The Lifesaver C2

A couple of short videos of the Lifesaver M1/C2 water purification system

Lifesaver is a British success story and a company I have followed for some time. The simplicity of the Lifesaver filtration systems belies their effectiveness and it would be easy to envisage greater military and HADR adoption.

The UK already has in service the water bottle and jerrycan models but not (I think) the bigger C2

Consider the cost of one of these in a FOB compared to delivering bottled water by Chinook.

Read more about Military Water Supply at the links below

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Brian Black
Brian Black
April 29, 2014 7:51 pm

It’s only about £1.50 a tonne through my tap. Be a while before I’m popping down to the river for a cup of tea.

Amazing products though.

April 30, 2014 12:54 am

I love this product and I can’t for the life of me think why we needed to be sending desalination plants to the Philipines when we could have just air dropped the small life saver bottles into affected areas.

Great British invention though.

April 30, 2014 9:20 am

Good for disaster areas with lots of water, but for FOBs it is limited by a single specific point. That it is a filtration system, not a water generation system. The water source still needs to come from somewhere, so a FOB by a river is probably ok, but one in the middle of nowhere? You’re better off shipping purified water direct instead of shipping in dirty water and purifying it there.

Still a nice system though, as long as you don’t oversell it. Like bringing this along instead of extra water. So what happens if you can’t find a source of water? Drink air? Or the extreme case, chuck urine into it?

April 30, 2014 9:40 am

Combine it with one of these:

And utilise them in larger sized PB’s, how much would you save in logistics over a 3 year period? they could also act as a distributor of water to smaller PB’s within their AO. Once your done and ready to pull out just cap the well or hand over to the locals.

April 30, 2014 9:56 am

TD, exactly why I said it was a nice piece of kit, if you don’t have overinflated expectations of what it can do. Things work best if you know the times it can help and the times it can’t.

DN is right in that my original thought for this was that it would work very well in a company level+ FOB by a river which supplies purified water to all the surrounding areas. Though technically if you did that, it would be considered a logistics base by then. You’ll still need the chooks and the water convoys though. And once you get to the point of vehicle parks and helipads for all the convoy logistics, an FOB it will not longer be, and a company will start to look a bit small to protect such assets. Operating base inflation happens quite often.

Still does not detract from the fact that under the right conditions, it is a nice piece of kit, if the filters don’t clog.

April 30, 2014 10:00 am

DavidNiven: right. We knew about this two millennia ago – catch the Romans building a fortified camp without a well or a watersource nearby. See how many mediaeval castles don’t have wells.

April 30, 2014 10:06 am


The last PB I was in on my last tour would have benefited from one of these and a well would have been very simple to drill as we were well within the water table of the Neb canal. From this PB we constantly sent out small patrols in vehicles to the surrounding smaller PB’s and CP’s which doubled as a small logistics bridge (That’s what the Husky and Wolfhound are good for), it would have just been a case of using the water from the PB rather than bottled water delivered from Bastion.

The filters weigh what 1KG? just throw them on the next copper in an emergency (if you’ve eaten through your spare filters that quickly maybe you should set up a small sedimentation tank prior to the Lifesaver)

April 30, 2014 10:25 am

DN, I’m not against this kit, I’m just cautioning that it is not a magic wand for all water troubles.

April 30, 2014 10:51 am

I know it’s not a magic wand, but at present the British army have been fighting 2 expeditionary wars and have failed to make any advances in power and water distribution. No Engineer recce Sgt or Officer is trained on identifying alternative power and water supplies to reduce the logistics burden. We have been spending millions on fuel to power generators and charge batteries in deserts and complaining about the heat! when solar power is mature and robust enough to help reduce our reliance on fuel.
There are Pico hydro generators designed by NGO’s for the developing world that can be built for less than US $150.00 to charge cell phones, provide lighting and charge batteries, the generator is designed to be made by artisans with basic skills. (another bit of technology that could have been utilised in Afghan)

All of this technology needs to be looked at if we are to be able to afford to have expeditionary operations in the future.

April 30, 2014 11:18 am
April 30, 2014 11:26 am

Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office
By 2025, we will deploy Marine Expeditionary Forces that can maneuver from the sea and sustain C4I and life support systems in place; the only liquid fuel needed will be for mobility systems which will be more efficient than systems are today.

– USMC Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan, March 2011

Does any one know if there is a UK equivalent?

April 30, 2014 11:32 am

“to charge cell phones”

What a strange new world we now all live in. :)

I remember when handphones first came out, there was a security flap in Israel over someone using it on his deployment to call for pizza. :P Now, it seems like everyone has one and can’t live without it.

DN, think that it is something worth looking into, though I’m not sure if the logistics burden would make it widely accepted. A fuel burning generator can be used everywhere and everywhen, so it is the standard fallback, if you start adding solar and hydro generators, you are going to increase logistics for something limited to a number of scenarios only. Think armies are looking more favourably into the “usable everywhere, everywhen” equipment, hence the old fossil fuels bias.

Pebble Bed Fission reactor anyone? :) Boiling water is not problem with enough power. Bwahahahaha!!!

April 30, 2014 11:54 am

Never repetitive, always informative.

The logistics burden would be minimal, most of these technologies are COTS and have been driven by both the private sector and NGO’s (Hippie’s in 70’s America even started to develop it). Any modern power management system fitted to a school or hospital could be integrated into a large PB of the shelf, solar panels require no maintenance at all, unlike a generator. The Pico hydro generator is developed from a Toyota alternator, so we could just utilise the alternator from the MAN wagons. We already have qualified trades people and equipment to set these systems up so no real extra training/funding required.

It’s just a case of identifying and leveraging from developed technology.

April 30, 2014 12:18 pm

DN, hopefully we’ll see some development there. If the disaster relief scope gets expanded, maybe the technologies will propagate from there.

There is also one thought I had with all the FOB talk. What do you do with all the biowaste? :) Dig, use, fill, dig again? Burn? Ship crap out? Use as fuel?

So far, I’m more used to the dig and bury system, though the base camp in Australia has a bio-composting system.

April 30, 2014 2:11 pm

Water from air
It seems if the FOB cannot have its own water source one of the new range of Water from air products could provide a source
This type uses electricity to work but I have read somewhere about Portable Trigeneration plants having water from air systems being added (In Australia I believe)

May 2, 2014 8:33 am

Graphene Solar cells, Get In! (Its like ISO porn for renewables fetishists ;-) )

Graphene Heats Up Race For Cheap Organic Solar Cells


May 2, 2014 11:11 am

Pencil lead for solar cells? :)

One layer is called graphene. Two or more layers is called graphite. Remember that. :P

April 27, 2015 5:45 pm

For one of my lectures I try to compare the cost of chinook charged with bottles vs. one or more Lifesaver C2.

As a civilian I don’t know very much about a chinook so it would be very great to have some answers to the following questions:

1) How many bottles of water fit into a chinook (and what kind of bottles are usually used 0,75L, 1,5L or what ever so that I can compare liters of bottles vs. liters of Lifesaver C2)?

2) How many Lifesaver C2 fit into a chinook?

3) You’re talking about Chinooks cost about £30k an hour. To have an example for my lecture does anyone know a sample distance between a chinook base and a disaster area at a disaster relief (e.g. base to Haiti, base to Nepal) and how long the flight will take? (So that I have a approximate cost estimate of the flight.)

Answers to these questions would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.