Thursday, March 20, 2008

Prepare! Water storage and plans to produce more


Without water we die, our animals die and our plants die. No water means no life. Thus the relation between water and life since the beginning of time.

Most survivalist sites direct readers to a) move to the country and b) get a house with a well. Sound advice if it applies, but most of us have to stay in the big evil city if we want to make a living.

If that is your particular situation, what ways can you build and maintain a water supply?

First, unlike most foods and manufactured goods, the means to get water is at your fingertips. Water service is a few steps away at the kitchen sink. So the fastest way to build up a water supply is to get some containers and start filling them from the tap.

For many, that can mean a tupperware or pitcher filled and placed in the fridge. Great, but what about when that is empty?

Fill those pop bottles

Many survivalists recommend storing water in empty plastic "pop" bottles (we call it soda down here, but to each his own). The drawback with this is it requires the survivalist to incur an additional cost for the two-liter bottles of unhealthy soda at 1-2.00 a pop. Also, the bottles have to be stored and with their design, that is not always the easiest to do.

But, if you do have soda bottles, please use them. For water storage, the suggestion from experts is that you wash the bottle out thoroughly with soap and hot water. Fill the clean bottles nearly to the top and add a couple of drops of unscented bleach. Store the bottles in a cool dark place. The water should remain fresh for about a year, although some rotate (pour on plants or in toilet) every six months.

Larger water containers

For larger water storage containers, you might want to take a look at 5 gallon water containers available at big box retailers and sporting goods stores. I have seen these at a major sporting goods store for less than ten dollars and they are fairly durable.

Even larger, 15, 30 and 55-gallon drums can be obtained from specialty retailers online or in the yellow pages.

Have even more room for water storage? How about a multi-thousand gallon agriculture storage tank? They are available at farm and ranch stores. I saw several for sale recently at the farm and ranch store north of where I live. They can cost several hundred dollars but are designed for outdoor usage so they are quite durable.

How about rain barrels? Hundreds of gallons of water roll off your roof when it rains and all of that water can be collected and reused.

Dig your own well?

How about a well? Doesn't that mean a lot of money and/or a great deal of work and expensive machinery? Well, yes and no. Not many are familiar with the sand point well. A simple screened drill point which is hammered into the ground and connected above with lengths of pipe. Once the water table is reached, the water can be pumped out using a manual pump (if not too deep) or a motorized pump.

If you are a city dweller, check with your local municipality and make sure that drilling a well in your yard is permitted. Many cities allow small wells like a sand point well for agriculture (read: watering yard and garden) use.

Water storage supplies to have on hand.

Make sure you have the following water supplies on hand:

A high quality water filtration system and extra filters. For daily use, a Brita filter will do for city or treated water.

For questionable water, check out Katydyn for small and medium size filter systems.

For larger quantities and home use, you might want to look at the Berkey Systems filters.

Finally, bleach.

Bleach kills almost any bugs found in water. When boiling + filter + bleach
are used, nearly any water source can be made safe to drink. Stock up on inexpensive, fragrance-free bleach today.

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