water storage with hydrogen peroxide

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Does anyone know if you can use hydrogen peroxide to store water?My local health food store sold me some and said that it was better then bleach for storing water.

-- Belinda Brown (brownfamily@zebra.net), January 17, 1999


This came from http://www.mercyseat.net/water.htm

Bacteria - boil the water for about 20 minutes. You can add 15 drops of chlorine per gallon of water or 1/4 cup of food-grade hydrogen peroxide per gallon. Another item that will make water drinkable is sodium hypochlorite or household bleach - about 15 drops per gallon. It will suppress the growth of fungi, molds and mildews - it has safely protected our nation's water supply from cholera and typhoid fever. It costs less than $1.00/gallon! Katadyn makes some water purification tablets that are silver based called Micropure for treating and preserving water.

Some filtration systems that I have seen are:

1. Katadyn Pocket Purifier ~ $200.00 - this is a portable type of filter - ceramic filters/ .2 to .4 microns

2. Katadyn TRK Drip filter ~ $239.00 - this is a more stationary filter - ceramic filters/ .2 to .4 microns

3. P[R hand filter ~ $150.00 - this is a portable type of filter carbon filter with .4 micron filter

4. Penta Pure sport ~$ 35.00 - this is a portable type of filter with an inner resin bed that destroys bacteria and viruses

5. PentaPour ~$249.00 - this is a more stationary filter - an inner resin bed destroys bacteria and viruses

6. The Harmony Water Cooler Filter ~$99.00 removes 95% of pesticides chlorine, iron aluminum and lead, 100% of crypto sporidia, Giardia and sediments.

I would urge everyone to read the guide book offered by the Pure Water Network before they buy a filtration system. This guidebook discusses the pros and cons of every type of filtration system , whether portable of more permanent. You can find the guide on the internet at http://www.pwn.com/guide.html. If you don't have an internet connection, we can reproduce the guidebook if anyone has the interest.

Apparently, hydrogen peroxide will work (from what little I understand), but it doesn't seem to be the best/most cost effective solution. Also, make sure that it is food grade H2O2. I'm sticking with bleach for water purification.

-- d (d@dgi.com), January 17, 1999.

Hi Belinda

I am using bleach in water (3 drops per 2 litter). I am not to sure about hydrogen peroxide. I would check with your drugest before I chanced ruining my water supply. I have wondered about what will happen when I am looking at my last bottle on the shelf in my water inventory room. I have researched the net for a good water filter and have successfully found one that will filter rain, snow and swimming pool water. The site is http://www.atkinsid.com/bottle.htm and you will receive a 5% off for all Y2Kers if you enter my name "Duane" anywhere on the form. Whatever your choice I wish you the best in your preparation and beyond.

-- Duane (Duane24062@aol.com), January 17, 1999.

The differences between various agencies' recommendations of drops of bleach per gallon probably arise from cloudy (no pun int.) specificity of water quality and water's temperature. Is the water from the tap and for long-term storage? (If so, some people say it has only a 6-month shelf-life because that's the effective life of bleach; others say kept from light and too-warm temps, it should last indefinitely.) Is the water from a wild body of water? Is it rainwater collected from a roof? Is it floodwater? The Canadian government's Ministry of Health recommends as follows, with a table at the end showing varying quantities of bleach for questionable or relatively clean water. (I like this particular information mainly because Canadians have a national health system and it's in the government's interest to to keep the populace healthy .)


Ministry of Health, Health File #49b, August, 1997

Why should I disinfect my drinking water?

Drinking water is disinfected to kill disease-causing micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) which may be in it.

Many different diseases are spread by drinking water contaminated by micro-organisms, including Campylobacter, cholera, amoebic dysentery, beaver fever (Giardia) and Cryptosporidia. These organisms usually get into drinking water supplies when source waters (i.e.. lakes, streams) or community water supply pipes or storage reservoirs are contaminated by animal wastes or human sewage.

In general, surface waters such as streams and lakes are more likely to contain disease-causing organisms than groundwater. Deep wells are safer than shallow wells. In fact, shallow dug wells are often as contaminated as lakes or streams.

When should I disinfect my drinking water

You should disinfect your drinking water if:

your community has been issued a boil water advisory;

you are using water directly from a stream, lake or shallow well;

lab tests of your water show that it contains "fecal coliforms";

an earthquake or other disaster has disrupted your community water supply;

you are traveling in an area where water is not well treated (third world countries); or

you have a weakened immune system (in which case you should disinfect all of your drinking water).

Disinfecting small quantities of water Boiling:

Boiling is the best way to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. A full boil for at least two minutes is recommended. At elevations over 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) you should boil water for at least three minutes to disinfect it.

NOTE: This is not appropriate for water that is obviously heavily polluted, or subject to chemical contamination.

To remove the flat taste of boiled water, leave the boiled water in a clean covered container for a few hours or pour the cooled boiled water back and forth from one clean container to another. [Have heard, too, that a pinch of salt will help any off-taste. Others relish the thought of using powdered drink mix.OG]

Disinfection using chemical methods:

Unscented household bleach (5% chlorine) can sometimes be a good disinfectant - e.g. when the water is not heavily polluted, or when beaver fever or cryptosporidiosis are not a concern.

Disinfection using bleach works best with warm water. Add 1 drop (0.05 mL) of bleach to 1 Litre of water, shake and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking.

Double the amount of bleach for cloudy water, or for cooler water.

 A slight chlorine odour should still be noticeable at the end of the 30 minute waiting period if you have added enough bleach.

The disinfection action of bleach depends as much on the waiting time after mixing as to the amount used. The longer the water is left to stand after adding bleach, the more effective the disinfection process will be.

NOTE: Bleach does not work well in killing off beaver fever (Giardia) or Cryptosporidium parasites. The amount of bleach needed to kill these parasites makes the water almost impossible to drink. If beaver fever or Cryptosporidium are in your water, boiling is the best way to ensure safe drinking water.

Chlorine Tablets:

Follow the manufacturers' directions.


Whenever possible use warm water (20 0C) and let stand a minimum of 20 minutes after mixing and before drinking.

For cold water (5 - 150C) increase the waiting time after mixing to 40 minutes.

If you are using 2% tincture of iodine, use 10 drops (0.5 mL) for every one litre of water.

With iodine tablets, follow the manufacturer's directions.


Pregnant women should not use iodine drops to purify water as it may have an effect on the fetus.

Iodine should not be used to disinfect water over long periods of time as prolonged use can cause thyroid problems.

Disinfecting larger amounts of water in tanks or barrels

Always use clean containers which are designed for storage of food or water. You can use regular household bleach (usually about 5% chlorine) or commercial bleach products (usually 10% chlorine).

The table below shows how much regular household bleach to add to various size water containers to disinfect relatively clean water.

If you are treating water from a lake, stream or shallow well, use twice as much household (5%) bleach as indicated in the chart below and wait twice as long before drinking it because it is more likely to contain chlorine-resistant parasites from animal droppings. Let the water stand for at least an hour after adding the bleach before you start drinking it. If the water is colder than 100C or has a pH higher than 8, let the water stand for at least two hours before drinking.

Gallons of water to disinfect (equivalent shown in brackets)

Amount of Household bleach (5%)to add *

1 gal. (4.5 litres)- 2 drops (0.18 mL)

2-1/5 gal. (10 litres) - 5 drops (0.4 mL)

5 gal. (23 litres) - 11 drops (0.9 mL)

10 gal. (45 litres)- 22 drops (1.8 mL)

22 gal. (100 litres) - 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL)

45 gal. (205 litres)- 1-1/2 teaspoons (8 mL)

50 gal. (230 litres)- 1-3/4 teaspoons (9 mL)

100 gal. (450 litres)- 3-1/2 teaspoons (18 mL)

220 gal. (1000 litres)- 8 teaspoons (40 mL)

500 gal. (2200 litres)- 6 tablespoons (90 mL)

1000 gal. (4550 litres)- 6 1/2 ounces or 12 tablespoons (180 mL)

*Adding household (5%) bleach at these amounts will produce water with about 2 parts per million of chlorine in it (about 0.0002 percent).

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), January 18, 1999.

The original question was about treating water with hydrogen peroxide. I've been trying to get an answer to this question for a couple of months now. What I have not been able to determine is the proper amount of H2O2 to use. But all I read is other methods. We know about the other methods. Would someone who knows about this (or knows where to get it) please reply?

-- Sandy (prep4y2k@aol.com), January 19, 1999.

Hi, Sandy - d, in the 2nd post above, suggests 1/4 cup food grade HP to 1 gallon of water. When I was first researching water purification I looked at all the major disaster agency sites on the Web and found the overwhelming recommendations for water purification are boiling or bleach. Then I asked the American Society of Microbiologists about purifiers other than bleach. Regarding HP, Dr. Richard F. Unz at Penn State replied as follows:

". . .is it any more efficient than bleach? Answer: NO!

Does it kill water-borne cysts, such as giardia? Answer: NO!"

If you wish to research further, an Alta Vista search for "hydrogen AND peroxide NEAR water AND treatment" produced 7903 hits. . .

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), January 19, 1999.

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