As we all know, one of most valuable resources (which we tend to forget about) is our water supply. We know we need to store water – 1 gallon/person/day – but how many days do you need water for? Are you storing enough? Very few of us have stored enough water, and in a shortage many will be scrambling to get clean water.
Even if you have a filter system, such as a Berkey, Katadyn, or ProPur, you might unintentionally clog the filter system if you run muddy or dirty water through the system. There are several stages of filtering water that can be done to make your water suitable for drinking without wearing out your water filter.
A good recommendation is to run your water through a coffee filter first. You can put 1-2 coffee filters in a vegetable strainer and filter out the heavy or large debris, mud or debris, then take the remaining water and filter it through your Berkey or Katadyn water filter to finish the filtering process.
A second step would be to add a few drops of bleach to any water to purify it. Once the water appears clean to you but smells like bleach, just put your water in a window sill and the sun will dissipate the bleach within minutes. Once the water no longer has a bleach smell, it is safe to drink. It’s a good recommendation to have a gallon or two of unscented bleach in our supplies.
It is also a good idea to have a couple of replacement filters for your Berkey, Katadyn, or ProPur in case one stops working or gets clogged. You can also have a filter straw in your bug out bags, a smaller filter if you are by a river, and a larger Berkey for a table top on our kitchen counter to process more than a gallon per day.
As soon as an emergency happens – as long as the water is still on at your house you can fill your bathtubs and sinks with water to use. You can also use the water in your hot water heater. For most of us, that will give us 25-45 gallons. Another good step is to save the rainwater from your rooftop if allowed by your state law. Get a drum or buckets to catch the rain from your downspouts. Just a little bit of rain can fill buckets and barrels of water very quickly. Then be sure to purify your water so that it is safe to use.