Water …you cant live without it!!
Water is very important so I am told. It may have something to do with that “if you want to live” kinda thing so I suppose it should rank pretty high on the gotta have list. So many people believe that if they have a case or two of water that they can survive any given scenario. This is true if it’s a quick and relatively small emergency occurence like power outage for people with wells and some city water providers. Many believe that is enough after all they are prepared. What happens if the grid failure last longer than the water you have put back? So we have put together some basics for you and hope this will give you a better understanding of your water needs and preparations.
1 pint per day per person for a minimum ration (1-2 weeks max) 1 gallon per person per day for drinking 4 gallons per person per day for drinking, hygiene, washing dishes, etc 5-12 gallons per person per day for a conventional toilet. Do you have enough? hows that 2 cases of bottled water looking now? Let’s move on with some possibilities of when the water supply runs out.
In order to kill all the bacteria and viruses in the water, be sure the water is at a FULL boil for at least 15 minutes AND add 5 minutes to the boiling time for every 1,000 feet you are above sea level. Less time, and you’ll not necessarily kill all the harmful germs. Boiling water is a safe practice with water that was fresh and safe when stored in bottles. But boiling will not kill spores.
CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE – AKA BLEACH
BLEACH FROM POOL SHOCK
Calcium hypochlorite should be the only active ingredient and nothing else. If so, make a disinfectant solution by mixing one-half teaspoon of the dry chlorine into 2-1/2 quarts of clear water until it is dissolved. Don’t drink it, but use one cup of this solution to disinfect five gallons of clear water. If the water is cloudy or cold, use two cups in five gallons. Stir well and let sit for thirty minutes before using. When the time is up, the water should smell faintly of chlorine. If it doesn’t, add another cup of solution, stir and wait fifteen minutes. Could use Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione.
Some say i’ll just use bleach. Well, Since liquid chlorine bleach loses strength over time, fresh bleach should be used as a water disinfectant. If the Emergency Water Supply bleach is a year old the amount should be doubled. Two-year-old bleach should not be used as a water disinfectant.
TECHNICAL DIRECTIONS FOR BLEACH
One would want to use a test kit to measure residual chlorine in the water and maintain the level between 0.3 and 1ppm after initial treatment. To treat water, chlorine is added until the level is at least 0.5ppm after a one hour contact time. It is critical that the chlorine have time to interact with the water and some method of stirring the water during treatment must be employed. Once the water has had time to interact with the chlorine, there will be levels of combined chlorine in the form of chlorides and “free” residual chlorine. Presence of residual chlorine indicates that the water is saturated enough with chlorine that any microbes/contaminants present will continue to be oxidized.
QUICK DIRECTIONS FOR BLEACH
1. Filter water through cloth or coffee filter.
2. Rolling boil for 15 minutes (1 minimum). +5 minute (1 minimum) for every 1000 ft elevation.
3. Let cool completely or chlorine will not work. this is an important note because to much heat will render the chlorine inert.
4. 16 drops per gallon (8 per 2 liter) of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (household non-scented bleach)
5. Let stand 30 minutes.
6. If it smells of slight chlorine you can use it. If it does not, retreat asdirect. If it still doesn’t smell like bleach something is wrong. Your water is really bad or your bleach is old/mixed incorrectly.
7. You can leave the water out/aerate it to help kill the chlorine taste. All free chlorine should evaporate in 24 hours if left open.
There are inherent issues in using iodine but If you don’t have bleach, but do have tincture of iodine you may use it to disinfect water. The label should say that it is “2% US Pharmacopoeia (USP) strength”. Add eight drops of iodine to every quart of clear water, stir and wait fifteen minutes before using. If the water is cloudy or cold, add eight drops and wait thirty minutes before using.
No we aren’t talking moon shine but the same kinda principles apply. Distillation of water involves boiling the water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and 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 dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled. Distillation will remove microbes, heavy metals, salts, most other chemicals, and radioactive dust and dirt, called radioactive fallout. Filtering will also remove radioactive fallout. (Water itself cannot become radioactive, but it can be contaminated by radioactive fallout. It is unsafe to drink water that contains radioactive fallout.) You can also make a solar still and we will discuss this in a later “HOW TO” article. So Now any good prepper wont just clean the water on a per use basis so what about storing the water for later use? Read on my inquisitive friends.
Killing bacteria in water using the power of the sun
1. Rinse the bottles with tap water to clean them. Remove the labels. If the bottles are heavily scratched or marked do not use them.
2. Fill two thirds of each bottle with dirty water. Screw on the caps and shake each bottle for 20 to 30 seconds to improve oxygen saturation. Fill each bottle to the top with dirty water and screw on the caps.
3. Place the corrugated iron sheet on the ground outside. Position it where it has greatest exposure to the sun. Lay the bottles horizontally on their sides on the metal. For best results, the bottles should follow the ridges of the sheet.
4. Leave the bottles for six hours if it is a sunny day. If there is more than 50 percent cloud cover, leave the bottles for two days. After the allotted time the water will be ready to drink
there are additional resources as to “HOW TO” all over the internet take a little time doing research on this very important matter.
Before storing your water, treat it with a preservative, such as chlorine bleach, to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Use liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite and no soap. Some containers warn, “Not For Personal Use.” You can disregard these warnings if the label states sodium hypochlorite is the only active ingredient and if you use only the small quantities in these instructions.
1. Add four drops of bleach per quart of water (or two scant teaspoons per 10 gallons), and stir.
2. Seal your water containers tightly, label them and store them in a cool, dark place.
3. We save hard clear plastic containers such as Cranberry juice containers and such to store water. Milk jugs, 2 liter soda bottles (we ask our neighbors and friends for their empties) Properly cleaned and stored they work just fine.
As stated previously this is a very important part of your preparedness efforts so take some time and do your own research. The internet is full of infrmational pages that you could look up.
As Sea faring Mates we always appreciate water and fair winds but even we sea farers know the value of good drinkable water because you can die of dehydration even floating on a vessel surrounded by water.
Thanks for Reading