Pure Hydration has supplied individual water purification products (IWPs) for military use for over 20 years, and today continues to offer advanced solutions for operations conducted in remote locations away from safe, secure sources of drinking water.

Two recent examples of field testing have reaffirmed the significant advantages provided to service personnel by genuinely fit-for-purpose M.A.D.® (Mechanically Advanced Disinfection) IWP equipment in the harsh environment of jungle operations,

In 2016 Pure Hydration supplied Crib Gogh Ltd. with a combined quantity of over 40 water bottle- and reservoir-based purification systems (respectively, the Survivor Ranger (pictured below) and Armour Weave reservoirs fitted with the Survivor InLine Purifier) for evaluation of their potential enhancement to dismounted deployments in a range of tropical environments. With the technical microbiological and chemical contaminant reduction performance of the common M.A.D.® purification platform already independently established, this trial was specifically intended to assess equipment in terms of such as its ease of use and durability in contribution to improved task effectiveness and dismount survivability on behalf of the U.K. MoD’s DSTL, and was primarily conducted by personnel from the Malaysian Armed Forces over a period of two weeks continuous use.

Pure Hydration Survivor Ranger individual water purifier IWP

The areas where the trial was carried out encompassed a variety of terrains, including primary and secondary rain forest (patrol speed 1 to 2 km/h and 200 m to 1 km/h), deciduous forest (2 to 5 km/h), and swamps (500 m to 1 km per day), and included rain-swollen river crossings.

The final full report is militarily restricted, but an issued summary permits the following reporting of the findings.

• [With regard to the Survivor Ranger] “Even in the dirty muddy jungle streams after heavy rainfall it worked amazingly well.”

• “The bottle functionality allowed a dismount to replenish his water with one hand [...]. The ability to be aware whilst topping up was seen as a step change by the team.”

• [With regard to the Armour Weave/InLine Purifier] “The Survivor Armour Weave Reservoir (3L) and Survivor In-Line combination was also outstanding.”

• [With regard to both systems] “Overall, the sheer durability of the build quality of these units was very impressive. [...] and no adverse effects were experienced from daily hydration and admin.”

• [When compared to other products] “The Survivor systems were tested alongside other devices, but all of the other water purification systems on trial rapidly became dead weight as we became accustomed to the straightforward simplicity of the Pure Hydration capability.”

• “Using filtration pumps and having to wait to replenish drinking water quickly became laborious. [...] having to assemble a unit, pump it or use batteries (not recommended in the jungle), they quickly became recognised as adding unwanted and unnecessary time to each of the routes laid out on the trial.”

• “The Ranger bottle and the bladder capability was by far the preferred option by the team and the most operationally effective kit on the trials.”

In late 2017, the findings of a smaller user trial of a M.A.D.® purification product were published online on the Survival / Bushcraft / Outdoor Experiences blog.  While there are numerous reviews of different water filters and purification technologies available on the internet, what makes this one stand out is that it was conducted during a Belgian military survival course by two SERE (the military acronym for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Extraction (or Escape)) instructors.  Professionally expert in what it takes to survive and operate in extreme environments, the information delivered by SERE personnel is relied upon by armed forces to not only develop and underpin the training of wider military numbers, but also to provide meaningful evaluation of survival equipment proposed for introduction across multiple service branches.

These images from the course, conducted in the rain forests of Gabon (which sits on the equator on the Atlantic coast of Central Africa), clearly depict the type of conditions that can be faced in the tropics, and the importance of using robust technologies that are engineered to maintain mission critical function in the production of safe drinking water.

SERE training in Gabon

SERE training in Gabon, where drinking water sources can risk serious microbiological infection and illness [Reproduced with kind permission of Philip Wouters]

Water sources used during training in Gabon

Water sources used during training in Gabon included stagnant pools and rivers [Reproduced with kind permission of Philip Wouters]

The Survivor 58 water bottle used in Gabon utilises the same integrated cap and M.A.D.® purifier module as the Survivor Ranger which can be a life-saver if you don’t know what’s in the water that you’re going to be drinking: .

M.A.D. purification modules protect against unseen contaminants in drinking water

The integrated water bottle cap and M.A.D. purifier for use with the Survivor 58 and Survivor Ranger, because it’s not just the obvious things you can see in the water that should make you avoid drinking it anywhere in the tropics [Reproduced by kind permission of Philip Wouters]

In addition to noting the technical reduction performance of the M.A.D.® purifier module (including the highly important factor for a jungle that “It filters VIRUSES”; not all products are equal in this respect), and the improved taste (“the water out of the dirty river was after filtering better than potable water”) the findings of this review echoed that of the Malaysian trial in terms of ease of use for military settings, stating

• “Very easy in use, just fill your bottle and drink. I have drunk about 4 to 5 litres a day.”

• “No waiting time : just fill your bottle, close it and you can drink directly”

• “Lightweight bottle”

• “Squeezable bottle”

• “Perfect fit in our chest webbing”

The conclusion to the posted report is As a SERE-Instructor with jungle experiences I really recommend the Survivor 58 water purifier when you go to an environment with potential virus danger in the water!”

The Survivor Ranger and the Survivor InLine Purifer (in a variety of configuration options) will be on display at SOFIC 2018, but if you’re not attending or can’t wait until May, please contact us to discuss your  requirements for individual water purification today.