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Aquamira water treatment

I notice REI sells Aquamira water treatment, so I assume it's a safe product. I am using it treat 5-gallon water jugs for storage.  (

I mixed it outside, and noticed a strong smell after the reaction, which I understand is the chlorine dioxide gas. I did my best to avoid it, but still got whiffs of it as I was treating my water. Is this dangerous? How do you use this product safely?


9 Replies

Simply stated, it's safe. As to the smell/taste, you can either let it stand a while, pour the water back-and-forth several times between [clean] containers, or you can add a citrus mix (ie. Tang).

For more info' see my previous post at:


@goldbren I find it much simpler to simply put tap water directly into clean containers (I prefer smaller than five gallons), cap securely and store in temperate, dark conditions. No additives at all.  When used, if I am suspicious, bring to a boil and make coffee or tea (something I am likely to do anyway).

I have around fifty gallons stored in this manner.  I checked the supply a few months ago and everything was fine.

I save the water treatment chemicals for "wild water" encountered when out and about, especially if there is use or occupation in the watershed above the collection spot.

This may run counter to a lot of conventional advice, but then I am a bit of a heretic.....

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

LOL, "heretic." Ya, this is getting more into prepping than hiking, etc. As to the latter, I normally prefer to use 3 or 4 750ml water bottles than, for instance, than a 5 gallon water bottle/bladder/tank! I have two exceptions, those are when I trek around the desert (and I don't expect to see any water sources, or when I paddle out on the ocean. For those occasions, I have a 10 liter MSR bladder.

As to prepping, it SHOULD be kept Reasonable! (based on the LIKELY type of emergency you anticipate in your area!!) On that point, if city services are knocked out, they are likely to be reestablished within 3 days, so 3 or 4 day's water should suffice (longer than that and you probably have bigger problems).

As to current events, it's unlikely (in the EXTREME) a global pandemic, like C-19, will cut off your water! If that's where you're going with this, CLAM THE HECK DOWN. C-19 will be here in the Fall and it will be here next year. In fact, it will be here as long as it takes to develop a vaccine AND vaccinate everyone (possibly a year and a half). So relax and take a hike.


I prefer to keep reasonable quantities of water and other stores on hand because you never know.  We had to evacuate from the Thomas fire a couple of years ago and it was nice to reach into my stash and throw a couple of bottles into the car, next to my hiking pack and other assorted gear, and leave.

The real  reason for having water handy is the real possibility of the Big One -a serious M7 or more earthquake which will disrupt services and urban life over a wide area for a long period of time.  These events are currently unpredictable, unlike wild fires, which are somewhat predictable.  Whatever the circumstances, you never outgrow your need for potable water.

The original poster's five gallon containers for storage sounds like reasonable action to me, although I prefer smaller jugs (much easier to handle)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Ah, okay. Then in that case, one should plan on at least one liter per person per day. Double that if you consider cooking and cleaning. Until they come up with dehydrated water, we have no other choice.

I'm in California, so of course, earthquakes are a possibility here. But in areas where flooding is a possibility, a water disaster adds a whole new dimension to "preparedness"! In that case, an emergency plan includes a stay at a hotel or friend's/relative's house out of the area AND enough money to hold/reestablish yourself after several months!

In backpacking, I use multiple water bottles because what will you do if you only have one bladder/bottle and it springs a leak?! In the backcountry, gear has to be dependable and/or durable!


Hi @goldbren , just out of curiosity, why are you treating city water/tap water (that's what it sounds like), even from a well it should be fine.  Are you getting the water from a pond or creek?

REI Member Since 1979

I suppose it's possible that, DURING a disaster, the water system can become contaminated. But, NOW?


Now is as good a time as any for an earthquake to strike, with an instant disruption of infrastructure. Recall the policeman, responding to the Northridge quake, who rode his motorcycle into a collapsed overpass and died.A colleague of mine, stationed on Anacapa Island, had a great view of that wave proceeding through Ventura County, its passage marked by exploding transformers.  I was sleeping on San Miguel Island on an upper bunk and noticed a lively shaking.

The aftermath of a really large quake would be a situation where you don't have to go to the wilderness, the wilderness will come to you, with massive disruption of utilities, roads, and communications  I anticipate that I will basically camp out on my property using my outdoor gear and supplies until the dust settles.  Presuming I escape significant injury, I will be able to work with my neighbors and get us through the mess.

BTW, one liter per day is essentially a bare minimum, assuming little or no physical activity.  Giveneven moderately strenuous work, four times that amount is more likely.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

No, I meant "now" as in, "... you want to treat water NOW/BEFORE there's an immediate need?" And yes, "bare minimum" is what I meant by "at least."

In any case, sure, why not? Why couldn't/wouldn't an earthquake hit during this C-19 pandemic?! Some people say, "Well, it's been a while since the last one, so we're due", but that's NOT how earthquakes work! They happen when enough pressure has built-up between the plates, not as an operation over time. But, since we can't predict precisely when a natural disaster will strike, it's prudent to take basic preparedness steps so one is not caught 'flatfooted.'

I prepare for my next outing during the last outing (by making notes and plans). When I get back, I put clothes in the wash and repack everything as I inspect every item, then shop for replacement/upgraded gear if needed. As I do my grocery shopping, I slowly repack my rations, etc. So, my pack is often ready to go, this makes for a handy "bug-out bag" OR "bug-in bag" as the case may be.

My "prepping made easy" approach involves just stocking some empty shelves with canned goods and a case (or two) of drinking water. A handy trick, regarding water, is a bathtub-sized water bladder which I consider a SMART idea! As soon as you learn of an emergency, it takes only minutes to fill it as a back-up reservoir.