Food Storage 101: Treating Your Water

Friday, October 19, 2012

So, because it would be nearly impossible for most of us to physically store all of the water we would need for a year's supply, we have to rely on some alternate methods for obtaining water in the event of a long-term emergency situation.  Streams, lakes, rivers and other water sources are great places to turn to, but you need to have some way to purify or treat that water to make sure you don't become sick.

According to most government and city/county sources, there are two main ways to safely treat water: boiling and bleach.

To purify your water, first make sure that you use some type of physical barrier to filter cloudy water or water that has particulate matter in it.  You can use coffee filters, cloth, towels, paper towels or cheese cloth.  You may need to run the water through your physical filter several times - try to get it as free from particulates (little floaty things) as you can.

Once you've passed your water through your physical barrier filter, then:

1)  Boil it.  This is the most effective method.
Bring your water to a rolling boil for one full minute.  Then allow to cool before drinking or using.


2) Add liquid bleach.
Use standard household bleach (usually between 5-6% chlorine) that is free from dyes or perfumes.  Add the liquid bleach to your water, and mix well.  Allow the water to stand for at least 30 minutes before use (60 minutes if the water is very cloudy).

For liquid bleach, use the following:
1 quart water - 3 drops if water is clear; 5 drops if it is cloudy
1 gallon water - 1/8 tsp if water is clear; 1/4 tsp if water is cloudy