Water Storage In Your Preps And Treatment Of Water


Water is the most critical item to store in your preparedness plan. You can store water by adding cases of bottled water, 55 gallon drums, or do you use a well on your property what can be used for extracting water in the case of emergency.

My personal property has two different wells, one that is 90 feet deep that runs the main household and then a 30 foot hand dug well than can be used in an emergency. The water can be removed by a battery or gas powered pump or even scooped out by using a well bucket.  Not everyone will have access to water as easily, especially in a urban area. So stockpiling will be critical in those areas when people are dependent on city provided water.

I also keep a combination of bottled water and 55 gallon drums that are treated with chlorine bleach.

FEMA recommends

Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in an
emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least two
quarts (half gallon) of water each day. People in hot environments,
children, nursing mothers, and ill people will require even more.
You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store
at least one gallon per person, per day. Consider storing at least a
two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you
are unable to store this quantity, store as much as you can.
If supplies run low, never ration water. Drink the amount you need
today, and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount
of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool
are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not
use glass containers, because they are heavy and may break.
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and
water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
Additionally, for plastic soft drink bottles, sanitize the
bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented
liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart (1/4 gallon) of
water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it
touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly
rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. (If your
water utility company treats your tap water with chlorine,
you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it
clean.) If the water you are using comes from a well or
water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops
of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to each
gallon of water.
Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be
careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of
it with your fingers. Write the date on the outside of the
container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a
cool, dark place.
Replace the water every six months if not using
commercially bottled water.
HIDDEN WATER SOURCES IN YOUR HOME
Safe water sources in your home include the water in your hot-
water tank, pipes, and ice cubes. You should not use water from
toilet flush tanks or bowls, radiators, waterbeds, or swimming
pools/spas.
You will need to protect the water sources already in your home
from contamination if you hear reports of broken water or sewage
lines, or if local officials advise you of a problem. To shut off
incoming water, locate the main valve and turn it to the closed
position. Be sure you and other family members know beforehand
how to perform this important procedure.
To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning
on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of
water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in
the home.
To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or
gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the
water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and
turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas
or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, a professional will be
needed to turn it back on.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCES

If you need to find water outside your home, you can use these sources.
Be sure to treat the water according to the instructions on the next page
before drinking it.
Rainwater
Streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water
Ponds and lakes
Natural springs
Avoid water with floating material, an odor, or dark color. Use saltwater
only if you distill it first. You should not drink flood water.
are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not
use glass containers, because they are heavy and may break.
PREPARING CONTAINERS
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and
water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
Additionally, for plastic soft drink bottles, sanitize the
bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented
liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart (1/4 gallon) of
water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it
touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly
rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
FILLING WATER CONTAINERS
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. (If your
water utility company treats your tap water with chlorine,
you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it
clean.) If the water you are using comes from a well or
water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops
of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to each
gallon of water.
Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be
careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of
it with your fingers. Write the date on the outside of the
container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a
cool, dark place.
Replace the water every six months if not using
commercially bottled water.
WAYS TO TREAT WATER
The instructions below are for treating water of uncertain quality in
rare emergency situations in the absence of instructions from local
authorities when no other reliable clean water source is available
and you have used all of your stored water. If you store enough
water in advance, you will not need to treat water using these or
other methods.
In addition to having a bad odor and taste, contaminated water can
contain microorganisms (germs, bacteria, and viruses) that cause
diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis. You should treat
all water of uncertain quality before using it for drinking, food
preparation, or hygiene.
There are many ways to treat water, though none are perfect. Often
the best solution is a combination of methods.
Boiling or chlorination will kill most microorganisms but will not
remove other contaminants such as heavy metals, salts, and most
other chemicals. Before treating, let any suspended particles settle
to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towel, clean
cloth, or coffee filter.
BOILING
Boiling is the safest method of treating water. In a large pot or kettle,
bring water to a rolling boil for 1 full minute, keeping in mind that
some water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.
Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by
pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers. This
will also improve the taste of stored water.
CHLORINATION
You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use
only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent
sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or
bleaches with added cleaners. Because the potency of bleach diminishes
with time, use bleach from a newly opened or unopened bottle.
Add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let
stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor. If it
doesn’t, then repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still
does not smell of bleach, discard it and find another source of water.
Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products (sold
in camping or surplus stores) that do not contain 5.25 to 6.0 percent
sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.
DISTILLATION
While the two methods described above will kill most microorganisms
in water, distillation will remove microorganisms that resist these
methods, as well as heavy metals, salts, and most other chemicals.
Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that
condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt
or most other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie
a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-
side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dan
gling into the water), and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water
that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled. (See illustration
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