Survival Still FAQ


These are the top questions that we have received about the Survival Still.

emergency water distillerWhat is the Survival Still?

The Survival Still is a new emergency water purifier that allows you to provide your family with a unlimited supply of safe, high-purity water in an emergency. The Survival Still is the single most effective emergency purifier on the market and is the only product that is so effective that you can even turn ocean water into high-purity drinking water, forever! With the Survival Still, your family will be completely water-independent in an emergency for as long as needed.


Why should I own a Survival Still?

In an emergency, having safe drinking water for your family could be a matter of life or death!

The US and other developed countries have very good water infrastructure, but when an emergency happens, such as a hurricane, earthquake or even terrorism this infrastructure can be damaged or destroyed. If the infrastructure in your city is damaged or destroyed, or if the power goes out for an extended period of time, there is a good chance that the water coming from your tap could be dangerously contaminated – sometimes for weeks or even months.

emergency distiller

Your life and the life of your family members depends upon the availability of safe drinking water – it’s a fundamental need. Without a supply of safe drinking water you can quickly become ill and not be able to protect and provide for your family when they need it the most.

While storing bottles of water may be an adequate solution for a short period of time, stored water can quickly be exhausted during an emergency. There is no guarantee that the crisis will be short term or isolated to a small, localized area, nor is there a guarantee that the government will be able to promptly respond to help people.

The Survival Still will allow your family to become completely water-independent during an emergency for as long as is needed – for weeks, months, or even years. In an emergency, the Survival Still will be the most important thing that you own. It will allow you to protect your family when they need it the most. The Survival Still will save your life, but only if you buy one and store it away BEFORE an emergency happens. After an emergency is too late.


What makes the Survival Still different than other emergency drinking water solutions?

The Survival Still is by-far the best emergency water purification system on the market. The Survival Still…

  1. Meets the American Red Cross and FEMA recommendations for treating water in an emergency, while most emergency water treatment systems do not.
  2. Uses the process of distillation, which is the most effective process for treating water, while most systems use the less effective process of filtration.
  3. Was designed by one of the leaders in the industry. The development took over 10 years and hundreds of prototypes.
  4. Converts ocean water into high-purity water, forever. No other product on the market can make this claim.
  5. Is the only emergency water purifier that has a lifetime warranty and a lifetime performance guarantee.
  6. Produces consistent purity, forever.
  7. Does not need filters or electricity and is virtually maintenance free.
  8. Provides a PERMANENT supply of high-purity, sterile drinking water.
  9. Provides the highest degree of protection from the widest range of possible contaminants, including biological contaminants, toxic metals, radioactive contaminants and petrochemicals.
  10. KILLS AND REMOVES bacteria, viruses and parasites, forever.
  11. Is a single global solution for water problems.
  12. Gives you the means to keep your family healthy and safe in an emergency.
  13. Gives you the means to help other people and be a good neighbor.
  14. Eliminates the worry over finding a safe source of water, because you can use virtually any water source, even the ocean.


Emergency water filterWhat is distillation?

The Survival Still uses the process of distillation, which duplicates nature’s hydrologic cycle.

Think about this basic question, where does fresh water come from? What is the source of all lakes, rivers, streams, glaciers and even underground aquifers? The answer: rain (and snow). So where does rain come from? Rain comes from the oceans, which are highly contaminated. Nature purifies water through the process of 1) evaporation, 2) condensation and 3) precipitation.

Here’s how it happens. The sun provides heat to the oceans, which causes the water to evaporate. When water changes from a liquid to a vapor it let’s go of the contaminants. The salt and other contaminants stay behind in the ocean while the water vapor is very pure water. The pure water vapor then rises and condenses into clouds. The clouds move inland and release the water as precipitation. Rain is very pure water.

This process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation is water’s built-in purification method. This process never changes, so it will produce the same high-quality water without deterioration in water quality over time.

water distillationIs distilled water safe to drink?

Absolutely. In fact it’s the safest water to drink because it is as clean as possible. I have been drinking only distilled water for the past 30 years, and I will continue to consume it for the rest of my life. I will explain distilled water in depth in another article, but here are a couple points to consider…

First of all, there is no such thing as distilled water. Water is water. The difference between different types of water is the contaminants that are in the water, so water exists in different degrees of purity. Rain water, for example, is very pure. The term “distilled” water simply refers to the method that was used to clean the water. Of course it is safe to drink pure water.

Second, while I consume distilled water every day (and I recommend that everyone do the same), the main point of this article is to address water in an emergency. In an emergency you should not concern yourself with ANY other point other than the safety of your water. Don’t get caught up thinking about alkaline, clustered, structured, living, magical, or any other types of water. Distillation is the absolute safest way to clean dangerously contaminated water.


Red Cross water recommendations

Click to download the Red Cross Pamphlet

Distillation is recommended by the American Red Cross.

There are many different technologies for cleaning water, but not all technologies can be used during an emergency situation. There are two primary official documents that instruct people how to treat water during an emergency; the first document is published jointly by FEMA and the American Red Cross and the second is published by the American Water Works Association. Both documents instruct people that there are only three treatment methods that can be relied upon during an emergency; the first method is prolonged boiling of water, the second is chemical disinfection and the third method is distillation.

Of the three treatment methods recommended, distillation is the only process that…

  • Produces high-purity water,
  • Is effective at removing toxic metals, radioactive contaminants and petrochemicals.
  • KILLS AND REMOVES biological contaminants.
  • Desalinates ocean water.


water distillation

Click to enlarge

How Does the Survival Still Work?

The Survival Still is designed to be used in conjunction with two standard cooking pots that you have in your home. So here’s how it works…

  1. The Bottom Pot: You put the water that you want to purify into a standard soup pot and put it on a heat source such as a propane grill, camping stove wood burning stove, electric stove or even a camp fire (it can be any heat source that boils water and offers a stable surface for the Survival Still). Bring the water to a boil, which kills bacteria, parasites, and other biological contaminants in the water. The boiling water then changes into pure steam, which then enters the Survival Still, while the contaminants are left behind in the boiling pot.
  1. The Survival Still: The Survival Still is placed on top of the bottom pot. The Survival Still separates splashes of contaminated water from the pure steam. Splashes of contaminated water drop back down into the bottom pot, while the pure steam travels up to come in contact with the bottom of the top pot.
  1. The Top Pot: Another pot that is full of water sits on top of the Survival Still. When the pure steam rises it comes in contact with the cool surface on the bottom of the top pot, and instantly condenses back into liquid water. These droplets of pure distilled water then drip down onto a collection tray and then flow through a tube to a separate storage container.


How Effective is the Survival Still?

We have had the Survival Still tested by a couple third-party testing laboratories. We have tested ocean water that started with over 30,000 parts per million (ppm) of total dissolved solids, which is extremely contaminated water (as a comparison, your tap water probably has 250 – 300 ppm). With one pass through the Survival Still, the total dissolved solids were reduced to 6 ppm. These results are fantastic! In addition, it received a perfect rating for removal of biological contaminants (we have never received a less than perfect rating for biological removal). We also had the Survival Still tested by the University of Nebraska for removal of uranium, and we received a greater than 98% removal.

Since the Survival Still uses the process of distillation, these results will be consistent for the life of the system (the Survival Still has a lifetime warranty).


Are all water distillers as effective as the Survival Still?

No. Not all distillers are the same. The Survival Still has been carefully designed over many years by one of the leading experts in the distillation industry. While the Survival Still seems like a simple product, it is actually quite sophisticated. Every bend and curve has a very specific purpose. It has no moving parts, no welds, and nothing that can break, which is hugely important in an emergency.

One of the most important features on the Survival Still is what is called the “baffle”, which is a design feature that separates the splashes of contaminated water from the pure steam. Distillation involves boiling, which can create strong splashes of water. If you are starting with dangerously contaminated water, even one drop of contaminated water can ruin an entire batch of distilled water. The Survival Still, however, has an extremely effective baffle.

While distillation seems like a simple process, there are a number of key features that must be taken into account in order to create an extremely reliable, effective distiller that can be used on dangerous water. We have the expertise and the passion to create the best possible water distiller. We use the best materials and we care deeply about providing the best possible product.

There are people who have slapped together a pressure cooker and a coil and they sell this as an emergency water distiller, but they don’t really understand how to make a water distiller, nor do they care that they could be putting people’s lives in jeopardy. In addition, there are people on YouTube that show you how to make a water distiller, but they also don’t know what they are talking about (for example, don’t use copper in a water distiller).


Can pool water be used in the Survival Still?

Yes, pool water can be used with a Survival Still. As can lake water, pond water, ocean water, etc. Of course, you should always start with the cleanest, safest source of water that is available to you.


survival water

Did you say the Survival Still can be used for salt water?

Yes. The Survival Still is the only product on the market that can claim to turn ocean water into high-purity drinking water forever.


How does the Survival Still remove VOCs?

VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, and other contaminants have a lower boiling point than water and in some distillers these contaminants can pass over with the steam. The Survival Still takes care of this problem in a very simple way. Bring the water in the bottom pot to a full rolling boil BEFORE you place the Survival Still and top pot on the bottom pot. This allows those contaminants that have a lower boiling than water to vent away before you start capturing the steam.


What maintenance does the Survival Still require?

Very little. After you are done using the Survival Still, simply disassemble it, wipe it down with a clean, damp rag and then dry it off and store it.


How long can the Survival Still be used to produce clean drinking water?

The Survival Still can be used every day for long periods of time, even indefinitely.


How fast does the Survival Still produce distilled drinking water?

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 is typically around 1 quart per hour, but we have generated water at a rate of 2 quarts per hour on very hot heat sources.


Is the Survival Still perfect?

The Survival Still is the most effective product on the market, but it is not perfect. There is no water treatment process (or other process for that matter) that is perfect. Nor is there any such thing as 100% pure water.


Does the Survival Still require electricity?

No. Most distillers require electricity, but the Survival Still does not. Instead it can use many different types of heat sources.


What type of heat sources can I use with the Survival Still?

The Survival Still can be used on many different heat sources, such as a wood-burning stove, a campfire, propane grill, camp stove, or electricity. The primary criteria for a heat source is that the heat source needs to be able to boil water, and it has to provide a stable and level platform for the Survival Still.


What about solar power as a heat source for the Survival Still?

We 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.


Is the Survival Still a good solution for producing high-purity distilled water every day?

The Survival Still is optimized for use in emergency situations. So, for example, it has no moving parts because moving parts could break, which would make it useless in an emergency.

For use in your everyday, non-emergency life you would probably want something that is more convenient. There are automatic or semi-automatic water distillers on the market (which require electricity) that are optimized for creating pure drinking water in a convenient way. My father has a business that produces water distillation appliances that you can use every day. These systems are the best on the market and are very reasonable priced. If you are interested in learning more about my family’s products, please click here. Also, if you are going to purchase a distiller from them, use the coupon code 327417 in order to get $50 off of your purchase.


survival filterIs the Survival Still a viable option in Third World Countries?

Our original purpose for designing the Survival Still was to help people in third-world countries. Click here to see a video I made in 2011 of a previous version of the Survival Still.

Missionaries and travelers to these countries should absolutely use a Survival Still. It can also be used by any family to produce high-purity water, but we don’t feel that the Survival Still is ready for large-scale introduction into third-world countries yet.

The largest issue right now is the energy that is required for prolonged boiling. Another issue is the cost of the unit. We are working on both issues with the goal of introducing a single-global solution that will provide the people of the world with safe drinking water.

We believe that we can develop a distillation-based, energy-free solution that can truly help millions of people. Imagine a product that is distributed to large numbers of people that can allow people to have a permanent supply of high-purity water from ocean water, mud holes and other dangerous sources of water. This would be a single global solution for treating any water. We believe that we will have a solid solution for Third World countries within five years.

Right now, we are focused on selling the Survival Still so we can fund continued research.


water distillerDoes the Survival Still come with pots?

The Survival Still does not typically come with pots, because it is designed to be used with the pots you already have at home. The bottom pot should provide a stable base and should have a diameter no smaller than 9″ and an outer diameter no larger than 11″. The top pot should have a bottom diameter no smaller than 8 5/8″ and no greater than 9 5/8″. The top pot should be made of stainless steel, be clean on the bottom and hold at least 8 to 12 quarts of water. The bottom pot does not need to be stainless steel, but it needs to be configured so that the handles are below the rim of the pot so they don’t interfere with the way the Survival Still sits on top of the pot.

You may purchase pots designed for the Survival Still here.


What is the top pot for?

The top pot is an integral part of the Survival Still because it converts the steam back into liquid water. When the steam comes in contact with the cool surface on the bottom of the top pot, it instantly condenses into liquid water and drips down onto the Survival Still and flows out the stainless steel tube into a collection vessel.


emergency filterWhere is the Survival Still made?

We are very happy to say that the Survival Still is hand-crafted in the USA by workers who really care about the quality of product that they produce.


What is the warranty?

We are so confident in the quality of design and construction of the Survival Still that we offer a lifetime warranty and a lifetime performance guarantee (click here to see full warranty).