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Communications Bunker
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is much like the list of power sources. If you have a source of water you would like to add to this, please do. I ask respondents to please post existing sources of water and not sources of water that will have to be installed. The idea for this list is to provide a list of sources of water when you need water in a hurry, primarily in an urban area. Here are my sources.

DISCLAIMER: If you get killed trying to survive using any of this information, don't come crying to me.

Use your head. Consider the cause of the SHTF before using water that may be contaminated.


#Mall and office decorative fountains - Inside a building and probably protected from contaminants. Open to the building air and typically not part of the water supply
#Refrigerated drinking water fountains - they have a small tank inside to store the cooled water.
#Water Heaters - Typically 40-50 gallons of water. Water can be removed using the drain spout on the bottom. Be sure to close all incoming valves prior to use to prevent outside water from coming in
#Sprinkler Systems in large buildings - The large pipes in these systems can hold literally hundreds of gallons of water. The larger the building, the more water in the system.
#Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools - These may be exposed to contaminants and will probably have a lot of chlorine in the water. Chlorine can be removed.
#Construction Sites - Look for large tank trucks. Often the water is not potable, bit it can be made potable.
#Public Fountains - May be exposed to contaminants, but often are not open to the public water supply except for filling
#Water and Amusement Parks - Exposed to contaminants and chlorinated
#Well Pressure Tanks - Typically hold about 20 gallons of pressurized water.
#Toilet Tanks - 1.5 Gallons per flush.
#Factories - Often factories will have large water storage tanks for storing water.
#Car Wash - Car Wash water heaters are often large capacity, sometimes over 100 gallons
#Coin Laundry Locations - Often have multiple water heaters, over 100 gallons
#Restaurants - Large water heaters
#Camp Grounds - It varies, but many camp grounds that are outside of public water supplied areas will have a large pressure tank and well.
#The obvious - lakes, rivers, ponds
#Office Buildings - Water coolers, the kind with the big, blue bottle on top
#Hand Pumped Wells - They do still exist. Many older homes still have them even though they are on city water. Leftover from another era.
#Medical Facilities - Raid the outside faucets.
#Vending Machines - Just because the power is out doesn't mean the machine won't give up a bottle of Dasani. Hit it with a large hammer!
#Bagged Ice Freezers - You see these at gas stations. Large, white boxes with a sloped front, often outside. By the time you get there it may filled with bagged water.

Remember, this list is a list of improvised and expedient water sources. Knowing the locations of water sources may save your life or the life of a loved one. Just because you have a zillion gallons and a solar powered well at your super secret squirrel BOL doesn't mean you will be able to get to it. Its always a good idea to know where to find water when you need it.

When adding to this list please keep it to improvised water supplies. Posting links to sources of solar powered well pumps and rainwater collection systems and the like have no place here. This is a list of IMPROVISED and EXPEDIENT water sources. Remember, people have died because they did not know where to find water when it was all around them.

Prior Planning Prevents **** Poor Performance. Have a plan in the event your original plan should fail.
 

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Permanently gone
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Urban situation...head for doctors offices and clinics...especially pediatrician offices or even a hospital.
They keep bottled water for infants, much of the water is an electrolyte solution to replenish salts and minerals the body loses in dehydration situations.
 

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Communications Bunker
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963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Add this one too:

Roadside Rest areas. Many of the roadside rest areas in remote locations, such as the ones on I-40 at the NC/TN state line, will have their own water storage systems and wells. These will have potentially hundreds of gallons of potable water.
 

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Read Only
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I'd include the Zoo. And Doctor's offices usually have some sort of fish tank too. I'm surrounded by ponds and stock tanks too.
 

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Adapt Improvise Overcome
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#. Garages, Gas station/ Petrol station.
The water hose thing alongside the air hose. Also they have outside water taps usually somewhere near the air hose. Not potable, but I have drank it before when cycling.

#. Vehicle radiator/s?
Does that water have contamiments and chemicals? (I don't drive / don't know)
Was just thinking in a do or die of thirst situation as a last bid to stay alive until better water is found, unless of course it does contain chemicals or contaminents :eek:
 

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Communications Bunker
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963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
#. Vehicle radiator/s?
Does that water have contamiments and chemicals? (I don't drive / don't know)
Was just thinking in a do or die of thirst situation as a last bid to stay alive until better water is found, unless of course it does contain chemicals or contaminents
Antifreeze is deadly. In some of the more "*******" areas a lot of animals die as a result of radiator maintenance. People will drain the radiator into a bucket and leave the bucket sitting outside, dogs and other animals will come along, drink the antifreeze and die.
 

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Great and insightful post! Another possible source would be hvac equipment. Some ac systems are ran with water as a way to transfer heat and cool a building.
 

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Communications Bunker
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great and insightful post! Another possible source would be hvac equipment. Some ac systems are ran with water as a way to transfer heat and cool a building.
That reminds me that hot water heating systems will be loaded with water too. They are usually a closed system with a boiler tank.
 

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Adapt Improvise Overcome
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I know sprinkler systems were mentioned but what about;

#. Fire hose in building? I have seen plenty around buildings and I believe that you just unroll the thing and turn a tap which is mounted on the unit. Of course collecting that water, likely pressurised might well require some pre-thought as to where to collect it. But still, worth a thought.
 

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The end is near.
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How about those trucks that clean parking lots and city streets? I see those laying down water as they sweep. Maybe they would have water on board that could be purified.

Most carpet cleaning rigs have a fresh water tank. They should have no chemicals added while the water is sitting in the tank. Cleaners are added in after they leave the heat exchanger. Look for a local Stanley Steamer or Coit location and you'll find several of these trucks.

Excellent thread.
 

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Freedom Is Not Free
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Careful

That reminds me that hot water heating systems will be loaded with water too. They are usually a closed system with a boiler tank.
Many boiler systems contain chemicals to control pH levels and scale and rust. Many of these systems are found in dry cleaners and heat for large buildings/schools. I work in the chem ical industyr and know this is something you should stear clear of. Many boiler treatments are highly caustic, I've been burnt before srevicing chemical pumps. Don't do it
 

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Ready To Go At Any Time
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Well.... Right now all I can think of is this:

If there's no city water, shut off your incoming water line and trap the water that's in the pipes. open the highest faucet in the home, and get to the ground level (hose spiggot would be the lowest) or the basement if you have one and the water will drain down to the lowest point. So you might get a few gallons out of that.

Garden hoses (when coiled on a holder) can have 4 or 5 gallons in them atleast. Unhook it from the wall spiggot and tie the hose off in a good knot or crimp it so no water can escape that end. You will lose a little water out of the small 2 or 3 foot section that is going to drain when unhooked but don't panic and don't let he hose unravel yet. bend this end over multiple times to kink the hose and tie the sections together with a rope or a clamp or something, or put a shutoff turn valve on this end and make sure it's shut. Put a squeeze action sprayer, or a shutoff valve on the business end of the hose. Start unraveling it when both ends are sealed off and the water is trapped in the hose. Put the end that was on the spigot at a higher point, like tying a rope to it and hoisting it up into a tree limb, so you can create a gravitational drop for the water. Then use the spigot or the hand sprayer at the other end to fill containers until the hose is empty. If you have those little plastic hose valves you can just leave the water in the hose and come get some whenever you need it.
Talking about one of these:

would be best if you could get one on both ends of the hose section you were storing water in.

Residential sprinkler system. If you're at home and have used up the hot water heater and inside plumbing lines, you can drain the yard sprinkler if you have a low point drain valve. should be good for 2 or 3 gallons. you'll never get the water out of the watering zones becasue there are anti run back valves on every line and they're below the neck of the bell valve on the outside of your house, so don't even try. too hard to get too. nearly impossible.

Air Compressors: Again.... for very desperate times! A lot of craftsmen NEVER drain their air compressors. you can get up to 4 or 5 ounces of water inside of some of these tanks just from the humidity in the air in very dry climates. The more humid the climate the more water will be sucked in and sitting in the tank. Some states like missouri or florida can fill 1/4th of the tank in a day if it's humid enough! Depending on how the tank is lined or how long the water's been in there it may be rusty so be very careful.


Off Topic a little bit:
Rainwater. I know this isn't existing water but while collecting stuff you can find, it would be smart to set up fresh collection if the rain was assumably safe to drink. I thing I'd get some large funnels and put them into containers, or find a way to build a large funnel in a v shape out of plywood or something that all ran down to one corner into a big trash can or something. Might not be the best idea, but the larger area you can get to run to a centralized point, the more water you'll collect (you know..... like a roof running down to a gutter..... if you want to drink shingle and gutter water).

Canned Goods: I know this sounds nasty..... but if you can find like... canned fruits or pinto beans... theres a lot of fluid in those that would be safe to drink. Most people would rule it out saying "I'm thirsty, not hungry!!!!" but.... there's a beverage in there.
 

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Go out in the morning and using a washcloth/absorbent cloth and collect dew off the leaves and grass, etc. Wring the water out of the cloth. The water would need to be purified.
 

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Facin' Long,Personal SHTF
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Not much to be had with this one, about a cup per day per solar still, but solar stills could be setup anywhere you can see the sky :) Four or five on a balcony could make a bit of water, not much mind you, but some.
 
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