Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clean Safe Water! Emergency Preparedness

At some future time you might find yourself in a situation where you need to provide drinking water for yourself and others. Perhaps there might have been some sort of natural disaster or a situation related to national security in which society as we now recognize it might be at least temporarily less than ideal.

This is a subject which I have been thinking about recently and like most people I am basically unprepared for the worst case scenario. It just might be a good idea to consider this subject at greater length. In today’s world, it doesn’t hurt to learn some basic information on survival skills.

We all need to consume water for survival. Since we have been very blessed as a nation we don’t give much thought to a subject like safe drinking water. The fact is that we rely on public utilities to provide that for us. But what if there was suddenly no safe water supply? What if the utilities could not provide the service which we have come to rely on them for? What would you do?

The most obvious answer is to keep a supply of clean and safe drinking water stocked in the event of an emergency? But what if you did not have access to safe clean water? What would you do? Would you simply drink water out of a stream which looks clean? The fact that it looks clean does not mean that it is.

But does that mean that the idea of drinking water from a stream is not possible? No! But simple precautions can be taken in order to make it relatively safe. It would be a good idea to purchase in advance a simple water filtering system designed for this purpose. They are available and don’t cost all that much when considering the value of such a product.

Simply purchasing charcoal from a pet supply store used for filtering aquarium water would be useful for this purpose. Coffee filters can filter out larger pollutants. Anything that will remove a great deal of product that you don’t want to ingest is a useful item to have on hand.

Of course it is always important to bring the water to a boil and let it boil for about one minute. Personally I would recommend a boil of about five to ten minutes. But that is just me; I want to make sure those little bugs are dead.

At times due to circumstances the boiling process though important is not always possible. There is however an alternative process to producing safe drinking water and it is a very important step before the water should be consumed. Chlorine Bleach! That’s right, common household bleach.

The idea of adding bleach to drinking water seems like a strange idea since if you drink bleach it could kill you or at least make you very ill. But in the correct measure adding bleach to water is an important step in killing any microbe that has as its goal causing you a lot of illness and possible death.

Here is the recommended procedure for making field water safe to drink:

When boiling of water for 1 minute is not practical, water can be made potable by using chlorine bleach. Prior to addition of this product, remove all suspended material by filtration or by allowing it to settle to the bottom. Decant the clarified contaminated water to a clean container and add 8 drops of this product to 1 gallon of water [(2 drops to 1 quart)].

Allow the treated water to stand for 30 minutes. Properly treated water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat dosage and allow the water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times. For cloudy water, use 16 drops of this product per gallon of water [(4 drops to 1 quart)]. If no chlorine odor is apparent after 30 minutes, repeat dosage and wait an additional 15 minutes.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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