 routes the DNR maps and manages for canoeing, kayaking and motor boating. Downloadable maps and other trip-planning information can be found at www.mndnr.gov/watertrails.
Bike one of Minnesota’s paved state trails. Itineraries for four recommended routes, all under 20 miles, can be found in the spring edition of the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Programs and Special Events catalog. Additional trip-planning information can be found at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/trailstartup.html.
Join a naturalist for a guided bicycle ride on the Central Lakes State Trail from 9 to 11 a.m. every first Saturday, beginning June 1 and continuing through Sept. 7. Bring a helmet and meet at Big Ole in Alexandria.
Run a 5K or 10K at Buffalo River State Park on Saturday, June 1. This annual trail run is co-hosted by the park and the Science Center at Minnesota State University – Moorhead. Race information and online registration is available at http://www.mnstate.edu/sciencecenter.
Check out a GPS unit at one of the 25 Minnesota state parks that loan them out for free and follow a trail to find a hidden geocache. Many parks offer interactive Geocaching 101 workshops. There’s one at Buffalo River State Park at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1. For more information about geocaching at Minnesota state parks, visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/geocaching/index.html.
Experience mountain biking at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, where there are 25 miles of single-track trails designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, including routes suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.
Visit the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/trail_detail.html?id=13/) in Gilbert, where 36 miles of OHV trails are now open seven days a week.
Go horseback riding in a Minnesota state park or state forest. Find a trail at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/horseback_riding/index.html.
Explore a Hiking Club Trail at a Minnesota state park, such as the three-mile loop around Pike Island at Fort Snelling State Park. Hiking Club trails are marked with special signs and have a password posted somewhere along the trail.
Ride an all-terrain vehicle in a Minnesota state forest or on one of the other recreational trails listed at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/index.html.
Many trails are within a stone’s throw of the state’s 5,400 fishing lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams so, in addition to hiking and biking gear, the DNR encourages trail users to consider packing a fishing rod or two.
“This is especially true for those who are visiting a Minnesota state park,” said C.B. Bylander, outreach chief for the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division. “In most state parks, residents can fish without a license, so they are perfect places to introduce someone new to fishing.”
If a fishing license is necessary, a 24-hour resident license is just $10, and a 72-hour license is only $12. Most of these licenses allow trout fishing with the purchase of a trout stamp.
Many state parks have fishing poles and tackle boxes that can be checked out from the park office at no charge. For more information about the state parks with free fishing opportunities, visit http://www.mndnr.gov
For more information about National Trails Day, visit http://www.americanhiking.org. For more information about state-managed trails, or to request one of the publications mentioned above, call the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit http://www.mndnr.gov/parksandtrails.
Looking for something to do this weekend? A wilderness canoe trip or a stay at Voyageur would prevent boredom as well as all of the other activities happening in and around Grand Marais.
Northern Landscapes Festival
North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN
Friday, May 31- 7:30pm at North House Folk School
Raptor Migration: Meet the Birds! with Erin Manning,
Animal Program Coordinator of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
All birds are not created equal when it comes to migration. Learn how raptors migrate, and why they do so. Meet 3 live raptors: a red-tailed hawk, a peregrine falcon and a great-horned owl. All of Wolf Ridge’s education raptors are permanently injured and cannot be released back to the wild. Hear their personal stories and find out what makes raptors unique in the migration world.
Saturday, June 1
Families of Birds: FREE Family Workshop
9:30 am-11:30 am meet at North House Folk School
Not only are bird families interesting, but birding as a family is fun too! Your family can learn about their families at this introduction to birding program. International Migratory Bird Day this year concentrates on life cycles, so we are going to look at bird family life and migration, along with some great tips for beginning birding. We’ll supply treats too to keep the young ones ‘cropped up’. Bring binoculars if you have them, some will be available for use. Families with kids of all ages (or with no kids!) are welcome; however, children must be accompanied by an adult. We’ll be going for a short hike, dress appropriately.
Pincushion Partnerships Provide Plenty of Peddling
From 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, June 1, Peddling at Pincushion, will provide an opportunity to learn about and explore the trail system at Pincushion Mountain near Grand Marais, MN. Many of the newly established single-track bike trails at Pincushion were built in recent years in partnership with the Superior Cycling Association, the Conservation Corps of Minnesota, and the Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow.
The Superior National Forest and Superior Cycling Association teamed up to offer this event in conjunction with National Trails Day. For contact information and directions see: http://www.americanhiking.org/events/peddling-at-pincushion/
Birding Walk at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, June 1st 7am with Ann Russ.
Birding for Spring Migrants Nature Walk at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center
Saturday, June 1, 7 a.m.
Join Ann Russ on Saturday, June 1 at 7 a.m. for a morning of birding, listening and watching for spring migrants on the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center grounds. Bring binoculars if you have them. No experience necessary. Ann has been birding in Cook County for thirty years and considers annual bird migrations one of life’s joys. Meet on Chik-Wauk front porch. Free and open to all. Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is located at 28 Moose Pond Drive, 55 miles up the Gunflint Trail. More information available from the museum at 218-388-9915.
Speaking of birds . . . check if the loon couple in the Chik-Wauk bay are sitting on their nest yet by visiting the live loon cam at www.chikwauk.com. The Chik-Wauk loon cam takes a new photo of the nest every fifteen minutes.
This year's Memorial Weekend was one people who visited Voyageur won't soon forget. The weather was gorgeous, fishing incredible and there were no bugs. Memories were made and fishing records broken.
The walleye fishing was terrific with many large ones being caught and released back into Saganaga Lake. A very large northern pike weighing around thirty pounds was also caught and released. Lots of lake trout of varying sizes were caught, some eaten and many released. It was better than good fishing and no snow flurries, rain or bugs to contend with.
Yep, this is a Memorial Weekend guests of Voyageur will surely remember.