It is a pleasure to be writing a letter of praise for Siltsaver™ fabric, which we used extensively during a field expedition to a small cirque glacier in the Canadian Rockies this summer. Our group spent two months studying the motion and melt of the West Washmawapta Glacier, British Columbia, as part of a collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation. The group includes scientists from UC Berkeley, Macalester College, University of Alberta Edmonton and the United States Geological Survey. Over three field seasons, we hope to gain insight in the mechanics of small glaciers and how they are able to create cirques (the amphitheater shaped basins frequently found at the head of glacial valleys).
Our camp’s water supply is a small meltwater stream exiting the glacier, which carries silt-laden water and other organic detritus (algae, insects, etc.). We were concerned that consuming silt for two months would cause health problems and, accordingly, went in search of a filter system that 1) could process large quantities of water rapidly (our camp supports up to 8 researchers at a time), 2) is inexpensive, 3) would not clog quickly, and 4) is designed for macroscopic matter rather than microscopic contaminants such as giardia.
We first became aware of Siltsaver™ fabric a month before our expedition and immediately became excited by its potential. It met all the criteria listed above and came in sheets large enough that we could customize its size and shape for use in our camp. Ultimately, we used square sections ~50 em across to cover 5 gallon buckets, but other systems (say, over a Nalgene bottle) could easily be implemented if necessary.
By allowing us to avoid using microfilters, iodine, or boiling water, Siltsaver™ fabric saved us hours of work preparing water for consumption. It took less than 5 minutes to supply our entire water needs for three days. We are very grateful we discovered Siltsaver™ and highly recommend it to any outfit or organization that requires silt filters for outdoor activity .