Friday, September 11, 2015

Water Storage: Chlorination

I live in the desert southwest of this country. I’ve spent most of my life in very arid weather growing up in Arizona. I know the importance of water.
My Parents-in-law just moved in with my family. They are doing pretty good health-wise but are getting up there in age (aren’t we all!). I was so grateful when I saw that they had water storage barrels that we could bring with them to take care of their emergency water needs. I just got our water situation put together. It’s difficult to find a place for several 55 gallon drums. We also have a 400 gallon tank we’ve used in our water storage for many years.
I came across this information about chlorination that I thought would be useful. Thanks to G.H. Brown for this info!
By G. H. Brown
Advice to those using Clorox for water sterilization: Clorox (5 to 6 % sodium hypochlorite) has a shelf life of approximately 1 year from date of manufacture. To be on the safe side, it should not be kept past 6 months to be effective for purification purposes, counting some months on the grocery store shelf before purchased by us.

A better method of water purification would be using a chlorinating concentrate manufactured for spas and hot tubs. The best one contains Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate . . . . 99%, and 1% inert ingredients, and is available from some pool and spa supply stores. I have recently also found this formulation at a local Home Depot center.

Its advantages:

-only 1/4 teaspoon is used to treat a 55 gallon drum of water.
-the shelf life of a container of this concentrate is 15 to 25 years + (if kept dry and not stored hot)
-you can buy it and forget about it. My experience with Clorox is that it is usually getting old and may be ineffective for treating water adequately when we need it.

Instructions for use:

Add 1/4 teaspoon of the chlorinating concentrate to your 50 or 55 gal. drum. Place the cap on the container and close it, and allow it to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove the lid and test for the presence of free chlorine in the water. This can be done by smelling (careful), or by using test strips for free chlorine, available at many stores (Wal-mart or pool and spa stores or other stores). These test strips cost about $10.00 for 50 strips. If the chlorine can be detected after 24 hours, then the water has been purified. At that point, remove the lid from the water container and allow it to sit open for another 24 hours. The free chlorine will come out of the water, and the water is then fit for drinking. If no chlorine is present after the first 24 hours with the container closed, repeat the process, as organic matter (bacteria, cysts, etc.) are still present. Until free chlorine can be detected after 24 hours, there are probably organisms still present.

The cost for the chlorinating concentrate is about $16.00 to $17.00 for 2 lbs. This is enough to treat enough water for you, your relatives and your neighbors for some time. Home Depot had a smaller container, less than 1 lb. for under $7.00, with the same formulation. Don't remove the lid on the concentrate and sniff it. It is powerful stuff!

Store your water containers on wooden pallets or boards above your cement floors, and away from gasoline or other volatile substances, to avoid those interesting flavors in your drinking water. It is best to change out your water at least once a year, but twice a year may be best.

Remember, we can only live for about 3 days without water. A 55 gal. drum or water for each member of your family would be advised. That would get you through the first part of an emergency, then you can forage for water and purify it as needed.”
Storing water is such an important part of preparedness. Most people have little to none. Take stock in your preparedness plan and see ways to improve your water storage. Storing water is one of the easiest and economical items to store. It’s also one of the most important.

Semper Paratus
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