Ideas on Pretesting Your Emergency Water Supply : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I live in the suburbs. Our local water authority is very advanced. I don't know if they are compliant, but they are otherwise well prepared to keep supplying water for a number of days after a power outage. Even so, clean water is a big concern for y2k. I have something of a plan to help with my preparations.

There is a little pond in our neighborhood and also a stream. In addition to being able to store several hundred of gallons of tapwater in containers, I have a PUR Scout water filter (which I have never used, so I can't comment good or bad) for y2k. I plan to take some water samples from the pond and stream within the next several months, treat them with my filter, and then submit them to the local water authority for testing. I might also try to take an unfiltered sample in for testing. I think such testing is free or very cheap. Then I'll have some idea of the baseline water quality I'll be dealing with.

Of course, the ecology might change drastically if y2k stops sewers and fecal choliform bacteria invade either water source, but I know that boiling will kill the bacteria and I presume it would kill other infectious agents that might result from y2k sewage runoff.

Please let me know any input you might have that could help me or others with this plan to ensure the safest possible water supply in the event of problems.

PS, if city water stops I've also got numerous 5 gallon plastic pails to put under my gutter downspouts as minicisterns. I'll have to saw off the bottom few feet of the downspout, but I think I'll wait until the tapwater stops flowing before I do that.

-- Puddintame (, February 10, 1999


You might want to look at the water sample kits listed in


It wouldn't be a bad idea to have a method of checking water quality afterthings have been disturbed for a while, but before you need to actually drink the stuff.

-- De (, February 10, 1999.

The cisterns are a good idea, but be aware that runoff from a modern shingle roof may contain some unexpected contaminants. Many roofing shingles contain fiberglass, and all contain various petroleum compounds. There also may be heavy metals in the downspout coatings. Plan on filtering any runoff you collect this way. Alternatively, it's possible to obtain food-grade plastic sheeting that can be used to cover your roof during rainy weather, or use them on the ground if it slopes into a natural collection area.

-- Why2K? (, February 10, 1999.

Be sure to have a lot of replacement filter cartridges.

In your situation, a larger filter might be advisable. The gravity-fed Berkefeld Filter claims a throughput up to a gallon per hour, with capacity up to 60,000 gallons (using a quadruple array).

River conditions upstream will be unpredictable: haz-mat leaks and dumping, fecal contamination, etc. Most suspended solids can be separated by using a settling basin ahead of the filtration; this will increase filter life substantially.

-- Tom Carey (, February 11, 1999.

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