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.

http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/ogwdw/upload/2006_09_14_faq_fs_emergency-disinfection-drinkingwater-2006.pdf




        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.


14 comments:

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Yes! You have to think about more than drinking water. I had a friend get sick when she was backpacking on one of the islands and ate the salad. She had been carefully drinking bottled water but forgot that the lettuce was rinsed with just local water.

BBC said...

Geez, just drink beer.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have heard that bleach has a shelf life before but I would have never thought that stuff would go bad. We used to have to put it in our cistern long ago when the water got nasty. People might have to live like that again.

Linda said...

Thanks for the "78th percent" notice. I kept rejecting anyone that was not 100%...lol..I was trying to be safe!

Maybe you could include something about the dangers of storing Calcium Hypochlorite. It can be very dangerous.

I am going to look for the Evolve tablets. Is it with the laundry detergents? Does Evolve have a longer shelf life? Usable shelf life?

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JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, while in Russia I was careful to brush teeth using bottled water, but the state department had told us not to eat any salad that we did not prepare and wash ourselves with bottled water. The whole time we were there I ate cooked vegetables, except for one time I bought a cabbage and finely chopped my own coleslaw. When we got back I ate two large salads at Wendy's !

JaneofVirginia said...

It's an option, but not for infants, children, those on medications that will interact with alcohol, or alcoholics !

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, it's definitely a consideration depending upon the disaster.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, there are cautions on all of the bleach, and the pool shock, but of course, they are in small lettering.
In most Wal-Marts the Evolve is in the bleach section. Don't buy the ones with fragrance for anything but laundry. Evolve sells out really quickly. In Wal-Mart they are usually sold for $2.97 for 32 tablets with Amazon and Ebay selling the same container for as much as thirteen dollars for the same amount. So, if you can, stock up on the plain tablets from Wal-Mart when they are in stock.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks. This week I could use some cleaning help myself !

Julie said...

Thanks for a great post Jane. I've kept calcium hypochlorite in my preps for years. It does require some extra care storage wise. Plastic containers are good with tight fitting plastic lids, but my preference is for good old canning jars with the plastic screw on lids. The lids that are not meant for canning, just after the canned product has been opened and not yet used up.
I'm a careful sort, so I also put a layer of thick plastic wrap on the jar before the lid! If moisture gets to the Calcium Hypochlorite, look out. Anything metal within the reach of the fumes will corrode. NEVER smoke around this stuff and if it does catch fire, use lots of water. Calcium Chlorite produces oxygen, so trying to smother it with a blanket or some such will be ineffective. If it gets on ones skin, flush with water for 15 minutes. If ingested, do not induce vomiting, get thee to an emergency facility, if possible. Your posts are always so informative, thanks for taking the time and thought to write them!
It looks like coach from Sydney to our part of the woods is about $1900.00. Guess, I'd better do my own cleaning, yet again. :))
JF

JaneofVirginia said...

Julie, Thank you so much for the safety information. I may need to make a post on the safe storing of a number of things. (In my spare time. LOL) Thank you for giving us good safety guidelines for this. Best wishes.

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JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for the kind words.