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Short Term Water Storage

Discussion in 'The Learning Center' started by Atlas, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Water is a very important prep, in fact many would argue that it is THE most important prep. In this basic lesson we will go over how much water you should have on hand, ways to store water, and ways to treat water.

    There are many things that are said about storing water. Some are true, some are partly true, some are not true at all. Let's start with the most common phrases that you might hear.

    The survival rule of 3's is a common survival term. It states that you cannot live for longer than 3 minutes without air, 3 hours in a harsh environment, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. None of those seems like it would be fun to have to try, but this is a good rule of thumb.

    Since the above terms are a little vague, I think we should specify how much water a person needs to survive next. As a general rule, the average person during normal circumstances will need one gallon of water a day minimum. This does not account for anything but drinking, cooking and light hygiene. Real world numbers, under stress or in hot climates can be much more than that. For this lesson we want to keep this fairly simple, so for now let's use 1 gallon a day as a starting point. In later lessons we will talk about long term scenarios more, but for now let's think small.

    Since water is not something that can be carried without a container, we will need to provide something for ourselves. Many people use Nalgene or Kleen Kanteen type water bottles daily. This is a good option, but if you have other preferences it doesnt matter. Something with a lid that seals is what matters. Get one. Carry it all the time, every where you go.

    Generally, most containers are less than a gallon, more like a quarter of that or less. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, so no one wants to carry that around unless they have to. So, if you use your water up, how will you get more? The tap, right?

    What if there is no water in the tap? You're a prepper, so you've got another way.

    You should have water treatment capabilities with you at all times. Some iodine tabs are a good way to treat water easily, though be sure to understand the risks of using it before you try. Another popular way to treat water is using a small water filter like the Sawyer mini or the life straw. Either will work fine in many situations, and there are others of similar types. Just make sure that whatever you purchase you take the time to read up about their limitations and use them properly.

    One last method that can work is boiling. If you bring water to a rolling boil for one minute it should kill all pathogens.

    Why do we need to treat the water? If there is ANY doubt about the quality of water you need to treat it. If you have any doubts, read this page from the CDC about the topic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  2. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    Great start! I'll post up some things I have as soon as the opportunity allows!
     
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  3. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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    Good basic water protocol. I would add something about boiling to kill protozoa. Filtering, while not strictly necessary, will make your final filter element (micron size) last longer. First filter is for "rough" and "course" material, taking out the big pieces. Then BOIL to kill protozoa and eggs. Cool and add any sterilizing agents such as Iodine. Final filter is using a true micron level water filter element.

    Most of these filters are really NOT made to remove chemical contaminants such as Arsenic, Chromium, Lead, etc. If you have reason to suspect these are present, then there is a separate filters which are specific to some metals. They are more expensive and have a limited capacity to remove metals.

    Distillation is always a good option, but requires some equipment, whether simple evaporation/condensation using a plastic sheet or more sophisticated distillation apparatus.

    How to Remove Chemicals From Drinking Water
     
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  4. lonewolf

    lonewolf Well-Known Member

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    unless the water is from the mains I would treat all sources of water as suspicious, best to not take chances.
    filter AND boil.
     
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  5. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    I definitely like the resublimated iodine addition to kits. Polar pure is my favorite, it could actually help to protect your thyroid from nuclear radiation, and benefit wound care / minor surgery.
     
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  6. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you generally about safe water from main sources. But, i found out a water main can be contaminated under circumstances such as flooding, many lawn sprinklers are not equipped with a backflow preventer, and therefore, hazardous substances can actually siphon from ground level to a water main beneath.
     
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  7. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    I had a urban survival technique I was working on while i was in college, but unfortunately never was able to do thorough testing with the head of water treatment technology.

    Basically, you use a coffee pot. After filtering major sediment, you run the water through a coffee filter full of activated charcoal available in pet shops, and big box stores. Coffee makers heat the water to steam, might be adequate to kill most if not all microorganisms, then of course filtered, and left on the hot plate to further pasteurize.

    It could work, and a coffee maker is a extremely common appliance for nearly everyone. In most emergency actions I've seen, restoration of electricity seems to come first.
     
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  8. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    Turboshok pool treatment has been mentioned here before, I think. But, you might all find it interesting that a small pile of powdered chlorine bursts into flame when you saturate it with power steering fluid/brake fluid.

    Alcohol and chlorine has a very violent reaction as well.

    Potassium permanganate has a similar reaction to break fluid, and is used for water treatment also.

     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  9. twp

    twp Administrator Staff Member

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  10. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    I have actually tapped trees for water, it isn't reliable year round, (at least for maple trees) but, around April, the best and most tasty water is from maples. most seem to think it would be sticky or thick. But, before refinement to maple syrup it is excellent water that contains sugar and probably some carbohydrates.
     
  11. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Do all maple trees do that?
     
  12. hypnos

    hypnos Well-Known Member

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    To my knowledge, yes.
     
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  13. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Interesting, I'm going to have to give it a try.