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Water Options?

2343 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  arisinwind
Hello all, my question for you all today is about water.

In your survival plan which would you most plan on doing?

Do you pump?
I guess you can use a generator to operate a well but a generator = gas, noise and attention... Anyone use solar panels to power water pumps? How many of you still have hand operated wells?

Do you Store?
Would you store water? I see alot of 30-55 gal drums sold but im curious how many people actually stock these full of water. If you do store water, how much do you store and how do you store it. By that I mean what chemicals do you use to stabilize water and make it safe for consumption at a later date. I know there are a series of powders, and liquid additives but what do you use and what do you recommend? or do you store boxes of those small water packets?

Do you Filter?
For those who have ample water but just worry about quality do you prefer filters or water treatment solutions. I know that in a worst case you can always boil water but leaving that as your last option, what units/set ups would you use to provide clean water for your survival group of say 10-15 people for a prolonged amount of time. Many units will get you a couple of hundred gallons of water per filter but what are your options? Im not so much curious as to what products advertise but rather what you all use and what your strategies consist of.

I understand that no two survival situations are the same and what works for bob in oregon may not work for marc in Tennesee but I just would like to know what you all think and which (if any) of these methods are the cornerstone of your drinking water strategy in disaster situation.

thanks in advance
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· Fire Fighter
1,081 Posts
I have a good well but store 6,000 gals of water underground in a tank for emergincy use. It is underground to keep it a constant tempiture and to keep it from freezing. I can refill this tank with out a problem but it is handy in case my well pump quits or there is a freeze up in my system ect. My generator back up can run my pump so that is what I plan to use and to heck with the noise that is the least of my problems in a SHTF deal. If I had to I have other ways to get water out of my well or tank but a few gallons of fuel can go a long ways for drinking water in very large quanities. Mark

· Retrofitted Sheeple
31,697 Posts
I was very recently toying with the idea of UV-c in long-term water storage.

I'm envisioning something like a giant Steripen either inserted into a water container once a year, or alternatively built right into the container itself. Considering it's effectiveness, a few minutes a year could probably keep water sterile without chemicals indefinitely.

· Rogue
1,616 Posts
Do you pump?
I have solar panels. I have prioritized my power consumption and the water pump is numero uno on that list. I do have a hand pump backup but would rather not use it if possible. This is my principal source of water and is hooked directly into my home's plumbing. But something could always go wrong or the water could be contaminated.

Do you Store?
I do store. I have a 250 gallon tank in the garage which I treat periodically with turbo shock (Calcium Hypochlorite). I also have 7 x 5 gallon water bottles in the house at all times and at least 3 cases of bottled water. Storage water is meant to get me buy in most situations for the first couple of weeks or so if for whatever reason the well is not functioning or is contaminated. No need to go outside.

Do you Filter?
I do. I use the Katadyn Gravidyn Drip Water Filter. However, the filters cost to much so I maintain a decent supply of backup filters from these guys which seem to work with the Katadyn system. Much cheaper and every bit as good if not better. Of course you could use those filters to build an even bigger system which you'll probably need considering the size of your group. Nothing like this will last forever though so boiling and turbo shock are backups for purification.

You could of course fix filters directly to a cistern based system from rain capture too. We capture rain here mostly for watering our crops and animals. But with a bit of purification it would be fine for human consumption as well.

One of the things we did was purchased a number of buckets. Red is what we use for cleaning and is suitable for chemicals. Gray is for non-potable water that is intended to be used for drinking or watering animals and plants. Blue is used for water that has been purified for human consumption.

Never forget that water is the most important prep. You need it for drinking, for cooking, for hygiene, and for medicine. An adult will use at a minimum, 1 gallon a day for short periods of time. For the long run though that would have to increase many times over. And it will at least double in high temperatures.

· Premium Member
69,133 Posts
I'm just going to address the storage part of the questions. The drums are good because they're easier to fit into your storage areas. But the downside to traditional water storage is that is almost always works out to about a dollar a gallon. This is ridiculous when you consider that the water itself is so cheap as to be almost free. To get around this requires some thinking outside the box. Here are some solutions that I've found.

If you have farm or ranch land near the area, drive around the area occasionally, and look in the classifieds. They're always upgrading, downgrading or removing water tanks. I lucked out and got a 325 gallon tank for free just for hauling it away. It had been used to gravity feed a livestock watering station so they didn't have to start the well as often. They were closing out that watering station and wanted to get rid of the tank. I'm always seeing them in the 200-500 gallon range for cheap.

Secondly, a lot of liquids get shipped in those modular tanks. The ones with a plastic tank inside a metal cage. They're about 250 gallons. I was at the pipe company looking at irrigation pumps when I noticed the had a bunch of them for sale. They were used to transport soy oil, so I had a big chore cleaning them out. But I only paid $20 each for them. They usually range between $20-100. Most cities have materials resellers that specialize in reselling shipping materials. Boxes, crates, totes, tanks, etc. Take a look in the yellow pages to find them. Just be sure the tank originally held food grade products. Some of them are used to ship chemicals or motor oil. The tanks can stack 3 high also.

So, for a total of about $100, I have over 1,500 gallons of water storage right now.

· I see a bad moon arising
1,266 Posts
I'm currently living in a suburban subdivision setting, so my water options
are bit more limited. Even so, I think (hope) I have a workable plan.

For the short term, I've got water stores. I use mainly the 7-gallon Regency
blue water containers (around $10 at Walmart). I also stumbled into a few
15 gallon food-grade barrels. In total, I've got about 100 gallons stored.
I'd like to store more, but I've pretty much used up the available floor
space that I'm willing to commit to this.

If you're going to store in containers larger than the 7 gallons, consider
where you want to store them, how you're going to fill them, and how
you're going to empty them. I can muscle the 15 gallon containers around,
but they're awkard at about 130 pounds. A cheap barrel pump would be
a good investment I need to look into.

For storage, I give them the standard bleach treatment (8 drops per gallon),
and store them for a year. Every New Years they get dumped and refilled.

There's another 40 gallons or so in the hot water heater that could be
tapped if needed.

Outside, I've got two 55 gallon rain barrels that I keep full. So there's another
110 gallons, but that's untreated.

I figure that with 250 gallons stored, two people should have around two
months worth of rationed water supply. I'm in the midwest, so the rain
barrels should see several refilling rain storms over any two month period.
If not, there's numerous ponds and small lakes around that I could haul
water from if need be, but that sounds like a whole lot of work.

For treatment -- once the stored, clean water runs out -- we'll use our British
Berkefeld filters, along with either boiling, or more likely a bleach treatment.
(Replace your bleach on a yearly basis also, it's got a limited shelf life.)

Really envy you guys with your own wells and 1,000 gallon plus storage systems. :thumb:

Looking to buy and move to some rural land in the future. My own well,
septic system, trees for firewood, and big propane tank. Ha! I wouldn't
have given 2-cents for that setup a couple of years ago, but now it sounds
like heaven. But for now I just can't justify giving up my well-paying job in
the city, which is allowing me to squirrel away money to buy the rural land.
Just hope the SHTF holds off long enough to make that wishlist become a
realilty. Fingers crossed.
Really can hear that clock ticking though...
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