storage of water : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Storage of a year's supply of food is simple enough but how does one store a year's supply of water, figuring approximately a gallon per person per day for 365 days ?

-- John Townsend (, April 20, 1998


Flip answer: a swimming pool.

I just estimated 1 gallon/person/day for 10 people at 15 cubic metres. Given land and money you could get a tank built (or a pool!)

However, it won't keep sterile for that long. You either need enough fuel to boil it before you drink it, or sufficient supplies of bleach to sterilize it, again shortly before drinking it. (This is not actually a huge lot of bleach!)

Alternatives: groundwater (get a well built); collect rainwater off roof; fall back on river water or seawater (via a solar still). In all cases you need to be able to sterilize it. If none of the above are practical I'd want to move to somewhere where they are!

-- Nigel Arnot (, April 21, 1998.

Actually your answer isn't flip at all! I'ld give up the notion of boiling water to kill germs though, unless you have acres of mature trees and enjoy cutting wood.

Bleach is the easiest way to sterlize water. Normal household bleach (assuming it is just 5.25% sodium hypoclorite and no added whiteners or brighteners) will sterilize water in about 30 minutes - 1 tsp per 5 gallons of cloudy water, 1/2 tsp for clear. Therefore one gallon of 5.25% bleach can treat 7,680 gal. of clear water. Bleach will not kill tuberculosis germs however. The jugs that household bleach comes in are slightly gas permiable, that's why the strong chlorine smell in that aisle of the store. Therefore the concentration goes down over time. So just make your own as needed.

For only $10-20 you can purchase 5# of dry pool chlorine (shock or burn out) ~65% calcium hypochlorite, you want only CaHyp, no other ingredients for algae or fungus control or clarifiers. 24.5 grams of this (about 10 Tablespoons) can be added to 1 gallon of water to make bleach. Very important!!! Mix this outside away from walls due to the gassing of chlorine.

So for about $15 you can make about 93 gallons of bleach which will treat 700,000 gallons of clear water. So $15 covers the water needs for about 200 people for three years figured on 3 gallons per person per day for drinking, food preparation, and sanitation (flush toilets, dishwashers and laundry machines not included). Purchasing commercial coffee filters at Sam's or Costco will help prefilter the water.

-- R. Watt (, April 21, 1998.

In "Water Fit to Drink" by Carol Keough (1980) are some good ideas for homemade water filtration systems. On page 138 is a 55-gallon drum converted to a water purifier. Basically you build a filter system out of gravel, activated carbon, and sand. She also has some ideas for how to collect rainwater via the downspouting on pg 190.

Another book, The Drinking Water Book by Colin Ingram (1991), addresses the quality of the water. It rates different filtration systems for whether they remove certain bacteria. He also briefly covers long-term storage of water on pg 71.

Rod Swab Year 2000 - Countdown to Calamity

-- Rodney Swab (, April 22, 1998.

Has anyone thought of making the drinking water pure by using tea tree oil or nutri-biotic? These are both natural products and are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. I haven't done any research on this, just curious if anyone else has.

Blessings, Candice

-- Candice Brinkman (, May 06, 1998.

Reply to Candice, On the tea tree oil, it is an oil, oil and water do not mix! Even if they did, have you put a drop of tea tree oil on your tongue? Don't do this unless you are sitting down! Also, the good stuff is very expensive, stick with stabilized oxygen or bleach.

There is no regulation of tea tree oil in the U.S. You can put water in a bottle, call it tea tree oil and it is legal, since there is no legal definition of what tea tree oil is in the U.S.

Tea tree oil is a supurb anti-biotic and anti-fungal for topical use. Usefull tea tree oil comes from the melelueca alternifolia plant. There are around 200 plants in this group, only the melalueca alternifolia yeilds benificial oil. It should have a high turpinen count and a low cinole count. If it comes from australia it has to have at least 25(30?)% turpinen and no more than 10(?)% cinole. Higher quality oil has T36 and C7, the very best is T40 and C5%. If the bottle doesn't give the country of origin it is probably from India, probably not alternifolia, and worthless other than it's ability to repeal insects and taste terrible.

In the U.S. Melelueca Inc. of Idaho is a reliable source.

-- Ken Seger (, May 07, 1998.

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