Water - A Primer
Water Basic Primer - By MOlivo.
A standard question that frequently pops up in the forums is "How long will water last?"
This is kind of a loaded question since water is available to us in many different forms, but lets safely assume most people are talking about "Bottled Water". Bottled water, available from your nearest grocery store, is the type most often stored for emergency preparations. Available in numerous sizes, packs, brand names, filtration types, etc. Your typical bottle of water will last longer then the actual expiration date on the bottle. Because for the most part, the companies aren't warning you the water will somehow expire, they are usually warning you the bottle will. Typical water bottles are usually made of polyethylene. It will, age and element depending, start to break down eventually and could end up in your water.
How can I maximize my water storage?
Easy. Keep bottled water in a cool, dark place. UV light significantly speeds up this break-down process, and helps "things" to potentially grow in your water (bacteria, algae, etc.). Also, try to rotate your stock out. Drink the oldest, replace it with newer store bought water. Keep that cycle up and you should always have water well within its "Use By" date.
What can I do to purify water I suspect may be past its use-by date?
There are several different purification methods. In many cases, some simple bleach will do the trick. Bleach effectively kills bacteria and viruses, stops smells and then breaks down. It's effective germ killing alkaline property is completely neutralized very quickly. It does not stay chemically active in tanks for more than a few days.
1 Gallon water is disinfected by 8-16 drops of regular household bleach (visually about 1/4 of a teaspoon) - double that for cloudy water. Shake and let stand 30 minutes. One teaspoon will disinfect 5 gallons. Immediately after treating, water must initially have a slight smell of chlorine. If it does not - repeat the process. Household bleach is relatively harmless. The smell or “waft” of chlorine is not bad: it indicates that water is treated and germ free. Once treated and disinfected, the chlorine smell will go away in a few days.
You can also use "purifying tablets". Purifying tablets are exactly that: Small, hard tablets typically bought in a 30 Quantity pill bottle. Available usually anywhere camping supplies are available (I bought mine from walmart, although in hindsight they can be found cheaper online). These will generally kill any organisms living in water. These generally don't have the "chlorine" smell in the water after using like bleach temporarily does. They are also easier to carry on you then a bottle of bleach would be.
Last edited by PurcellvillePatriot; 10-07-2009 at 02:39 PM.
Reason: fix spelling
This is a good choice for the "Best Of WhenSHTF" section LAPD was advocating for.
If I can propose additions to the primer, they would be:
"How much water do I need?"
and a bit more detail on the purification tablets, or at least a warning to be aware of what certain ones will kill and what they won't kill, and to be aware of the wait times to kill different organisms. A few years back Philmont Scout Ranch went to a policy of ONLY allowing Katadyn MicroPUR tablets because the standard tablets were not killing certain germs or cysts that they had in some of their water.
I plan on making modifications to it based on member suggestions. Ill add a "How much do I need" section
Chlorine is highly effective in destroying micro-organisms in water. It is also a powerful oxidixer used to precipitate verious contaminants in water. You should flushout any treated system, or use a carbon filter. If you don't want to spend to much time on Dialysis. I'm sure your kidneys will thank you.
Learning these simple things makes all of the difference. While there is still time, next efforts will be setting up a super water collection means with security. We just have two 40 Gallon collecting trouphs now. At my new job, they throw away these 175 gallon drums from shipping supplies into the plant.
Keeping the DOGS, squirels, rats, birds and, other humans out of the things is the job.
M U S I B I K E
my donation to the cause.
Watering your animals per day consumption.
Range cattle drink from 6 to 20 gallons of water consumption a day per head, dairy cattle can drink more. Some numbers going as high as 50 gallons.
Sheep and goats drink about 3 gallons per head. Milking goats use more.
Horses 10-15, my nag will go closer to 30 in the summer.
Chickens will use about 3 gallons per 20 chickens.
Dogs will drink 1-2 cups per 10 pounds, activity goes up consumption goes up.
30 pigeons will go threw a gallon a day but they play in it a lot.
Hogs also use a lot of water.
This is based own my experience and numerous sources of range and wildlife management seminars I have attended. You’re welcome to look up any further information you like. Each area is different as is the climate so look at your area also. Myself I am a water freak and give stock more than they need and keep it as clean as possible.
Additional water for maintenance and cleaning should also be factored in.
Figuring how much rain you can harvest off of your roofs;
Surface sq ft x .6 = gallons available per 1” of rain.
10 x 10 shed is 100 sq foot. 100 sq foot is 60 gallons. 20” of rain a year means you can collect 1200 gallons. Your storage tank should be based own how much you want to keep own hand, any wastage your willing to let go. If the rain fall is consistent threw the year a 5oo gallon tank will keep up with a 10x10 as you use the water.
But then the size and amount of water you use should help figure in how much to harvest. How many square feet you can set up to harvest making the final call.
and an afordable water filter system with fairly good test scores. I know some of the folks that have used these in 3rd world locations in thier mission work.
Bleach/Pool Shock solution strengths
The reason why I am asking for this information is because I don't know this myself.
I'd like to see, included, a discussion about making your own bleach solutions with pool shock (calcium hypochlorite). I would be particularly interested in some kind of measurement for powder-to-water ratios if at all possible. There have been several that tell you how to make your own bleach solution, but it would be simpler if, say, we could add a 1/4 tsp pool shock to a gallon of water type of measurement.
I second this suggestion as I have 2 of these en route (1 primary and a spare) and they are $24 each + the cost of two buckets. The water they produce is significantly better then city water according to the NSF and ISO testing. I plan to use them to filter rain water off my roof if I ever lose city water during a hurricane.
Originally Posted by brushbuster67