Thursday, 30 December 2010

water, water everywhere,

 nor any drop to drink.

   Watching the chaos over in Ireland with the water situation, and at least one town near me, I thought I'd write a little on water and the need not to que for a necessary. I remember a couple of years back when there were some bad floods in England and they didn't have clean drinking water and had those bowsers/tanks out. You had kids emptying them and taking a leak in them overnight. This is no  way to live and with a few simple precautions its easily avoided.

   Each person needs approx. 2l a day drinking water or 1 gallon of water for drinking, eating and washing per day. Water can be stretched by using paper plates and plastic cutlery, using baby wipes and the spray or gel hand sanitizers. At the very minimum you want at least the 2l a day and I'd suggest 14 days worth, more the better. Pets need to drink to so don't forget to store a similar amount of water for your pets, especially if your feeding dried food.

  Storage can be as simple as 2l pop/soda bottles, takes a fair amount of room and never forget that water is very heavy. Containers for collecting water seem to be a problem over in Ireland so its wise to get some foldable water carriers that campers use. Because I do home brewing I always have several gallons of filtered water on hand plus water in the freezer, a full freezer cuts down electricity use, 2l pop bottles and a couple of water barrels outside. I have at least 2 weeks of clean safe drinking water for myself and the dog and well over a month of unsafe water that could be used for flushing the toilets with.

  The water in the barrels can be made safe for drinking by filtering, boiling or adding cheap thin bleach(Sodium Hypochlorite), not the scented stuff you use in the toilet bowl. 9 drops per gallon then let stand for 30 mins, if the water is dirty filter it through coffee filters or cloth before adding the bleach. At this stage you should be able to smell the chlorine slightly, if not then repeat. You can run it through a Brita filter at this stage to help get rid of the chlorine taste, Brita filters will NOT make unsafe water safe for drinking on there own.
  Boiling is another method for making water safe, again filter dirty water first through coffee filters or clean cloths like tee shirts. A hard rolling boil of only 1 min is really needed(longer at higher elevations) and not the 15 mins you often hear about.
  You can also make water safe by using UV lights or even the sun, I'll not go into that here as I've never tried it and don't think the climate here is good for that.

  My personal choice is a British Berkefeld gravity filter system that uses ceramic filters. Its an expensive method but well worth it to me, I have the stainless steel one. You can make your own gravity filter system with a couple of buckets if you buy just the filters for a cheaper option. Water is the stuff of life and important to me so I don't scrimp on it and I'm not peppered to que for it like some third world hell hole.

  A good article on water, I'd write more but am still feeling ill, its important stuff though so go read more now before you really need the information. I've not written about water collection, its best to have what you need on hand now but you do need the knowledge of how/where to collect water, just in case. Email me if you want any more information or help.

You need water to live, its your life, take care of it, nobody else will.

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