DRINK CHLORINATED POOL WATER?
Water in swimming pools is chlorinated, but it also contains other chemicals that can make it unsafe to drink Therefore, EPA does not recommend drinking pool water. However, any water (even wastewater) can be purified from microorganisms by boiling it at a rolling (vigorous) boil for one minute.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline by telephone at 1-800-426-4791 [(703) 285- 1098 outside the continental U.S.], by fax at (703) 285-1101 or by email at "firstname.lastname@example.org".
For more information, please visit EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Internet site at "URL=http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW
CONSERVATION: Using Hot Water 3 Times
More camping experience: We heat a big pot of water in the morning and dip into it for hot cocoa, coffee, oatmeal, etc. Then it would become the hand-washing, face-washing water. Lastly we would use it for dishwater. A whisk and dish soap made some suds. Dishes were rinsed in another pot of water. We have been rinsing dishes at home this way for a couple weeks after handwashing and it really saves on water. A splash of vinegar helps cut the soap even better when rinsing.
FILTERS: Water Filters
Our whole house is on the inexpensive filter canister/cartridge systems sold at Home Depot. We use the charcoal cartridges after the sediment cartridge --the charcoal makes the water taste better by taking out chlorine.
I have tried using filters like these as gravity flow filters for emergency use and they work fine if you have enough head pressure. If you have a hose attached that is long and tall enough, these filters work for a cheap high volume filter system for basic dish washing and laundry, etc. You have to elevate the fill tube at least one floor above the filter to get adequate flow. We used an RV water hose because they have no plastic taste. The hose fittings are also available at Home Depot to adapt to the 3/4" pipe thread filter housing to a hose. RV hoses are available where camping and marine supplies are sold. I put faucets on food grade Pepsi containers with the filter between them. Put one high and let gravity clean the water going to the lower tank. Equal size tanks makes the job very clean with no spills. I have three tanks so I can rotate two "clean" tanks having a supply of clean water at all times. Clean water is essential when public services fail because things are going to go into creeks and streams that would normally go into sewers. People will purposely empty porta-potties, etc., into the creeks before they will make a latrine. What do you think?
The bulk water can be filtered again with a better, finer filter for drinking purposes only. We have a Basic Designs hand pump filter sold by Target for about $20 that uses a ceramic filter and really gets the water incredibly clean. This portable filter is small enough for a backpack (or bug-out bag) and removes Giardia, Fecal Coliform, Salmonella Typhii, and other pathogens and claims better than 99.99% removal. The filter is rated at 0.9 microns and is capacity rated at 500 gallons. If you used this filter to refilter relatively clean water for drinking only, it could last indefinitely.
When any filter is used, sediment primarily clogs the outer surface. To clean a ceramic filter, you just wipe the outer surface of the element and the filter is clean and ready for use again, unlike disposable filters that are uncleanable. When you clean the ceramic filter, some of the filter actually wipes away exposing new filter media. When the filter is reduced to 1.75 inches diameter, you discard it. New elements are available mail order from the manufacturer for $15. An extra cartridge on hand might not be a bad idea. You could just buy a second complete assembly for about $5 more and have a complete new pump with hoses etc. too. The cartridge is the main item that you are really paying for either way.
I have had several camping filters in the past. Some more compact and all more expensive but this filter is probably the most practical for most applications. Every stroke on the pump handle gives about one ounce in 2 seconds. If you used this filter in conjunction with a bulk sediment and/or charcoal filter, the water would be purer than most water found anywhere, even if you filtered water from a puddle in the street!
Other places have portable filters including REI, Sportsman's Warehouse, etc., but for the money, this Basic Designs ceramic filter bought at Target is hard to beat.
FILTERS: Water Filters
However, as far as filters go, Katadyn makes the best. They offer many models but it seems the most practical for our situation would be the TRK Table Top filter. Retails through Homestead Products for $220.00. I'm sure pool water is no problem for it, as this filter is used in third world countries by agencies like the Red Cross. The water they use sometimes has to be much worse than pool water. For more info, go to:
Giardia and Cryptosporidium cysts can be in the drinking water in quantities too small to cause problems. But after lengthy storage, they can multiply to harmful levels. There is no sure way to test for them. The only way to insure safety is to filter ( expensive purchase) or boil FIFTEEN MINUTES.
My three 55 gallon barrels take 10 minutes to fill with the hose. That's close to a gallon of gas to run the generator for a fillup.
I bought a small sump pump from Walmart for $29 (runs on 6v lantern battery) It takes 15 minutes to pump out the barrel to a level where it can be rolled over to empty remaining water.
My plan for water storage was to find some 55 gallon barrels that were used for transporting fruitj uice. I washed and rinsed them thoroughly and filled them adding 1/4 cup of bleach. I'll wait 6 months, then I'll take samples to the health dept. for a bacterial analysis. Through this I hope to learn how long water can safely keep and as such replenish the stock at safe intervals.
A couple things I learned, or should I say dawned on me. I first thought I'd store the water outside, But 1/1/200 is in the winter!!!! SO I opted to make room in my garage for 200 gallons.
PURIFICATION: Solar Water Distilling
NOT HI TECH My friend and I had enough scrap on hand to do this without any purchases, We used an old shower door for the glass.
Sheet of glass - arbitrary size greater than 6 sqft Sheet of plywood .5 to .75 thickness a little larger than glass A length of 2X6 and a length of 2X4 the width of the glass A shallow, narrow trough - such as a 1" PVC pipe cut in half lengthwise or use your imagination. Like build one from scrap wood. Also needs to be as long as width if glass (approx.) Small supply of waterproof paint and caulk. Nail, screws and stuff.
Build a box the size of the glass, such that the glass will be a tight fitting lid. The box's ends are made using the 2X6 on one end and the 2X4 on the other. The bottom is from plywood, as is the sides. The sides need to be cut at an angle so that the ends of each side are flush with the 2X ends. Once the box is built, use caulk and waterproof black paint to seal and protect the wood.
Using scrap plastic and PVC glue, block the ends of the trough so that it will hold water. Then drill a .25 diameter hole in one end and attach a short length of plastic tubing and seal well.
Mount the trough on the 2X4 at the shallow end so that it is about 1.5 in above the bottom of the box, drill a hole in the box to feed the plastic tubing through.
Run a bead of caulk along the width of the glass a little from one end such that the caulk will be directly above the trough when the glass lid is in place.
Place the box in a protected location in full sun, on a table or stand or saw horses or something. Pour in about a gallon or so of water you want to purify. Put the tubing into the mouth of a water jug. Place the glass lid on top, and wait.
The sun will warm the water, which will evaporate. The vapor will condense onto the glass and run down the underside of the glass till it reaches the caulk bead then it drips into the trough, and out the tube winding up in the water jug. If the temperature is too hot, the vapor might not condense on the glass. If this happens, pour a little cool non-purified water over the glass to cool it off every now & then, being careful not to get any of it into the purified water. I also suggest emptying this every night to reduce bacteria build up. I also suggest using a mild bleach solution to disinfect the glass, trough, and tubing before use.
Most all commercially available silicon latex caulk would be safe for use in this. They typically include a mildewcide, but shouldn't hurt. If you are concerned, use an aquarium save silicon caulk for the drip bead.
As I recall about 8 - 10 sqft glass surface can result in 1 gallon of purified water per day, depending on sun, temperature, and humidity.
RAINWATER: Using Rainwater
Rain is funneled from the roof into gutters and from there into a holding tank (a cistern). The water will keep best if it's underground (cool & out of the sun) -- even so, the first couple minutes of a rain should be channeled away from the tank so that the roof can be washed off, and clean water enter the tank. Filtration can take place right at your sink with a portable camp filter or a more elaborate (non electric!) system. Clothes washing and showers can be done without filtration, as long as the water smells okay and looks clear -- any water that touches food or your hands should go through the filter.
In our area, the best rainwater is spring and fall waters; summer water is considered pretty poor, easily goes moldy, and tastes bad -- something to do with the bacteria and heat. If you have reasonable rain during the cooler seasons, you can store excess water (chlorine bleach comes in handy) for the dry seasons.
If you store water in an underground tank, you'll need a simple hand-pump to draw it up -- they run around $50 here. Alternatively, you could just lower a (clean) bucket into the water by rope and haul it up.
Anyway, the system will work! You'll probably have more water available by this cistern system than you realize. Plus, it's relatively cheap to set up.
How to build a rain water filtering system.
STORAGE: Bottle Your Own Water
Take those soda bottles and fill them with water NOW and add about 10 drops of chlorine. This is not for drinking but to leach the soda back out of the plastic. Let them sit for a few weeks then empty them out: use the water for clothes washing or in the garden or something -- and then refill the bottles with tap water to which 3 or 4 drops of chlorine are added. At this point, as long as stored in a dark place, they will keep indefinitely.
Check out my website for the "camping at home for a month" concept. that is what my husband and I are recommending as a strategy for minimal preparation.
STORAGE: Don't Store Water In Attic
Water weights about 8 lb.. per gallon. If you want to double check my figure, go to supermarket and take a one gallon jug of water over to produce and check the weight. One of the storage sites that sells this type of bag tells about someone that stores theirs in the attic - very bad idea for most homes as the attic floor in most homes is not made to hold that type of weight in such a small area. A really BAD plan if you live in earth quake territory.
STORAGE: Farm Supply - Water Storage Tanks
If the pocketbook will allow it check with your farm supply store into water storage tanks. My tank outside is 2500 gallons. It's gravity fed to my water system downstairs in the basement by 2" pcv pipe.
On the way into the house I have spliced in a faucet to the line. When Y2K hits, I cap it off from the inside supply, and I can get the fresh drinking water from the 2500 gal tank.
I have a family of 5. If we can make it on 10 gallons of water for cooking and drinking per day the water supply will last us 250 days.
STORAGE: Water Bottles For Thermal Mass
Actually, the 2 liter bottles are great as a thermal mass for your house, too. Put 'em against a south wall, and they'll absorb heat during the day and radiate it back out during the night. The fact that you can drink 'em if you've put a little bleach in 'em before you sealed them up is like a bonus.
We heard that the plastic in the waterbed mattresses was treated with an algae-inhibiting substance which is not necessarily the most desirable additive for drinking water. So we are going to use the food-grade water-storage bags for drinking water, and use a waterbed mattress for washing water. We will also have some 55 gal. plastic barrels (second hand, previously used for shipping a detergent, $5 apiece) which we would be able to re-use indefinitely in catching rainwater, AND many dozen some liter and 2-liter plastic bottles (recycled pop and juice bottles) which we want to have in case we need some supplies to be easily transportable.
STORAGE: Water Storage Information
Just discovered this new site--run by the watertanks.com people-- a place where you can post questions specifically about water storage and get answers from the watertanks folks (and it looks like you can start discussion threads, too, although' the site is too new for that to have happened so far)
TREATMENT: Peroxide vs Aerobic Oxygen For Water Treatment
Peroxide will only keep water up to 6 months in a cool dark place. This is in contrast to aerobic oxygen, a stabilized oxygen that comes in a liquid form and holds water in its original state for 5 years. It is odorless and tasteless and has many medicinal purposes also One bottle does 60 gallons so depending on how much water you plan on storing will depend on the number of bottles you will need.
You can buy large water storage tanks at your local or true value hardware stores. Most time they will have to special order them but they are available at l300 gallons and various sizes
WELLS: Pumping From Deep Well
Q: We have a 400-ft well which presently uses an electric pump. If I couldn't use a hand pump, is there any non-electric way to draw water from a well that deep?
A: Turns out that regular solar power can't start a well pump because of the initial draw of power. There is a smaller pump that can be used. It is run by electricity from solar panels stored in battery in the pump house. The panels have to be facing due south and do not have to be at the pump house. (Reason for me is that I am not strong enough to walk through the snow to the pump house in winter) So in winter you have to keep the snow off of these. My well is also 400' deep and this pump is lowered into the well--can actually use the same access as the regular pump. It is small and requires less amps to start and run. It is only lowered to just below the water level in which case you would have to know where the water level is.
The cost is about $1800.00 I don't even know what that includes actually as I have just began to investigate. I live high in the mountains and have a great well! The only thing I would actually need electricity for is water actually if everything else fails.
I got this info from Backwoods Solar and Electric systems , 1395 Rolling Thunder Ridge, Sandpoint, ID 83864. 208-263-4293. since I have MS there is no way I can "pump" anything.
WELLS: Well Drilling
Here's the info. I'd gotten from well-digger Ken Casey (753-3691) here in Upper East Tennessee. Things may or may not be different in your part of the country because of geological and/or state regulatory differences.
1. Water tables: in East Tennessee, stable: no problems with water table dropping because of drought.
2. Contamination: most well water is contaminated to *some* extent due to leaking city sewer pipes, leaking gas-station underground storage tanks, and/or leaking rural septic systems, farm feedlot (animal manure) and agricultural nitrate contamination, etc. Advise having it tested and, if necessary, running it through a purifier that uses UV light.
3. Price: Drilling - $10/ft. Casing: $5/ft. The purpose of the casing is to keep the sides of the well rigid. They use casing in most soils but do not use it once they hit rock, because then the rocky sides do not need reinforcement. So let's say you had a 250 ft. well, and the drillers hit rock at 60 feet. The cost would be:
(250 x $10) + (60 x $5) = $2500 + $300 = $2800
BUT you don't know til you're finished, how deep that well is going to have to be. It could be 100 feet, or 250 feet, or 500 feet. And so it could end up costing you, say, $1500 or $5000 or $8000, and WHATEVER it was, you'd have to pay for it. Hm.
4. Hand-pumping: you can hand-pump maybe 100 feet. For hand-pumping and windmill-powered pumping, check out the Lehman's catalog online: http://www.GetLehmans.com
5. This is an intriguing possibility: you could buy your own drill, and drill your own water well. You can get a "kit" complete with instructions and a video, from:
DeepRock 2200 Anderson Road P.O. Box 1 Opelika, AL 36803-0001
They claim that it USUALLY comes out cheaper to dig your own, and then you can use the rig to dig other people's wells, and make a profit.