How to Clean Water
60% of the human body consists of water. A person can typically live without air for 3 minutes, water for 3 days, and food for 3 weeks. Needless to say water is a great necessity for survival. Without some source of clean drinking water you may find yourself in dire straits. Pure clean water should be used to drink, cook, and wash with, (hygiene and washing dishes/other cooking supplies).
If you are in your home when an emergency situation arises you will want to check to see if you have water pressure. If you still have pressure you will want to fill up any container you can get your hands on with clean water. If you do not have pressure anymore, don’t fret there’s still ways you can access clean water.
Grand Pappy Info- has some great tips on how to get access to clean water using three sources:
1. Ice cubes in the freezer, and
2. Inside your water pipes, and
3. Inside the hot water heater.
Even if the water pressure is off, there is still some water inside the water pipes in your home or apartment. It can be drained from the water pipes (using gravity) by opening the LOWEST cold water faucet in your home, which will usually be on the first floor, or the basement, or outside. However, you will also need to open the highest cold water faucet in your home to allow air to enter the cold water pipes so the water can flow out the lowest water faucet into your collection container. This will drain all the water out of your cold water pipes but NOT your hot water pipes.
Most hot water heaters contain 40 gallons of clean water. However, BEFORE you you can access it you MUST turn off the power or turn off the gas to your hot water heater, or you could start a fire. Then open the faucet at the bottom of the water heater to gain immediate access to 40 gallons of reserve clean drinking water. This is enough emergency water to last a family of four for 20 days if they ONLY drink the water and don’t wash with it. This is the BEST source of reserve drinking water for the average family because it is constantly being used and replaced inside the hot water heater prior to the emergency. Therefore it will be fresh and clean at the beginning of an emergency. (Note: Some hot water heaters do NOT have an easy access water value at their base. Prior to an emergency you should take a look at your hot water heater and determine if you can get to the water inside your heater. If you can’t, then you might consider having a plumber install a standard water faucet value in the water line at the bottom of the hot water heater.)”.
There are many emergency drinking water storage containers such as the Water BOB that you can purchase and use in case of emergency. It holds up to 100 gallons of water and keeps it fresh up to 4 weeks. The idea is to fill it before the disaster strikes.
How to make sure that your water is safe to drink:
If the water is not coming from your kitchen faucet you will want to consider it unsafe to drink. Most water that is not coming from your kitchen faucet is contaminated with disease causing organisms; even if it looks clean.
The best way to make sure that all the contaminants are killed is to boil the water.
Water does not have to reach the boiling point to be safe to drink; just needs to reach 185 F (85 C). At this temp nearly all disease causing organisms have been destroyed. Boil water to be positive the water has reached the right temp and is hot enough to make it safe to drink.
Liquid Chlorine Bleach (5.25 % -6% strength).
When trying to purify clear water use 8 drops of bleach to 1 gallon of water. If water appears to be cloudy use 16 drops of bleach per gallon. Water needs to be room temperature for best results. Once you have added the bleach you will want to wait one hour for the bleach to kill all the tiny organisms. If you cannot detect a faint smell of bleach then you will want to repeat the process by adding in the drops of bleach and waiting another hour. After 2nd hour if you still do not smell faint bleach smell you will want to discard, because it contains to many contaminants. (If you are stock piling bleach for this purpose remember not to buy too much at a time; bleach only has around 6-9 month shelf life).
Calcium Hypochlorite Granules 68% (Chemical used to clean swimming pools):
These granules do not clean as efficiently as boiling water or chlorine bleach. The granules can kill bacteria and viruses, but not effective in neutralizing harmful chemicals or radioactive particles. Use pinch of granules into one gallon of water. After adding in the granules you will need to wait 1 hour. Once again if you can smell a faint chlorine smell then it is safe to drink. If you can’t detect a faint smell of chlorine you will want to discard; it is unsafe to drink. Calcium Hpochlorite Granules has a longer shelf life then liquid bleach.
Water Purification systems:
There are many purification systems that do a pretty effective job at purifying/eliminating contaminants. Typically the problem with purification systems is that they are expensive. One of my favorite water purification systems is the Berkey light. The system is designed for use during travel, outdoor activities, and in unexpected emergencies. The system can purify both treated and untreated raw water from sources such as streams and lakes.
Any disaster, whether large or small, may force us to go days, weeks or even possibly months without Your basic necessities. If you could not have access to them, would you be able to survive? Be prepared!
Any disaster, whether large or small, may force us to go days, weeks or even possibly months without food, water and or electricity. If you could not have access to treated water, would you be able to survive? Be prepared!
Berkley Light- http://www.prepare-to-survive.com/product/BL4X2-BB
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