Prepared Society Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· ke4sky
190 Posts
Disaster Water Supplies

Our fire department teaches a hands-on course at the fire academy entitled "Disaster Survival in the Urban Environment." Its target audience is municipal employees, CERT, Neighborhood Watch and Medical Reserve Corps. This is our student outline from the unit on water supply:


Minimum for drinking - 1 gallon per person, per day

More is needed for cooking and food preparation

Still more needed for personal hygiene, sanitation and decontamination

Store a two week supply as minimum,

Use food grade containers with screw caps

Keep away from direct sunlight


Captive water in household hot water tank and interior plumbing is OK

Filter cloudy water to remove particulates, using an EPA-rated filter
with a pore size ≤ 1 micron, then:

Disinfect with Clorox (6% sodium hypochlorite)

Add 8 drops of Chlorox bleach per gallon if water is "clear," 16 drops if turbid or "cloudy"

Let chemically sterilized water water stand 15 minutes before use

Or boil vigorously for 15 minutes

Store potable water in clean containers.

All natural sources (from springs, ponds, rivers or streams) must be boiled or chemically disinfected.

Disaster Conditions Causing Contamination of Water Supplies and Surface Waters

• Stagnant surface water - Mosquito harborage
• Contaminated flood waters - Sewage treatment system overflow
• Petroleum, industrial, agricultural, hazmat releases

Chemical disinfection or boiling - Kills bacteria and viruses

Doesn't remove particulates or chemical pollutants

Filtration - Coffee filters, etc. remove gross particulates only

EPA-rated filters (pore size smaller than 1 micron) are required to remove
bacteria, viruses and Giardia cysts, but don't remove chemical pollutants.

Distillation is the most effective method.

For further information see the URL

CDC Disasters | Fact Sheet: Keep Food and Water Safe After a Disaster or Power Outage

· Registered
39 Posts
Chlorine and iodine have a negative effect on your thyroid gland. Don't drink these things. I suggest boiling all the water as you need it or 1 to 2 gallons in advance for cooler water and that's only if you have reason to suspect it is contaminated.

Store water now. We use the large apple juice bottles (2gal) and change the water in them every few months. Like they said above, don't store them in sunlight, keep them in an unused closet or cabinet. Put some water in the empty bottles and shake it vigorously to clean it. If it has any juice in it, bacteria will form feeding on the sugar in the juices.

For gathering water from exposed natural sources, I suggest a portable filter. Some are very compact. One micron, as stated above.

· Registered
696 Posts
What do purification tablets do? Do you to do anything else to the water if you have purification tablets?
Yolanda, water purification tablets use a number of ways to 'Purify' the water from biological pathogens. (living Organisms)

Remember, we are talking about 'Clear' water here, not stagnated, or full of debris that can hide pathogens...
You will need to let solids settle and pour off the 'Clear' water,
Or you will need to filter the solids out of the water before you attempt to 'Purify' it.

Solids can, and will, hide pathogens from the treatments, chemical, thermal and UV...

The 'Purification Tablets' come with three basic active ingredients,

1. Iodine.
Iodine is non removable from the water, will kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut, and iodine is hard on organs, including liver, kidneys, but especially the thyroid gland.

For very short term use, the iodine tablets, or tincture of iodine can be used to purify water well enough to keep you alive, but for the very young, very old, sick or pregnant, it's not a good idea.

2. Chlorine.
A chlorine derivative in solid form that will kill about everything in water that isn't hiding.
(there are several besides Sodium Hypochlorite)

Chlorine will attempt to return to a gas state, and will evaporate off quite readily at room temprature when water is poured between containers and allowed to aerate.
This is beneficial to people that are sick, pregnant, have weakened immune systems, the very young or very old.

3. Ozone.
Ozone is an unstable gas, normally generated by an electrical current, but can also be made by chemical processes.
Regular O2 is what you breather (2 Oxygen Molecules),
Ozone is O3 (3 Oxygen molecules) and it's deadly to all pathogens...

Ozone will also oxidize most metals, minerals, chemicals it comes into contact with and make the precipitate out of the water.
(meaning if there is anything left of them after they come into contact with the 03, what's left will escape an open container as a gas, or heavier than water will settle to the bottom of the container)

Ozone leaves nothing behind but oxygen when it reacts with outside air, there is no pollution, no chemical residue (like chlorine, salts or iodine) when it's finished working.

Being quite expensive to produce, the best source right now is surplus from the South African army.
There were so many water sources polluted by everything up to and including chemical weapons in South Africa, this was the only way to keep their people alive...

Safe for ALL people, young, old, sick, pregnant. There are NO chemical leftovers from the ozone tablets you need to worry about, and most of the time the water even tastes good!
(Ozone removes most things that make water taste strange while it's removing the other chemicals and pathogens!)

Personally, I've given up on ALL chemical treatments.
Too much aggravation!

I've gone to Filtering and UV purification of spring/well water and it works GREAT!

Small scale UV purification is as easy at turning on a 'Light Stick' type UV light and dropping it in a container of water.

Large scale UV purification is as easy as a set of sediment filters (0.05 micron) to get the 'Chunks' out,
Then a quick run through a UV light tray (Solar powered here!) then off to the potable water holing tank!
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.