WATER STORAGE AND FILTRATION
We already know we need to have a short-term water supply for our family. That is one gallon of water per person per day for two weeks.
But is that really enough?
Step Four – Long-Term Water Storage. Water is essential and probably the most crucial aspect of surviving a disaster. Not only do we need it to drink to stay alive, but we also need water to cook with, clean with, and for our sanitation needs.
The biggest problem with storing large amounts of water is the sheer size and weight that water requires.
We have discussed using and storing water in large 55-gallon containers, but let’s talk about more ways to store large amounts of water.
Large Water Barrels
Large water barrels come in various sizes, from 55-gallon to 500-gallon. These barrels are great options for storing large amounts of water.
Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:
- Where are you going to store this large container?
- If storing in the garage, it is a good idea to keep the container on a wood pallet so that it is not stored directly on concrete.
- You will want to place your container in the location you will store it before you fill it up.
- You will want to replace and rotate the water every one to five years.
- You will want to use a food-grade hose to fill.
- How will you treat the water to prevent contamination?
- Do you have a water filter?
- How will you get the water out of the barrel when you need to access it or when it is time to rotate it?
- How much do you want to spend? These containers cost at least $100 and can go up to a few thousand dollars.
LARGE WATER STORAGE OPTIONS
The waterBob is a large, heavy-duty plastic bag that lines your bathtub and will hold 100 gallons of water. It is fully enclosed to prevent contamination.
Why would you ever use this?
If you have enough time, you can fill the waterBOB and have clean drinking water to ride out a storm. Examples include hurricanes or scheduled water shut-off maintenance.
Several years ago, the city I lived in notified all residents that the water would be shut off for several hours up to a day while they performed maintenance. I quickly filled up my bathtubs to have the extra water while we waited.
However, I realized I would want to scrub them out first and ensure they were clean. Another issue was that this would be open and exposed water. In this case, the waterBOB would have been a great option.
The downside is you may not have time to fill this up when it is needed.
You can find out more on their website:
275-GALLON IBC TOTE
The IBC Tote is a great option to upgrade from a 55-gallon drum or in addition to your other water storage.
These are food-grade, reusable, industrial-grade containers used to transport and store large amounts of liquids. They also come in 330-gallon sizes.
These weigh about 140 pounds empty and come with an integrated pallet base that keeps them off the ground.
There is a large screw-off lid on top and a spigot on the bottom.
Because these containers are five times larger, they can be more cost and space effective as you can stack two high.
You will want to place this container in a location that does not get sunlight and perhaps cover it with a tarp.
The container will weigh over 2000 pounds once filled, so make sure you have it in a good spot before you fill it up, and remember to use a food-grade hose to fill.
You may want to treat the water with bleach or Aquamira as you fill it up.
Remember to mark the container with the fill date and when it should be replaced.
To drain the water, use a drain adapter that screws into the end of the spigot and attaches with a food-grade hose to move the water.
There are several places to buy these containers but you can learn more at www.ibctanks.com.
ROCKWELL WATER SYSTEMS
This company provides storage tanks from 70 gallons to 250 gallons. With high quality materials, two valves, and a unique shape, this water tank may be a good option for you. You can find them at www.rockwellwater.com
SURE WATER TANKS
This company provides large water tanks up to 500 gallons. You can shop their website at surewatertanks.com
BULL INTEGRATED WATER SYSTEMS
This product connects directly to the main water line of your home. This is a unique system as it solves the problem of rotating large amounts of water in big barrels.
From their website:
The patented Bull Water Storage System conveniently provides you with access to a water supply when you need it the most. While your neighbors may be without running water, flushable toilets, warm showers, running the dishwasher, washing machine,(you get the point) it will be business as usual at your home. Your Bull Water System connects directly to the main water line in your home, and is readily available with the flip of a switch. Unlike any other water storage systems that also connect to your main plumbing line, the Bull Water System keeps the stored water isolated, but readily available. This patented isolated system is especially valuable should your main water supply become polluted or contaminated or unavailable for any reason. A free flowing system will be contaminated when the main water source is contaminated, but your isolated Bull Water System will ensure you always have clean water readily available.
If you are guessing this is the most expensive way to go… you are correct! In this case you are definitely paying for convenience as well as installation. Learn more on their website at www.bullwaterstorage.com
ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCES
RAIN BARRELS AND CISTERNS
In addition to storing fresh water, you may want to consider adding rain barrels into your emergency water storage. Rain barrels catch the excess water from your roof through your gutter pipes.
Rainwater will need to be filtered and sanitized before drinking, but you can also use rainwater for hygiene and cleaning purposes.
If you grow a garden, you will definitely want to use rain barrels to keep your garden alive.
It is a good idea to have the materials and know how on hand before disaster strikes. Here are some great videos that explain how to set up rain barrels.
Gathering water from the outdoors can be tricky, which brings us to filtration!
When you have to use your emergency water supply, you may discover that your water has become contaminated, smells weird, or tastes funny. Or, you may have collected rain water or found an alternative water source such as a pond or stream. Either way, you will need to disinfect or filter your water.
Take a look at our water filtration post to learn more about making your own Berkey filter and filtering water.
Excellent work! You have just completed step four!
Having an emergency supply of water and the knowledge of how to filter water will give you peace of mind and will help you through any emergency or disaster.
Now lets move on to STEP 5 – EMERGENCY KITS. We suggest that each family member have a 72-hour kit, go-bag, first-aid kits, and emergency car kits.