Safe Drinking Water from a Straw: Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System

Reader Contribution by Liam Kivirist and Jdi Enterprises
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When an emergency strikes, basic human needs like food, water and shelter become a priority. Access to safe drinking water should be top priority, to avoid exposure to potentially contaminated water and waterborne diseases. Even in countries where most homes are connected to municipal water supply or private wells, these systems require power to operate. Severe weather and other emergencies can take out power to a well’s pump for extended periods of time, quickly leaving homes dry and their residents facing possible death due to dehydration. It’s widely understood that we can only go no more than three to seven days without safe drinking water or liquids. In places where it’s hot or humid, far less time than that, especially if you’re exerting yourself.

Having a stash of bottled water can be extremely valuable, but this requires preparation and only provides a limited supply of clean drinking water. What if there was an easy, lightweight and reusable way of safely filtering water in an emergency or while participating in outdoor activities like wilderness hiking and camping?

The Micro Squeeze water filtration system by Sawyer utilizes a simple pressure-based filter system to allow for the removal of 99.99999% of bacteria like salmonella, cholera and E. Coli and 99.9999% of protozoa such as cryptosporidium and giardia. All of this is accomplished without the need for electricity, batteries, chemicals, replacement cartridges, or bulky equipment.

The key to the Micro Squeeze’s effective water filtration is their unique hollow fiber membrane technology. The Micro Squeeze features a cluster of micro-fibrous tubes rated for 0.1-micron filtration that captures any harmful bacteria and protozoa and allows the safe water to pass through the filter. Despite the high level of filtration, the Micro Squeeze still manages to achieve a high flow rate that’s very practical for quickly refilling water bottles or developing clean water for cooking.

Using the Sawyer Micro Squeeze is as easy as filling up the included 32 fluid ounce pouch with water, screwing on the Micro Squeeze Filter and gently compressing the filled pouch to push the water through the filter and out the nozzle into a clean glass or container. The process takes only a couple of minutes and nominal effort to refill a personal water bottle.

The Micro Squeeze Filter uses standard narrow mouth water bottle threading and can also be mounted directly to a water bottle or even used with the included straw attachment to filter directly. Originally designed for rugged campers, backpackers, and thru-hikers, the Micro Squeeze is built sturdy for its size, has an estimated lifetime of 100,000 gallons of filtration, and includes a small backwash plunger for easy cleaning and field maintenance.

This hollow fiber membrane technology enables the Micro Squeeze to safely filter water while retaining a remarkably portable size and light weight. In comparison with many other more bulky and hefty traditional water filtration systems, the Micro Squeeze is smaller than most flashlights, easily screws onto the included pouch or external water source and filters water without the need for electricity or chemical tablets, all while maintaining a remarkably light unit weight of only two ounces. For preppers, this item could be in every bug-out bag. For rural homesteaders or city residents, it’s peace of mind.

Liam Kivirist is a tech writer, drone pilot, computer hardware geek, fledgling programmer and freelance web developer. Based on a small organic farm in rural southwestern Wisconsin, Liam marries his deeply rooted love of the outdoors, food, and camping with his passion for technology. Connect with Liam onTwitter, at and

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