Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nor any drop to drink

If you followed the advice from earlier this week, you'll have stored one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days. But what if you didn't and disaster has struck? If water supplies run low, never ration water. Drink the amount you need (1 or 2 quarts) and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

Municipal tap water can become contaminated during floods, power outages, etc. When in doubt follow these two steps: 1. Clarify the water with a filter or fine cloth. 2. Disinfect the water by boiling or adding 2 drops of unscented bleach per liter/quart of water. Wait 30 minutes for bleach to kill bacteria. Never drink water contaminated with toxic chemicals or heavy metals.

Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You’ll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines. To use the clean water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house.

Did you know your hot water tank holds 30-60 gallons of water? When desperate for water, turn off the water heater to prevent it from operating empty and let it cool before draining to prevent scalding. Open the drain valve at the bottom tank, discard the first few gallons if they contain rust or sediment. Add 5-7 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon of water, stir, and wait 30 minutes before use.

As a last resort, use the water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the toilet bowl!). Be sure to boil it or apply bleach. A more appealing source of water is the liquid in canned fruits & vegetables. Swimming pool/hot tub/water bed water may be used as "gray water' for washing but not drinking due to chemicals they contain.
Bottom Line

Wouldn't you rather have stored bottle water at home rather than some of the desperate choices above?


P.S.
Today's title comes from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

As Idle as a painted ship, upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.

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