Posts Tagged ‘Drinking Water’

Water Storage Part 3 – Filters and Purifiers

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!


05 2010

Emergency Water Preparations

One of Nashville’s water treatment facilities is down due to the flooding, and local government says water should be used for cooking and drinking only.  Boston had a water main break that had officials suggesting people boil their tap water to be sure it was safe to drink.  Many things can go wrong with a water supply, and the time to prepare alternate water sources is now, not when something bad happens.

Thus, while it was going to be at least another week before I got into posts on water storage preparations, I think it’s important enough to move up the schedule.

At a bare minimum, Ready.gov suggests having one gallon of water available per person for 3 days.  As a minimum, I would suggest enough for 7 days (28 gallons for a 4-person family) to handle events like the two described above. 

An easy way to do this is to buy spring water at Walmart, usually at about a dollar a gallon.  However, be prepared to rotate your water at least once a year.  Meaning, drink water from your water storage, and when you finish a gallon, fill it back up with good tap water (or replace it, if you like), and repeat.

So I don’t have to fiddle with rotating, I use specific water storage containers, similar to these. Then, I add a water saver solution that allows the water to be stored safely for up to 5 years.

I’ll discuss other options tomorrow, such as where in your home you can find water that you might not think of, as well as using bleach, boiling, and other methods of making water safe to drink.

All that said, I highly recommend everyone go out today and stock some water away now, before you need it.


05 2010