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Stored Water

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by ironhead, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. ironhead

    ironhead East of the liberal masses in Oregon Member

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    Have tried to find the answer to this but am only more confused. In a water shortage I plan on using the water in my pipes and water heater. Also have 2 water bags for the bathtubs that I will fill. This will last me for several weeks but will need to filter/treat it as it gets older. What would I need in the way of a water filter to make it safe to drink after several weeks? Any chemicals need to be added? Don't want to pay big dollars for a fancy filter if I don't need one.
     
  2. dave

    dave Independence Member

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    If the water you are storing is clean going in. And you are storing it in a designated food/water safe container. You will not need to filter it. There are additives available to keep algaes from growing in your containers over time. However, if you keep your containers away from sunlight, Algae cannot form.

    Stored water will take on odors and odd tastes depending on what its stored in. But the fact that it is clean and potable in the situation in which you will be needing to use it.
    This will not be a huge issue. Also, change out your water every 6 months and freshen it up some. Not required if stored properly but it will help with the taste/smell.

    I store water in 55 gallon barrels. I put 1 cap full of chlorox bleach per barrel to kill off anything that might be in the barrel that I did not get cleaned well enough. Bleach evaportes its properties over time. So I do this every 6 months when I change the water out. Just my way again not required.

    If you are considering a cheap but effective filter. This has gotten great reviews and was brought up by a member here: RavenLunatic

    "Here is a less expensive option for the ceramic gravity filters."

    http://shop.monolithic.com/products/just-water-ceramic-drip-filter
     
  3. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    i have a 55 gallon drum at home in a shed. it gets changed and inspected once a year, been using it for 15 years now, with good results. I have used iodine tablets in a quart jar,,but only as last resort, as they make the water taste bad.(even the ones that are a 2 part process makes the water taste bad.) also for personal use, i use a msr ceramic filter system, hand pump.small compact, carried in my backpack.., that screws onto quart jars .The msr ceramic filter was my main source of safe drinking water while i was in the Amazon jungle for 3 months last year, i would throw my msr suction tube in any puddle or stream,with good results, so its safe to say that it was TESTED and approved in a real life situation,, heehee..:thumbup:
     
  4. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    How will you fill up your waterbob if you don't have access to water out of your pipes? If you are preparing for potable water, I wouldn't count on filling up your bathtub in the moments just before you lose it. That's like knowing you need to charge your rechargeable batteries before you lose power. That line of thinking just baffles me.
     
  5. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    Waterpressure is a function of gravity for most people (who are not on a well). Sure there are pumps involved in getting water into the holding tanks (usually water towers if thats what system your on) and once thoes tanks empty you'll be SOL but if there hasnt been a break in a main you should be able to get a tub of water even after a major disaster. Think about it, your sewer, and water work just fine when power is out because they are both gravity systems... For awhile anyways...
     
  6. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    hope this isnt off track ,,but you could shut off your main..then use a bicycle pump held into a faucet,, pressurize system,, then turn on a faucet at lowest point in house, and air pressure from bicycle pump should force water out of pipes and water heater..just a rambling thought...
     
  7. ironhead

    ironhead East of the liberal masses in Oregon Member

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    Well Wenis, as powersbj said, I can fill the water bags before hand if things are looking sketchy or after as long as the delivery system is intact. Water tower only a mile or so away so under most conditions I should have time. Have stored water on hand, just looking to supplement what I already have. Plumbed my 2 story house so my faucet in the basement drains the whole system. Hope this unbaffels you.
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If there's a serious earthquake, the street mains will probably break. Even if there is enough slope that you can get water from them, it will be polluted and need filtering and chlorinating. Even then you are stuck with just what you have.

    If I lived in the city I'd get several 50 gallon tanks made to accept pressure (either pressure tanks for wells or hot water heaters for instance) and plumb them in a series so that my house water continually passed through them and kept them full and fresh. I'd have valves on the top of them to periodically bleed air. Almost all of those tanks have a bottom drain, most with a hose fitting.
     
  9. Ravenous

    Ravenous West Linn, OR Member

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    That is a great idea.:thumbup:
     
  10. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Do you have bleach in your house?
    http://www.i4at.org/surv/bleach.htm

    *edit*

    This is some more good reading FM 21-10
     
  11. swampertwo

    swampertwo Just moved to Olympic peninsula!! Active Member

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    I buy a quart of 35% hydrogen peroxide and use somewhere around 4 ounces per 55 gal water container ( I don't remember the exact ratio and am away from home right now, but the supply/ survival store will know). It keeps the water good for at least a year with NO bad tastes.
     
  12. ironhead

    ironhead East of the liberal masses in Oregon Member

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    Thanks Riot. This is exactly what I was looking for. Simple and safe way to make sure my water supply is drinkable.:)
     
  13. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Totally necroing this thread. Sorry.


    I have been trying to get my family prepared and while we are working on it slowly (buying a little extra food and water every shopping trip but its slow going) I wanted to have some water stored up right away while we get the money for a more long term solution.

    So, at the moment I have been filling up empty 1 liter bottles with tap water and setting them against the back wall of my garage to keep them out of the sunlight. Should I be adding bleach to these bottles? How long should I keep these before I toss them?

    -d
     
  14. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    FWIW...for the survival program we teach at OFA...I've been working with a Microbiologist with a Master's Degree who is tops in her profession on the most reliable and effective clean water and stored water recommendations. Student's are always asking questions about this subject so I needed credible answers.

    So what I'm sharing comes from her research and recommendations. Water that is clean and saved in clean container is fine for a few days depending upon a number variables. There are just too many variables to say it is good for "x" number days. Temperature, UV, type and quality of the vessel etc. So the general principle is to filter or purify any water coming out of the container prior to drinking regardless if it was recently stored or not. She recommends changing water every three months and using bleach that is no older than 90 days to cleanse the storage vessel. In her work they change the bleach solution for their work counters daily.

    The problem is regardless of the storage vessel, there is going to be after a while growth of non-pathogenic bacteria. This bacteria will eventually metabolize from eating the nutrients in the water. Eventually you'll have a soup full of alive and dead bacteria which your body cannot handle.

    So you need at least a highly reliable filter to remove this bacteria. Find out what will work as there are a lot on the market. The backpacker type systems are fine but they can break after heavy use and will often need replacement after extensive use. And unfortunately chemicals have a very short shelf life.

    We did extensive research and found that Sawyer makes a highly reliable and reputable line of filters that are used all over the world during times of disasters. We wanted something beyond an REI type backpacker filter as an option for us during prolonged emergencies other than a 10 day backpacking type scenario. You need a filter that can produce a large volume of water with the least amount of caloric output. Pumping on a backpacker filter is time consuming and burns up precious calories during a survival situation.

    This is not a sales pitch but rather the rationale of what we did...we chose to become a Sawyer Water Filter dealer so we could have access to their highly efficient water filter or water purifier system. You just hook the filter up to a 5 gallon bucket and pour the water in at the top. When you need water you just unhook the hose that has the filter or purifier attached and fill up your pots, pans, or Nalgene bottle. No muss, no fuss, no chemicals, no pumping no nothing! Sawyer's filter removes up to 7 log (99.99999% or .01 micron) of all bacteria which exceeds the EPA requirement of 6 log. There are no replacement filters because if it gets plugged you just back flush it which only takes a few seconds and are good to go.

    If you're concerned about virus then you can go with their 0.02 Micron portable Filter/Purifier (5.5 Log on Virus). But the volume is reduced slowing down throughput. It still works but is slower in filling up your bottles/pans.

    We thought this system will provide more than adequate water for a family for an extended period of time. No pumping or replacement cartridges. No need to buy more chemicals or worry about measuremetn. With ceramic filters the general cleaning ratio is usually 20:1 depending upon the water source. Eventually bleach loses its effectiveness after about three months of storage.

    Keep in mind, your home water is only going to last for so long - eventually you'll have to venture out and find water or have it provided by others - so you need a system that is flexible for multi-sourced water eventually. Something to consider at least...

    sawyer.gif
     
  15. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Wow. Okay so this is why knowledge is power. Thank you! So, two questions. #1 Where can I get this filter? #2 Is it better to not store water like I've been doing (unless it is bottled water that I buy) of if I do store water would it be best to dump that water into a 5 gallon bucket and filter it before use?

    -d
     
  16. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Glad you found my diatribe of value...this is only scratching the surface.

    Answer #1, you can buy them directly from Sawyer on-line or Walmart in their camping section (ugh) - you can get either a filter or the filter/purifier. I'm not 100% certain Walmart carries the bucket filter system. You'll have to look and see. I do know Sawyer Products does - obviously!


    In fact, I carry one of their Water Filter with the 34 oz Polycarbonate water bottle in my car 24/7/365. I do not trust municipal water or any water when when I travel. So I use this instead of a Nalgene bottle when I'm uncertain of the water source.

    sawyerbottle.gif

    Anyway, back on track here....Sawyer's filters exceed the EPA requirements for both bacteria and Protozoan (Cyst). It is however not acceptable for Viruses. If you want a filter/purifier it will cost you a few more $$ and it will significantly reduce the throughput. So realize if you go with the latter it will slow down your filtering process - but depending upon where you water is from (unknown source after your supply has been exhausted) you may want to go this route. I own both.

    Answer #2 - To to be on the very prudent side I'd filter any water stored for more than a few weeks or if it is past the expiration date of the bottled water. Again, this is up to you...but we have no measurable way to see or to test the water to see if non-pathogenic bacteria has started to grow. So if you have one of this 5 gallon filter systems it won't hurt a thing to run your stored water (all of it) through this filter. That is what it is for!

    The nice thing about the Sawyer is it cannot be wore out. As long as the water is clear (no dirt, silt, mud etc) then there is nothing to plug this filter. If you do plug it or you see a reduction in output, you just back-flush it with clean water for a few seconds and you're back in business. This bucket system does all the work for you! No pumping, no measuring of chemicals and waiting, no expiration date on chemicals - nothing!

    I keep my bucket ready to go with a seal-able Gamma Seal lid. I remove my filter and store it inside the bucket and seal the lid. When I go elk hunting I throw it into the trailer and away I go. I keep the bucket full of grey water and then filter as I need it. Simple, fast, cheap and effective...with little work on my part.
     
  17. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster Beaverton, OR Chief Cook/Bottle Washer

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    #1 -- REI has them. Both the bucket and 2/4 liter filters. Sawyer also has some interesting sprays for clothes to keep bugs off as well.

    #2 -- if you are using "clean" water from the tap, sending some Clorox into it from time to time, dumping the water and cleaning the container before refill, I don't see why you would purify before or after. BUT, much depends on your own faithfulness in keeping the water clean in the containers.

    Sod
     
  18. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 SW Washington Member

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    Many Water treatment plants use a UV system to "clean" the water.

    I read an article recently that stated that people in Africa are using UV rays to "clean" their water. They simply fill clear plastic bottles with water and set them in the sun. (kinda counter to the long term storage where you don't want water containers in the sun) they leave them in the sun for a day or two and don't disturb them. the UV "cleans" the water.. almost effortless..

    Wiki article here;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_water_disinfection
     
  19. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    The question comes up "why do you need to filter the water if it was originally clean to begin with and the vessel was sanitized prior to filling?". This is a good question and one addressed to our Microbiologist. She said that every vessel is composed of some material (metal, plastic, whatever) and these materials have pores in them. Even though you're cleaning/sterilizing the vessel prior to clean water storage it is impossible to completely clean every nook 'n cranny in this vessel. So there is some possible residual bacteria still resident in the vessel even after cleaning.

    So there is a chance over a period of time the bacteria that wasn't killed during the sanitation process could become active and begin to propagate.

    Getting a severe case of diarrhea during a catastrophic emergency isn't on most folks "to-do" list. So the most prudent and safest insurance policy is to filter all water coming out of storage containers.

    UV is a very effective way to clean water...but in Western Oregon we have a lot of dark "low-UV" days particularly in the fall/winter and we're around the 45th Parallel. 0 Degrees or the Equator passes almost directly through the center of Africa so they have more access to higher doses of reliable UV and sunshine than us Web Foots! Also we have no reliable means to measure if the water is clean after treatment. Protecting your family with the most effective, affordable, and reliable means should be something to consider.
     
  20. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 SW Washington Member

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    Agreed. There are any ways to accommodate that; boil and charcoal filter, UV ceramic filter, chemical treatment, advanced source analysis.

    The more free, common tools that are available the better...

    Rarely (in my experience) does one solution fit all problems (or even all phases of the same problem).

    On a happy note; We as a species have survived for this long.....some of us will continue to do so..