Prepare Every Needful Thing

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Equipment and Supplies–July 2013

4 Comments

Water Purification

waterdrop

While reading accounts of citizens adjusting to the aftermath of recent hurricanes, floods and tornadoes one common challenge has been mentioned and that is the need of clean, potable water.  The following comes from ‘Drinking Water Guidelines’ from the Church’s website http://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage/drinking-water-guidelines.

“If your water supply is not known to be safe or has become polluted, it should be purified before use. Water purification is generally a two-step process.

Step 1: Clarify

Cloudy or dirty water must first be made clear. It should be passed through filter paper, fine cloth, or some other filter. It should be allowed to settle, and then the clear water on top can be carefully drawn. Filtered or clear settled water should always be disinfected before use.

Step 2: Disinfect

  • Boiling Method

Bringing water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes will kill most water-borne microorganisms. However, prolonged boiling of small quantities of water may concentrate toxic contaminants if present.

  • Bleach Method

Adding 8 drops of fresh liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to every 4 liters (one gallon) of water will kill most microorganisms. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used. The use of bleach does not address toxic contamination.

  • Commercial Water Filters

Commercial water filters can effectively filter and purify water contaminated with microorganisms, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. Their effectiveness depends on design, condition, and proper use.”

To clarify dirty water before using any of the above disinfection methods, simply run the water through a coffee filter.  These can be purchased at the $1 store.

There are many commercial water filters on the market and these can range widely in price according to the filtering capacity and the amount of water that the filters will purify.

Another product that is quite effective for emergency situations is the Steripen.  This is not a product you would use for gallons of water at a time, but to purify a personal sports bottle or glass of water, as it doesn’t take hours for the purification process to complete.  In approximately 45 seconds you can be quenching your thirst.

Ask around the ward and other Church members to see what they recommend as products for purifying water.

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4 thoughts on “Equipment and Supplies–July 2013

  1. If you have a well it may become contaminated during a flood if ground water enters the well. By searching the internet using a search string “decontaminating a well” a number of sites with helpful information will appear. Since all well contamination (bacteria, oil/petroleum products, toxic compounds and heavy metals) is different there is not just a “one size fits all” solution to well decontamination. Preparation for each type will require storing different materials.
    Note that swimming pool water purifiers may be a good investment for emergency short term water cleaning. They are designed to deal with contamination from bacteria and oil.

    If the well is uncontaminated then it may become a source of drinking water for others in your neighborhood, Ward or community. A gasoline run generator and stored gasoline may be needed to pump water if the electricity goes out. For those relying on a neighbor’s well in an emergency an investment in some stored gasoline may insure a source of clean well water. The well owner will likely be more free with the water when your gasoline is used to pump it.

  2. There are relatively inexpensive water testing kits available for water supplies. Just search the internet by entering in “water contamination test kit” and a number will be found. For example the “Watersafe WS-425W Well Water Test Kit, single use” general test kit was available for around $25 in July 2014 from Cole-Parmer. There are general test kits and specific test kits so read the descriptions carefully to select the test needed.

  3. Pingback: Emergency and Disaster Response–August 2014 | Prepare Every Needful Thing

  4. Pingback: Emergency and Disaster Response–January 2015 | Prepare Every Needful Thing

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