Two piece still alone $279
Top and bottom pots $80
Optional Stainless distiller tube $10
The Survival Still is a non-electric water
distiller that purifies water by boiling the water and
collecting only the pure steam (a process called distillation). The result; consistently pure water
from virtually any water source, without the use of filters. If you’re in an emergency, you can purify
water from your swimming pool, a stream, a lake, a mud puddle, rainwater off the roof, or even the
ocean, for as long as is needed. You do need a heat source capable of boiling the water.
What's needed to make this work is four
1. A heat source that is not shown in the picture below. This can be a simple wood fire, top of a
wood stove, an electric burner, a gas burner (nat gas or propane). The heat source brings to a boil
the water that is in the bottom most pot - the white pot shown below.
2. A pot that the contaminated water is contained in - the white pot shown below. This is the water
we need to bring to a boil and distill and turned into clean water.
3. The distiller itself; the middle piece in the picture below that has the Survival Still sticker on it.
4. The upper pot filled with cold water which condenses the steam in the distiller. The clean drinkable
water comes out the angled tube in the side of the distiller. When this water gets hot it should be
changed out for colder water as it is the cool water in this top pot that condenses the steam back into
The distiller is sold as a separate unit although you can order a top and bottom pot to go with it.
Optional stainless steel distiller tube
The Survival Still…
• Permanently supplies high-purity, sterile
• Extremely effective against all types of contaminants.
• Kills and removes bacteria, viruses and parasites.
• Is a permanent solution for purifying sea water.
• Does not need filters, maintenance, infrastructure or a supply chain.
• Distillation is recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross!
Early last year testing was done on on ocean water. The water was highly contaminated, yet with
one pass through the Survival Still, the water was better than 95% of all bottled waters on the market!
If you want to get technical, the ocean water started out with over 30,000 parts per million (ppm) of
contaminants (regular tap water is usually around 250 ppm) and ended up at only 6 ppm! This was a
99.98% removal! The important point to remember however is that these results will remain consistent
Question: How fast does the Survival Still produce safe drinking water?
Answer: The rate of production of the Survival Still depends upon amount of heat that is applied. Some heat sources are hotter than others. For example, you can bring water to a slow boil, or a rapid boil. The rate of the Survival Still typically ranges between 1 quart and 2 quarts per hour.
Question: What about solar power as a heat source for the Survival Still?
Answer: I apparently have a couple customers who use a solar cooker with the Survival Still, and they say that it works fine. The type of solar cooker that they use is the type that looks like a satellite dish. I don't have much experience with this though, but I will pass on their experiences in a future article on my blog.
Question: If I can't distill water to purify it, what's the next best way to go?
Answer (from the manufacturer) : The ranking of different processes is, distillation is the best, followed by boiling and then chlorination. Boiling and chlorination should be used after a filter, and you have to use your knowledge about the situation to determine what the best method is. For example, as you know from the class that we gave, you do NOT want to use boiling and chlorination on the West Virginia chemical spill.
The above is the Survival Still manufacturer's opinion. I would never drink chlorinated or fluoridated water.
My opinion would be to first use a Berkey Gravity filter as you see at www.potspansandfilters.com/berkey.htm as in the pic below, or use a gravity filter setup with a
Doulton filter as described at www.potspandandfilters.com/waterfilters.htm
Big Berkey above about $261
Question: What if you don’t
have enough fuel?
Answer: If you don’t have enough fuel to use a water distiller, you will have to resort to some other method, such as chlorine tablets. The question about fuel however, is often a matter of priorities. Often after a disaster situation, there is plenty of potential fuel around. Remember that the Survival Still can be used with any heat source, including a simple campfire, as long as it’s hot enough to boil water.
Question: What are your thoughts on water purification tablets?
Answer: If they are chlorine tablets, yes they are good. Chlorine tablets that are specifically made for disinfecting drinking water can in fact be better than liquid bleach, because it is a more stable form of chlorine. Chlorine tablets and/or bleach should definitely be part of your water prep kit. Remember however, that you MUST follow the instructions, and also remember the limitations of chlorine, ie. that it is only effective against biological contaminants.
From Ber - again chlorine tablets or bleach for me would be an absolute last resort.
Question: What is the shelf life of bleach?
Answer: First of all, let me remind you that you should only use basic, non-scented, non-color-safe bleach. The shelf-life of bleach is one year from the manufacture date. So how do you tell when a bottle of bleach was manufactured? I wrote to Clorox to ask them how their date code system works, and this is what they told me, “We follow the Julian date code system. An example of our code would be G18099. There may be other plant information that follows, but that is not important to the date of the product itself. The first two characters of the code will be the plant, in the example above that would be G1. The third character of the code is the year the product was manufactured. In the example above that would be 2008. The forth, fifth and sixth characters stand for the day of the year the product was manufactured on. In the example above that would be the ninety-ninth day of the year or April 8th.” Remember to keep the bottle sealed, and store it in the dark at room temperature (but it will still expire within 12 months).
Question: What is the best brand of bottled water to purchase?
Answer: Either Dasani (made by Coke) or Aquafina (made by Pepsi). Both brands are available all over the US, the water is pure, and they have good quality control systems in place. In addition, both companies have a strong interest in ensuring that they have a consistent quality product. I like these small bottles of water (half liter bottles), as opposed to the large 5-gallon bottles. The small bottles allow you to easily monitor how much water you are consuming. In addition, when you remove some water from a 5-gallon bottle, you expose the rest of the water to possible contamination. By having the small bottles, you use what you need, and keep the rest of the water sealed.
From Ber - However, normally bottled water is water filtered
by reverse osmosis. Okay occasionally but not a first choice in my opinion for
constant consumption. See my last faq comments at the bottom for why. You would
be far better off filtering your water using a Berkey .02 micron Black Filter,
or a Belkraft Slimline or Universal
filter with a 4 stage Doulton silver impregnated ceramic cartridge that covers
protozoa, all bacteria, and the silver kills any viruses, which are not a problem in the US or Canada; only like in
Africa where people consume water that has been contaminated with feces and
urine. See my pages at www.potspandandfilters.com/berkey.htm
Some additional points:
two-week supply of bottled water. One gallon per person per day (1/2 gallon
for drinking and ½ gallon for cooking, hygiene, etc.)
the water sealed and store it in a cool, dark location. Keeping it in glass
containers is much better than in plastic.|
Question: What is the downside
Answer: This answer is Ber's from potspandandfilters.com and disagrees with the owner of Survival Still. Distillation as well as reverse osmosis both share the same downside. The water is striped of all mineral content, therefore instead of obtaining minerals from the water your body will go after minerals in your cells and bones. I agree that minerals in drinking water are rocks and not plant minerals our bodies and cells like best. Short periods of time are not a problem but I would not consume either RO water or distilled water without running it through a coral calcium remineralizer element for use over the the long haul. I think of a distiller like the Survival Still as being an emergency means to obtain good drinking water; much like the Waterwise unit (about $400) not something I would use every day over the long haul; although you could. Just my opinion. Usually the cost of fuel using natural gas, propane, or electricity would make any distiller expensive to operate compared to a good filter set up like shown here. And yes, filters do need periodic replacement. Also see my page at www.detailshere.com/waterfilters.htm for further information on what it takes to filter out specific sized contaminants.
Bottomline: from Ber - I think the survival still (with two appropriate sized pots) should be a part of everyone's preparedness basics. Although there are more convenient ways to filter water such as the Berkey gravity filters or the Doulton ceramic filters; the survival still should always work if you have a heat source; even just a woodfire. I have one of each; a distiller as well as a gravity filter setup.
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