Water, Water, Everywhere?
Today, what if...
...A disaster collapsed the pipes bringing water to your town?
...The water supply in your area became undrinkable? (i.e., May, 2010 – Boston was under a 3-day "boil water" order)
How long would you and your family be able to survive?
Your physical survival depends upon:
- STORE: How much drinkable water you have stored.
- PURIFY: How much water you can purify to use as drinkable water.
- SOURCE: How much water you can get (and purify) from other sources.
How to STORE drinkable water
- Buy good bottled water in heavy jugs or fill from tap food-safe plastic containers w/screw lids.
- Sanitize re-used containers first with 1 tsp. bleach in 1 qt. water. Shake jug, drain, and let dry 30 min.
- Store out of direct sunlight and rotate yearly .
- Use plastic milk containers (too thin, get brittle)
- Use a container that has ever contained a chemical
- Use glass (too heavy, breakable)
How to PURIFY unsafe water
- Chemicals: Kills disease-causing organisms but not chemical pollutants, leaves sediment. Here are two options:
- Water purification tablets (Aquamira - same as in municipal systems)
- Use unscented bleach with no additives!
- Gravity Filtration: Removes contaminants and sediment. No chemicals used. Filtration takes more time and equipment than chemicals. Some filters remove viruses and bacteria, others don’t. Filters and containers must be cleaned and/or replaced regularly.
Commercial Filters for Gravity Systems - Look for “NSF Certified” Filter recommended below will remove viruses, “bad” bacteria, foul tastes and odors, parasites, trihalomethanes, inorganic minerals, harmful organic compounds, heavy metals, sediments, and cloudiness.
- Black Berkey Water Filter – available as filter alone to use in homemade systems or in Berkey gravity water systems. Cleanable and useful for up to 3,000 gallons.
- Website with instructions on how to make your own gravity system with a Black Berkey Filter: www.alpharubicon.com/kids/homemadeberkeydaire.htm
- Boiling: Boiling kills disease causing organisms, but will not remove many chemical pollutants. Boil at least 5 min.
- Ultraviolet Light: Kills bacteria and viruses but does not filter out sediment or chemicals. Best to use with pre-treat filter. See www.steripen.com for an example.
Water SOURCES in an emergency
- Water pipes in the house:
- Turn off street supply (main valve)
- Open tap at the highest location in house
- Collect water at lowest tap in house
- Water heater (Here’s how: http://bit.ly/1jORon7 )
- Swimming pools (need to be treated and purified)
- Rain water (needs to be treated and purified)
- Rain gutters from roof
- plastic tarp placed over a hole or bucket
- Well Water (ground water) (needs to be treated and purified)
- Hand pump required (electricity may not be available)
- Build a Solar Still (Here’s how: http://bit.ly/1ldjB6V )