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Thursday, September 19, 2013
Sanitizing Water in Emergencies
As most of you know, the best way to sanitize water in an emergency is by using continuous boiling . There are times though where other methods may need to be used to sanitize water. Today, I am going to list some of the other ways to disinfect water in emergencies. It may be that you stock enough drinkable water for the human beings in your home for a particular emergency, but that you must sanitize water for your dogs, cats, or livestock. This could be important because especially in emergencies you do not need your animals becoming ill, particularly with a diarrheal illness with dehydration.
Most of us don't go through huge amounts of chlorine bleach liquid, and there are good reasons we shouldn't. It's not desirable or healthy to use too much of it, or use too frequently, and it can contribute to septic tank difficulties. Using it exactly as directed has great value. However, liquid bleach has a shelf life of twelve to eighteen months. It ages quickly and then becomes less effective for things like water sanitation. For this reason, there is a great deal written on a number of sites concerning using the more shelf stable pool shocks for water sanitation in emergencies, if you no longer have fresh clorox or similar liquid bleach.
To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.
* To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.
This should sit for one half hour before you drink it.
Do not buy calcium hypochlorite solution with other additives. It should simply be as listed above.
Dry granular bleach stores indefinitely
Keep in mind that you need to prepare sanitized water in emergencies for things like handwashing and dishwashing also.
Another reference states:
You can use granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water.
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ¼ ounce) for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters (approximately 7 grams) per 7.5 liters of water. The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight. To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 ounces) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or (approximately ½ liter to 50 liters of water) to be disinfected. To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another. "
This is an EPA reference and general link; Please print out a hard copy before an emergency.
In the US and Canada Wal-Mart has begun to sell a bleach capsule called Evolve. You can use the plain tablets without fragrance added, for laundry sanitation, to prep water for handwashing, or even to soak and sanitize dishes before rinsing, if you have no hot water during emergencies for dishwashing. The manufacturer does not recommend their shelf stable product be used for water disinfection for drinking.