Experts agree that humans can not survive in extreme conditions without drinking water for up to three days. The number of exact days varies according to the condition, but one thing is certain, humans can not live without it; and with the increasing amount of disasters that affect civilization today, knowing how to store water for a long time is increasingly becoming a survival skill without which you can not live.
It is not as easy as it sounds; Sure you can store water in your elegant water bottles, jugs and gallons of juice, but how long will they last? Will cleaning the containers be sufficient for you to spend a long period without the contaminants that are already growing up making you sick?
You do not have to be a chemist to learn and master the art of storing water for a long period; All you need are some instructions and the basic tools necessary to ensure you have water that lasts for days.
How much water should be stored
On average, a person should, and should, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, which would add to a total daily water requirement of approximately half a gallon. This figure does not include the water you would use to cook and clean related implements. If you had to consider this, then the minimum amount of water you should store for personal use is about one gallon per day.
Personal hygiene can be part of the consideration, but in emergencies, this should be placed in the background and then considered when everything has been resolved. Store only enough extra water to wash your hands and face and that must be everything.
The only disadvantage of putting your personal hygiene behind everything else is that you end up stinking with dirty hair and dirt marks like the ones you see in the movies when the actors leave a devastated area or the ruins of somewhere gone.
As a general rule, it is best to store water that lasts for two weeks and, given the minimum of one gallon per day, the total amount of water you should store would be approximately fourteen gallons of water per person. Going beyond two weeks is up to you, but most of the government’s contingency plans ensure that basic services must be up and running after a week, two at the most.
Where to store the water
Before starting the process of storing water for a long period of time, it is better to know and understand what materials can and will store water without sacrificing taste and quality. Yes, you can store the water using plastic bottles found in supermarket aisles, but the stored water changes its flavor so much that you can really tell the difference.
Water stored in such containers for a long period of time tends to have a rancid or, what is worse, disgusting taste.
Plastic containers for storage
Water containers made of plastic are the best choice for long-term storage, but you must be careful when choosing which plastic containers will be made from. Most plastic containers made to hold food and water have a BPA level indicator on the bottom that usually appears as a number inside a triangle with arrows on the side. These markers indicate the percentage of BPA mixed with the chemical composition of the plastics. Typically, plastic food containers would have a BPA of 7.
The disadvantage of using low density plastic, such as those used for bottled water, is that it is porous and any level of heat applied will cause the chemicals to be released into the water, contaminating the water that has been stored.
For a two-week water storage tank, you can choose to use 5-gallon jugs made of dark blue, hard plastic and classified as food grade. The dark color restricts the light and, therefore, helps to limit and prevent the growth of algae. You can use empty water bottles that you have stored or found, but remember that you must clean them thoroughly and that the water stored in these bottles may need additional treatment before you drink them.
To store water for a longer period of time, plastic water barrels are the best way to do it. These barrels can hold up to 55 gallons and have the same properties as the 5 gallon jugs discussed above.
However, before using plastic water containers, be sure to follow the steps below to prepare them for long-term water storage.
- Wash each container thoroughly with tap water and antibacterial soap.
- Rinse the containers and be sure to remove all the soap scum. You may have to repeat this step a couple of times for each container just to be sure.
- Once the soap foam has been rinsed, disinfect each container with a bleach solution made of bleach and water (1 teaspoon of bleach = 1 quart of water).
- Shake the solution and rinse the plastic containers again.
Storage glass containers
Glass water containers are available in the market and are easy to obtain. You can use old soda and wine bottles and any other glass container available as long as it is clean and suitable for food. Glass containers assembled can be used, but very carefully, since the joints can drip after a period of time. They are easy to clean and sterilize and do not have the same chemicals as plastic containers.
However, there are some disadvantages in the use of glass water containers. They become heavy when filled with water; they break easily, especially when they fall from a height; and you would need to protect it from light to prevent the growth of algae. However, a couple of these can be easily addressed.
To prevent the glass from breaking and the light from leaking, you can wrap the glass water container with foam or newspaper before placing it inside a wooden box or carton before storing it in a cool, dry place. without light.
To prepare the glass container for long-term storage, you should only wash it with soap and water, rinse it well and sterilize it by boiling it in water for about 20 minutes before letting it dry with the opening facing down.
Stainless steel containers for storage.
Stainless steel water containers are the best option for you if you have the space and the necessary budget. These can be old milk containers that can hold 5 gallons or more. Larger water tanks can also be customized to house larger drinking water capacities.
Steel or aluminum water containers are naturally opaque, so they do a better job of preventing the growth of algae and are more durable than glass and plastic. The disadvantage of this type of water container is that you must make sure that the level of chlorine in the water is low enough so that it does not corrode or damage the container itself, but, apart from that, simply wash the container with water and soap. Rinse as usual.
Making each drop last
Now that you know the different materials you can use, it’s time to store water.
Storing water in freshly cleaned containers involves some steps to make sure that the water you are going to store will last for a long time.
- Boil. Fill a kettle or water heater and boil the water for about 10-15 minutes before letting it cool. This would kill most of the pollutants and chemicals that are commonly found in tap water. Bacteria and larvae are also eradicated through this method.
- Chlorate This is optional, but you can use chlorine to prevent the growth of microorganisms. The best ratio is 16 drops of bleach without perfume in a gallon of water.
- Seal. Seal the container tightly with the provided lids or with improvised lids that fit comfortably around the opening. Make sure the lid has been cleaned and sterilized before putting it on. You can also choose to seal the opening by wrapping it in plastic, rubber or fabric.
- To stock. Once the water containers are clean, filled and sealed, store them in a cool and dry place, preferably without windows and away from kerosene, gasoline and other harmful chemicals, as the vapors emanating from them can be absorbed, especially if you are using plastic containers. Steel and plastic water containers can be stacked one on top of the other to save space and should be careful with glass ones, as they break easily.
In addition to the steps mentioned above, here are some tips that can also be used to store water:
- Filter – Run the water through a filter before boiling, this will remove any large and visible contaminants.
- Hose – never use the variety of garden hose, as they would have some residual chemicals in their coatings.
- Pets – If you have pets, also consider their welfare. Make sure you store some water for them too.
- Check – Check your stored water every six months to check for impurities and contamination, this would ensure that you have a steady supply of clean, potable water.
- Mellow Yellow – When you check the stored water, remember that if it is already yellowish, let it soften a bit by boiling it quickly. However, anything darker than yellowish should be discarded.
Storing enough water to last two weeks or more is an excellent way to prepare for the worst, but disasters, natural or man-made, are unpredictable and even if you have stored water that will last a month, it is likely that make. Exhaustion sooner than expected. With this in mind, it is better to have a contingency plan to extend and replenish your water supply.
Water recycling: Any excess water that is used for cooking and cleaning must be recycled and used for other purposes. You can use recycled water to clean the dirt from dishes, wash your pets and water your garden.
Treat the pond water – The worst scenario is that the stored water runs out and the only source of water is a pond, a river or any other body of water inside. Freshwater bodies are hard to find and even if you do find it, it is likely to have a high coliform content, which doubles the risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Even so, you can use these; you just need to know how to treat them properly. The first thing to do is filter the water, boil it for about an hour and let it cool. Use chlorine tablets to remove any bacteria and other contaminants.
Enjoy the sun – If you live in a sunny area, you can also use the sun to collect water. Yes, the sun and yes, it’s weird. This type of water collection that uses the sun is called solar source. The process is quite simple, the heat of the sun is used to expel the evaporation of the air and the humid earth and to let the vapors condense and cool in a condenser film. The principle behind solar energy is still replicated in the way rain is produced and the resulting water is actually cleaner and purer than rainwater, since condensation removes impurities like salts and so on.
Kiss the rain or the snow – Collecting raindrops for the water supply is not really something new, since humans have been doing it for a long, long time. Just place a collector tank near the gutters when it rains and let it fill up. You can treat the water in the same way you would treat the water from indoor sources, although you would first have to wash the reservoir and keep it covered when not in use.
Back to the roots – Jungle experts have taught us that roots and vines contain safe drinking water that already has electrolytes and other nutrients. This is true, but knowing what root the root may contain takes some time to learn.
If you do not have the time and patience, you can also take advantage of the leaves to collect water using the same principles as solar energy. Get a clear plastic bag and place it on a well-fucked branch that receives a generous amount of sunlight. However, this takes some time, but offers another way to collect water.