In the event where you are using your water storage you want to make sure that your water is safe to consumer. There are two main ways to make sure your water is safe to consume. Water filtration and water disinfection.
Research! Research! Research!
First things first! Do your own research on the best practices for clean water from trusted resources. The last thing you want to do is end up in an emergency situation where water and medical resources are limited and end up with a water borne illness. A water borne illness that will likely leave you throwing up, with severe diarrhea and dehydration.
So, be smart with your water storage. If you’re going to skimp on anything with emergency preparedness, clean water is not the one to do it on.
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Don't play chicken with clean water
My plan to make triple sure we are safe from water borne illness is to already have treated water ready. Every container I plan to use for long term storage I put water treatment in. If I am ever in a situation where I need to use my treated water storage then I will run it through two methods of cleaning before eating or drinking. I am going to treat the water with chemical or boiling and I’m also going to filter it before I use it.
I really don’t want to imagine a scenario where we have a big earthquake, power is out, roads are collapsed, water isn’t available and then me and my family get a waterborne illness causing us to need to use even more water.
It may seem excessive, but that’s just not a risk I’m willing to take. So, let’s talk about the different ways to treat water making it safe to drink and cook with.
Water filtration is pushing water out of a filter and removing various debris, pathogens, and viruses from the water.
I want to talk about water filters because there’s a million different kinds on the market and you have to make sure you’re buying the right kind. Not all filters are created equal. You cannot just go to Walmart and buy a fridge filter like a Brita and expect it to filter out lake water. It’s not made to do that. If you want something that can filter out lake or river water, you are going to need a higher quality water filter like a backpacking water filter.
Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a water filter.
First: What does it filter? If you are facing a water supply issue and needing to filter water you want to be sure that it filters out bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Second: How much water does it filter before needing to be replaced? Filters have a limited life span and depending on how dirty the water is that you are filtering will determine how long the filter is good for.
When you are buying a filter, you need to consider which method is going to be best for you and your family. For example: If you have kids are they going to have the suck power to drink through a straw? If you have the straw do you have other filter options for cooking and or storing water short term?
With water filters you also want to consider what container you’re going to filter water into. If you’re filtering out of a lake or a stream you are going to want to filter into a container that is portable and that won’t get too heavy to carry. To learn more about water storage containers click here.
Water disinfection is going to be the safest way to kill off any bad bacteria, viruses and parasites. They won’t be removed, but they will be dead and won’t make you sick.
There are a lot of different ways that you can disinfect water from purification drops, bleach, iodine, boiling and more. You can find many printable resources like this one here, that will have the best instructions for disinfection. I suggest printing it out and keeping it with your water storage.
Often times disinfecting water is going to cause the water to taste flat, weird, or just plain gross. I always keep packets of water flavoring in our 72 hour kits so that we can flavor the water and make it taste better. This is especially important for kids who might need some incentive to stay hydrated.
Planning your water treatments
It is important to know which option you plan to use and make sure you have enough supplies to do what is required.
For example: if you are planning on boiling all of your water than you want to make sure you have multiple ways to boil water. Can you boil water if the power goes out? What if you don’t have access to your stove. If you are planning on using a treatment like bleach than you want to be sure you have the correct kind of bleach (not all bleach will kill bacteria) and that your bleach isn’t expired.
I’ve already said it twice, but third time’s a charm… Clean water is not something you want to play chicken with. You could make do with lower quality tools and gadgets gizmos, but clean water is not something you want to take chances on. Be 110% sure of what you are purchasing and what methods you are using to clean your water.
Do you need more help?
In my emergency preparedness workbook, I cover everything you need to know about emergency preparedness. Everything from food and water storage, power outages, job loss, house fire, evacuation and more.
I have also broken my workbook down into sections so you can purchase different sections of my workbook instead of the full workbook. Click here for the food and water section.