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Thread: Water purification

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Water purification

    We live in a rural area, as many of you know - and are fortunate to have our own source of water (well). Nonetheless, I have been thinking it might be smart to have a means of purifying water (other than boiling) on hand for when the schiesse hits the fan.

    Any thoughts/recommendations?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    We live in a rural area, as many of you know - and are fortunate to have our own source of water (well). Nonetheless, I have been thinking it might be smart to have a means of purifying water (other than boiling) on hand for when the schiesse hits the fan.

    Any thoughts/recommendations?
    Only that you had better make it solar powered.
    Trevor

  3. #3
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    We live in a rural area, as many of you know - and are fortunate to have our own source of water (well). Nonetheless, I have been thinking it might be smart to have a means of purifying water (other than boiling) on hand for when the schiesse hits the fan.

    Any thoughts/recommendations?
    Here's a few ideas, Eric.

    Ken.

    1. Clean the containers in which you're going to hold or store the water. Use dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly. After washing them, submerge them in a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to every quart (or liter) of water (making sure the entire surface of the bottle comes in contact with the solution for a minimum of 15 seconds), and then rinse thoroughly with a weaker mixture of bleach and water.[1]


      • Don't use any container that has had milk or fruit juice in it. Milk protein and fruit sugars remain in the container and can fuel bacterial growth when water is stored. Plastic soda bottles are suitable.
    2. Filter water through a clean cloth. Then allow it to settle for at least 30 minutes and pour off the clear water for purifying. This process of filtering and settling is especially important if you're going to be using chemical purification because disinfectants are less effective in cloudy, murky, or colored water.[2]


      • You can use cotton cloth, such as a clean handkerchief or clean white sock, or silk (water passes quickly through multiple layers).
      • One way to set this up is to cut the bottom off of a water or coke bottle. Roll a clean sock up on itself and stuff it down to the neck of the bottle. Pour your water through the filter until it is clear to the eye.
      • One way to speed up clearing of water is to add a little alum (Aluminum Sulfate). This causes impurities to coagulate which are removed as the particulate settles to the bottom of the container.
    3. Purify the water using any of the following methods. If you can, combine boiling with a chemical disinfection method; the boiling is more thorough, but the chemical method will continue to keep the water safe when it's stored.[3]


      • Boiling kills most types of disease-causing organisms and is the most recommended purification technique. Boil the water for 1 full minute, then let it cool. Make sure it's a full, rolling boil. If you are more than one mile above sea level, boil 3 minutes longer.[1]
      • Disinfecting with household bleach kills some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms. The bleach must contain chlorine in order to work. Don't use scented bleaches, color-safe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Most household chlorine bleaches have 4-6% available chlorine, in which case you should add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water (2 drops per Liter), stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Check the label; if the percentage of available chlorine is around 1%, or you don't know what the percentage is, use 40 drops per gallon/ 10 drops per Liter; if the percentage is 7-10%, use 4 drops per gallon or 1 drop per Liter. Double the amount of chlorine if the water is cloudy, murky, or colored, or if the water is extremely cold. If after sitting covered for 30 minutes the water doesn't have a slight chlorine odor, repeat the dosage and let sit for another 15 minutes.[2]
      • Granular calcium hypochlorite works in the same way as household bleach. You can dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (about 1/4 ounce) in two gallons of water (1 heaping tablespoon for every 7.5 Liter or 1 gram for every Liter of water) to make a disinfecting solution. Then add one part of the disinfecting solution to each 100 parts of water to purify.[2]
      • Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4) can be used to disinfect water, it can be purchased from camping supply stores and pool treatment stores. The water should be coloured slightly pink, 3 or 4 crystals in a quart or liter of water. Let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes. This is definitely a emergency measure, and should not be used for planned leisure activities.
      • Disinfecting with iodine is generally less effective than chlorine in controlling the parasite Giardia, but it's better than no treatment at all. Add 5 drops of 2% iodine (from the medicine chest or first aid kit) to every quart or liter of clear water; add 10 drops if the water is cloudy. Let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.[2]
      • For commercially prepared chlorine or iodine tablets, follow the instructions that come with them. If you don't have instructions, use one tablet for each quart or liter of water to be purified.[2]
      • Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) method - Pouring the water into clear plastic PET bottles, and exposing to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours, has been shown to be an effective method of disinfecting.[4]
      • If you're chemically disinfecting water in a canteen or other portable container with a screw-on cap, wait about five minutes after adding the purifying chemical(s), then partially unscrew the cap and shake the container so that some of the water sloshes on the inside of the cap and the threads of the container, then re-tighten the cap and let it sit for the remainder of the time specified above or in the instructions. Otherwise, there may still be contaminated water in the cap, on the outside of the container's neck, or on the threads.
    4. To improve the flavor of purified water (boiled water can taste "flat", and disinfected water can have a strong chlorine taste) aerate it by pouring it from one clean container to another several times. Alternatively, add a pinch of salt to each quart or liter of water.[2] If the flavor is still unpleasant, use a powdered drink mix, if available.
    5. Once the water in a container has been purified, open and close the container carefully. Don't touch the inside or the rim with your fingers, or else the water could become contaminated. If you're going to drink some, but not all of the water, don't drink directly from the container. Pour it into another container and drink from that. Contact with your lips and mouth can contaminate water that's going to be stored. If you don't drink the water immediately, write the date on the bottle. Store it in a cool, dark place for up to six months.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  4. #4
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Get some clorox. Think of a gallon of clorox as 3,800 gallons of drinking water.

    We are on the same page. I have been talking to mom about this for a bit now.

    From Mom (she copied from somewhere too):

    Liquid Clorox Bleach
    In an emergency, think of this (one gallon of Regular Clorox Bleach) as 3,800 gallons of drinking water.
    When the tap water stops flowing, Regular Clorox Bleach isn't just a laundry-aid, it's a lifesaver. Use it to purify water, and you'll have something to drink.
    It's the same in any natural disaster. As the shock wears off and the days wear on, the biggest demand is for drinking water. Time after time, relief crews hand out free Clorox Bleach with simple instructions: use it to kill bacteria in your water and you'll have purified water to drink. Here's how: (Store these directions with your emergency bottle of Clorox Bleach.)
    First let water stand until particles settle. Pour the clear water into an uncontaminated container and add Regular Clorox Bleach per the chart.* Mix well. Wait 30 min. Water should have a slight bleach odor. If not, repeat dose. Wait 15 min. Sniff again. Keep an eyedropper taped to your emergency bottle of Clorox Bleach, since purifying small amounts of water requires only a few drops. See chart* suggestions for storage bottle replacement.
    Don't pour purified water into contaminated containers



    P.S. you better have a generator too!

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    We live in a rural area, as many of you know - and are fortunate to have our own source of water (well). Nonetheless, I have been thinking it might be smart to have a means of purifying water (other than boiling) on hand for when the schiesse hits the fan.

    Any thoughts/recommendations?
    For backpacking, I use one of these.

    What's nice about this filter is that it can be field cleaned with dirty water.

    They even make a much larger one for many users, but it cost some bucks.

    For it, see here.

    -Don- SSF, CA

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    We used iodine in Boy Scouts years and years ago; seems like chlorine is the most effective thing.

    For us, the main issue is not safe drinking water, per se - we have our own well. It is getting the water out of the well if the electricity goes offline. I do have a generator, but it uses gas - and gas may become hard to get. I often regret not spending the extra $$ on diesel generator.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    That is a neat little rig!

    Leave it to the Swiss....

  8. #8
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    We used iodine in Boy Scouts years and years ago; seems like chlorine is the most effective thing.

    For us, the main issue is not safe drinking water, per se - we have our own well. It is getting the water out of the well if the electricity goes offline. I do have a generator, but it uses gas - and gas may become hard to get. I often regret not spending the extra $$ on diesel generator.
    Then I would advise a small, wind driven, generator to drive a water lifting pump as an effective standby.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    We used iodine in Boy Scouts years and years ago; seems like chlorine is the most effective thing.
    Takes time and leaves bad taste.

    The water filters I mentioned work perfectly. They do warm the water a slight bit, but it's not really all that noticeable. I would trust the filter more than the iodine or chlorine.

    -Don- SSF, CA

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