Alright, one more post on water and we will return to our regularly scheduled programming!
Water weighs more than 8 pounds per gallon, and is bulky. Thus, any storage program is eventually going to run up against challenges. Large amounts of water are generally not portable, and different solutions need to be examined for people who need potable water on the go.
Water filters and purifiers, while similar, have some important differences. A filter is likely to be more portable, though slightly less effective, as they do not rid water of viruses. You can find water purification methods from a 20-gallon filter straw suitable for your Car Bag or 72-hour kit to a 12000 Gallon Big Berkey Household Filter System.
While boiling is still the #1 method to guarantee perfect drinking water, a water purifier such as the Berkey’s (with the black filters) will remove most of the heavy metals and other contaminants that a filter will not. Thus, if you don’t have the ability to boil water every time you need some, a gravity-fed home purifier is a good solution to provide sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
While I don’t have a Berkey system yet, it is on the top half of my list of supplies I’d like to. In a pinch, I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro in my hiking/camping gear that would provide the wife and I sufficient water in an emergency. I also have Potable Aqua (Iodine Tablets, basically) in my Car Bag; I wouldn’t rely on it as a primary source of drinking water, but it provides some redundancy as we talked about yesterday (The Rule of 3).
If you want even more information regarding water, this article by Grandpappy is one of the most thorough I’ve ever read. Even though I don’t agree with everything he writes on his site, his basic survival articles are well-written and heavily researched and I could likely spend a month on his site absorbing quality information!
Finally, one of the great folks on the Survivalist Boards found this item on creating your own Berkey Water System using just the filter elements and 5-gallon plastic buckets (saving about $100 in the process!). I’ve printed it out and am moving toward making one as a podcast project for Advice and Beans!