Category - Water Storage

Clean water is one of the most important things to consider when getting prepared.

Purifying Water in an Emergency part 4

purifying-water-
Harry Weyandt

Harry Weyandt

By Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak.Com Preparedness Expert

Most of us take for granted every day that when we turn on our faucet we will get safe drinking water.  In an emergency or disaster situation, where regular water service has be tainted or interrupted (such as in the event of a flood, hurricane or earthquake) local authorities may recommend using only bottled water, require boiling or disinfecting the water until regular delivery is restored.

The instruction below will walk you thru step-by-step on how to make your water safe for drink by boiling, disinfecting and filtering. However, boiling and disinfecting the water will NOT destroy Easy-As-123or remove other contaminates such as chemicals, fuels or bad taste.

See previous PART #1 beginning information,

PART #2 Boiling Water and

PART #3 Chlorine Bleach & Chlorine Dioxide.

3. WATER FILTERS

Many camping portable water filters can remove disease-causing parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia from drinking water, though most will not remove viruses. When choosing a portable water filter, select one that will filter down to an absolute 1 micron or LESS to remove all parasites, bacteria, protozoa, cysts, algae, spores and sediments.

Filters such as the industry leading Katadyn Vario*, Katadyn Pocket Filter*, Katadyn Combi*, group Katadyn Expedition* and Katadyn Hiker filters in addition to the LifeStraw Filters exceed this Katadyn-Vario-Filterand will filter down to .3 microns or less. The Aquamira Green Line water filters sub-micron particles also. These filters may also improve water taste and appearance with secondary carbon filtering. (*These filters use long lasting ceramic elements or a combination of ceramic and carbon filtration).

These filters are not effective in filtering out hazardous chemicals or ocean water. After filtering, add a disinfectant such as chlorine dioxide to the filtered water to kill any possible viruses or remaining bacteria.

In protected watersheds where pollution from humans and animals is minimal and for which the main concerns are bacteria, giardia and cysts, portable water filters alone can provide adequate protection.

4. WATER DISTILLATION

Survival-StillSeveral water distillers are available in the market place. Distillation produces clean, pure and mineral free water from almost any water source with heat and steam. Most distillers like the popular Pure Water® distiller are excellent for producing safe drinking water so long as electrical power is available.  One distiller that does not require electricity is the Survival Still which operates atop most camping and kitchen stoves using large kitchen pots.

In distillers, raw water is boiled into steam, then cooled and condensed to produce pure drinking water. One advantage, especially for people living along the ocean coast, is that distilling units can allow you to purify not only regular water but also ocean salt water for safe drinking.

5. ULTRA VIOLET LIGHT

Portable Ultra Violet light lamps like the ones used in the SteriPEN units are effective in killing 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, giardia and cryptosporidium but only if the water is clean and the correct time exposure has been completed. To insure effectiveness, water must we swished around in the container during treatment to insure UV contact with the water by the lamp. Two possible things to consider if using these units are: 1) They require batteries to operate, and 2) They can only be used to disinfect up to 1 quart of water at a time. If using this method, be sure to store additional batteries or have a way to recharge your batteries.

See PART #1 to start your water purification learning.

© 2017 Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc. Click Here to see our full list of preparedness articles and blog posts.

Harry R Weyandt is the founder and owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., one of America’s oldest and most respected preparedness companies. He has been a leading authority in the preparedness industry for over 30 years and has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, FOX News, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others as an expert in his field. He lives in Utah with this wife Vickie along with their children and grandchildren. His hobbies are boating, camping, international travel and anything to do with preparedness.

Purifying Water in an Emergency part 3

Purifying Water Part 3
Harry Weyandt

Harry Weyandt

By Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak.Com Preparedness Expert

Most of us take for granted every day that when we turn on our faucet we will get safe drinking water.  In an emergency or disaster situation, where regular water service has be tainted or interrupted (such as in the event of a flood, hurricane or earthquake) local authorities may recommend using only bottled water, require boiling or disinfecting the water until regular delivery is restored.

The instruction below will walk you thru step-by-step on how to make your water safe for drink by boiling, disinfecting and filtering. However, boiling and disinfecting the waterEasy-As-123 will NOT destroy or remove other contaminants such as chemicals, fuels or bad taste.

See previous PART #1 beginning information, PART #2 Boiling Water and PART #4 Filters, Distillers and Ultra-Violet Light.

2. DISINFECTANTS: Chlorine Bleach & Chlorine Dioxide

If boiling is not possible, you can make small quantities of filtered and settled water safer to drink by using a chemical disinfectant such as unscented household chlorine bleach or chlorine dioxide.  Bleach is the most common method used by municipal water treatment worldwide.

Disinfectants can kill most harmful or disease-causing viruses and bacteria, but are not effective in controlling more resistant organisms, such as the parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Chlorine dioxide, discussed below, is effective against Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Where possible, a combination of filtration & chemical disinfection is the most effective way to purify your water when boiling is not an option.

To disinfect water for drinking, use fresh, UNSCENTED, old fashion household liquid CHLORINE BLEACH, use the following formula: (do not use any bleach with other additives, such as color safe, flagrant, cleaners or other ingredients. Do not use granular pool chlorine)

If the water is cloudy or is very cold, (but not suspected of chemical contamination)regular chlorex 1

  1. Filter the water using a piece of cloth or coffee filter to remove solid particles, floating particles and silt.
  2. Allow water to sit still until any remaining particles have settled.
  3. Draw off the clear water at the top.
  4. Follow the formula shown in the table below and DOUBLE IT for cloudy water.
  5. Stir the mixture well and let let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it.
  6. Water should have a slight chlorine smell, if not, repeat dosage and wait 15 minutes. If it does not still have a smell of bleach after two treatments, the water is too dirty to use, discard and try a new batch.
  7. Store the disinfected water in clean, sanitized containers with tight lids or caps. 

If the water is clear,

  1. Follow the formula shown in the table below.
  2. Stir the mixture well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it.
  3. Water should have a slight chlorine smell, if not, repeat dosage and wait 15 minutes. If it does not still have a smell of bleach after two treatments, the water is too dirty to use, discard and try a new batch.
  4. Store the disinfected water in clean, sanitized containers with tight lids or caps.
Making water safe to drink using STANDARD Household Bleach that has

5.25-6% concentration of sodium hypochlorite
* If the water is cloudy, murky, colored, or very cold, add DOUBLE the amount of bleach listed below.

Stir and mix it. Let stand for 30 minutes. After treating you should be able to smell a slight odor of chlorine.

If not, retreat the water a second time and let stand for 15 minutes before using.

1 quart/liter water                1 gallon water      5 gallons water
If you have a dropper:
Add 2 drops of bleach*
    If you have a dropper:
Add 8 drops of bleach*
    If you have a dropper:
Add ½ tsp of bleach*
Red Cross Suggests:
4 drops
      Red Cross Suggests:
16 drops
    Red Cross Suggests:
1 teaspoon of bleach

 

Making water safe to drink using CONSENTRATED Household bleach with a

8.25% concentration of sodium hypochlorite
* If the water is cloudy, murky, colored, or very cold, add DOUBLE the amount of bleach listed below.

Stir and mix it. Let stand for 30 minutes. After treating you should be able to smell a slight odor of chlorine.

If not, retreat the water a second time and let stand for 15 minutes before using.

1 Quart/Liter Water     1 Gallon Water   5 Gallons Water
If you have a dropper:
Add 2 drops of bleach
    If you have a dropper:
Add 6 drops of bleach
  If you have a dropper:
Add 30 drops of bleach
Using a teaspoon:
Too small to measure
    Using a teaspoon:
Too small to measure
  Using a teaspoon:
Add ⅓ teaspoon of bleach

(Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/making-water-safe.html)

BLEACH CAVEAT:  Be careful, as with all chemicals, when using bleach and wear protective gloves and eye protection for safety. Rinse off any bleach that gets on your skin immediately. Where possible, use fresh bleach since bleach begins to lose its effectiveness slowly after one year.

OTHER BLEACH USAGES:  Chlorine bleach can also be used as a disinfectant for sanitizing water bottles, containers, pots, pans and utensils. Bleach solution intended for this usage, mix 1 teaspoon with 1 quart of water, shake well and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Be sure to coat the container lids, caps and threads with solution. Afterwards, rinse off with clean water before using.

micropur tabletsCHLORINE DIOXIDE TABLETS OR LIQUID:

Chlorine dioxide tablets and two part liquid A/B drops are the latest water purification method that has been adopted by the U.S. military and the Boy Scouts of America. These tablets work quickly and efficiently by releasing oxygen in a highly active form to kill bacteria, viruses, e. coli, protozoa, Giardia and Cryptosporidium cysts in 15-30 minutes without unpleasant taste or odor (4 hours for cryptosporidium in very cold or dirty water for maximum effectiveness).

Chlorine dioxide has been used by municipal water treatment plants world-wide to kill a variety of waterborne pathogens for over sixty-years. Unlike iodine, chlorine dioxide does not discolor the water, nor does it give water an unpleasant taste. They also meet the strict EPA Water Purifier Standards (without needing to use a water filter). Both chlorine dioxide liquid and tablets contain no active chlorine or iodine. Here are the current choices:

  1. LIQUID FORM:  Aqua Mira™ Water Teatment Kit is a two-part A/B system that works by releasing oxygen in a highly active form.
  • TABLET FORM: Chlorine dioxide tablets are sold under several brand names including Micropur® MP1 Water Purifier Tables, Aquamira® Water Purifier Tablets and Potable Aqua® Chlorine Dioxide Purification Tablets. These tablet are lightweight and easy to carry in bug-out bags or when backpacking.

(NOTE: We no longer recommend using iodine based or old style chlorine tablets (halazone) since they are not effective against Cryptosporidium and leave an aftertaste and coloring.

Continue to PART #4 to learn about purifying water by using Water Filters, Distillers and UV Light.

© 2017 Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc. Click Here to see our full list of preparedness articles and blog posts.

Harry R Weyandt is the founder and owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., one of America’s oldest and most respected preparedness companies. He has been a leading authority in the preparedness industry for over 30 years and has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, FOX News, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others as an expert in his field. He lives in Utah with this wife Vickie along with their children and grandchildren. His hobbies are boating, camping, international travel and anything to do with preparedness.

Purifying Water in an Emergency Part 2

purifying-water-3-1-1
Harry Weyandt

Harry Weyandt

By Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak.Com Preparedness Expert

Most of us take for granted every day that when we turn on our faucet we will get safe drinking water.  In an emergency or disaster situation, where regular water service has be tainted or interrupted (such as in the event of a flood, hurricane or earthquake) local authorities may recommend using only bottled water, require boiling or disinfecting the water until regular delivery is restored.

The instruction below will walk you thru step-by-step on how to make your water safe for drink by boiling, disinfecting and filtering. However, boiling and disinfecting the water Easy-As-123will NOT destroy or remove other contaminates such as chemicals, fuels or bad taste.

The best solution, according the American Red Cross, for insuring safe drinking water from outside sources is a 2-step process using methods described below. Which ones you choose will be by personal taste or preference and fuel availability.

See previous PART #1 to start your learning.

When in doubt, treat your water using one or more of the following methods:

1. BOILING THE WATER

Steam-waterIf you don’t have bottled or previously stored treated water, you should boil your water to make it safe to drink. Boiling is the SUREST method to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. To be able to use this method, you will need a large metal pot or kettle, a heat  source such as a kitchen stove, propane BBQ, charcoal grille, portable camp stove like a Jetboil, Camp Chef or Coleman stove (with back-up fuel sources). If you have electricity, electric kettles can also be used for boiling.

If the water is cloudy, (Water that is cloudy in appearance from a stream, pond or lake usually indicates natural organic and inorganic material is in the water. Water that is dark in color, has a questionable odor or is suspected of chemical contamination should not be used)

  1. Filter water through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter to remove sediment and suspended matter in the water.
  2. Next, allow any remaining silt to settle to the bottom of your container and then draw off the clear water on top.
  3. Fill pot about 2/3 full to allow space for boiling and splashing.
  4. Bring the clear water to a rolling boil on high heat for one minute (at elevations above 6,000 feet, boil for three minutes).
  5. Let the boiled water cool for about 30 minutes and kept covered.
  6. Store the water in clean sanitized containers with tight caps or lids.

If the water is clear,

  1. Follow the same steps in 3-6 above.

You can improve the flat taste of boiled water or any stored water by pouring it from one container to another several times or by adding a pinch of salt for each gallon.

See PART #3 to learn about purifying water by using chlorine bleach & chlorine dioxide.

© 2017 Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc. Click Here to see our full list of preparedness articles and blog posts.

 

Harry R Weyandt is the founder and owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., one of America’s oldest and most respected preparedness companies. He has been a leading authority in the preparedness industry for over 30 years and has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, FOX News, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others as an expert in his field. He lives in Utah with this wife Vickie along with their children and grandchildren. His hobbies are boating, camping, international travel and anything to do with preparedness.

Water, Your #1 Survival Priority

     PREPAREDNESS 101: WATER, Your #1 Survival Priority!

Harry Weyandt

Harry Weyandt

By Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak.Com Preparedness Expert                                                                                                                                                                                                       Having an emergency backup water reserve for you and your family is THE single most CRITICAL part on ANY preparedness plan, without exception! Most people think of food as the most important part but it is down the list of survival priorities when crisis strikes and comes after bug-out kits, first-aid, sanitation, light, heat/warmth and personal protection.  Freeze-dried and other long storing foods should be a part of your overall preparedness plan, so don’t forget them.

FACT: Most adults can live up to 30 days without food, but without water, most people will die within 3-4 days. We cannot emphasize enough that emergency water storage is the single most important step of your preparedness planning. So let’s get to it.

HOW MUCH WATER DOES THE AVERAGE PERSON USE AT HOME PER DAY?
water
To start off with, I usually like to give people a real life statistic that shocks most people about how much water the average person uses per day in total water usage.  What would be your guess? Perhaps 5 gallons to 25 gallons. Maybe 30 gallons? Here’s the shocker. Estimates vary from region to region, but according to The Department of Interior USGS, the average person uses up to 100 gallons of water per day! About 70% of that total is used within your home. So, were you even close?

Now I know what you are thinking, “there’s no way I consume and drink that much water per day”, and you would be right. So the next logical question is….

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I STORE FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS?

Most preparedness experts, FEMA, Ready.gov and the American Red Cross recommend storing a minimum of 1 to 2 gallons per person per day and plan for a minimum of 3 to 7 days. The USDA recommends that the average adult drink about 1 gallon of water per day (I said water, not soda pop!). In addition, water used for hygiene, brushing teeth, meal preparation and, in an emergency, to take a quick towel bath, would require another gallon of water or more. So here’s what we recommend:

  • GOOD:    1 gallon per day x 3 days               =  3 gallons per person/per day minimum
  • BETTER:  2 gallons per day x 3 days             =  6 gallons p/p
  • IDEAL:     2 gallons per day x 7 days             =  14 gallons p/p
  • EXTRA MILE: 2 gallons per day x 14 days   =  28 gallons p/p

(Under the “Extra-Mile”, a family of 4  would need 112 gallons of water for 2 weeks)

WHAT WATER CONTAINERS ARE BEST TO USE?

My suggestion is to DIVERSIFY your water holdings (sounds like an investment portfolio doesn’t it). I like splitting my water storage into to two broad categories 1) grab-n-go to quickly leave at a moments notice and kept with my bug-gear, 2) the balance of my water storage in bulk storage containers. Here’s my recommendations:

QUICK GRAB AND GO WATER RESERVES:

FIRST, a WORD OF CAUTION. Never ever use previously used containers like milk jugs, bulk soda syrup or other food containers. These containers can NEVER be 100% cleaned out of their previous product no matter how much you try. All plastic has microscopic pores and they will contaminate your water if you use them. NEVER USE USED CONTAINERS!!!

  1. water barrelsThe easiest and most convenient option is to purchase several cases of bottled water from your local store. You probably already have some at home right now. Just buy a few more. If these are 16 ounce bottles and there are 24 to the case, that would equal 3 gallons of water. This should be your minimum target per individual PER DAY plus any full size pets you have, for 3 days. These bottles are easy to toss in your car when things hit the fan. This water should be rotated at least 1x per year to insure freshness and safety.
  2. Another possibility is purchasing 1 or 2.5 gallon jugs of purified water at the store. This might be your least expensive way for your grab-n-go bug-out water storage, but remember that these, like the water bottles above, need to be rotated yearly. Large 5 gallon water cooler bottles can also be used. Some companies will provide crates for stacking these large bottles too. Please note, that standard store bought plastic containers are not intended for long term storage and are made to break down, become brittle and will crack over time
  3. water-pouchesDatrex® Emergency Water Ration Pouches. These sterilized and purified foil sealed Datrex 4.2 oz. water pouches are the same ones that are used on cruise ships and lifeboats worldwide. They have a minimum shelf-life of 5 years and require no rotation during this time. They are very durable and can survive being frozen and still remain good afterwards. Emergency Operating Centers (EOC) and businesses like these pouchesbecause they can be dispensed easily in any emergency without waste.
  4. Five (5) gallon water storage containers are another convenient way to store gab-n’-go water to keep with your 72 hour bug-out bags and kits. These are heavy duty versions of the ones sold for camping in sporting goods stores. They have also been designed to easily stack up to 3 high for more convenient storage.The down side is that this water need to be treated for safe long term storage(see 5 year water storage preserver).
  5. water-brickAnother popular option is the modular stacking 3.5 gallon WaterBricks®.These are specifically designed for water storage and bulk food storage. These can stack up to 6’ if desired. Each WaterBrick has a carrying handle on the end for quick pick-up and go.There is an accessory spigot cap for easy water dispensing too. These like the 5 gallon water containers shown above, require the water to be treated for safe long term storage (see 5 year water storage preserver).

LONG TERM WATER STORAGE RESERVES:

First, another word of warning. I hear people all the time talk about being able to buy previously used 55 gallon barrels for their water storage. Don’t fall for this trap!

Here’s a real life story. A good neighbor of mine years ago decided, against my advice, to purchase four used 55 gallon drums that had previously had been used for bulk “coke” syrup to “save money”. He washed, rinsed and power sprayed each container thoroughly and even used baking soda to rinse them out. In the end he had saved probably about $100 for his efforts…so he thought. After treating his water and letting it store for about a month I challenged him to pump some out and taste it. Oh boy, he was so fuming mad at what he found out about his nice used storage containers. The water fermented and tasted awful. In short order, he tossed out the containers and came to me to purchase new ones for his family storage. The gist of this story is, don’t be penny wise and end up being pound foolish. Buy only new, never used containers for your water storage!

Heavy-duty water storage drums come in many different sizes from 15 to 55 gallons in size. Make sure that they are BPA-free and certified by the FDA as being food grade compliant.  Many barrels are NOT and intended only for chemical storage. Typically the blue versions are OK for water storage. Today there are a couple of companies making super-sized water containers that can store up to 250 gallons. Whatever size best suits your needs, remember that water is HEAVY and weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon. Once these containers are filled, they are immovable and will stay there until empty. Once again, this water needs to be treated for long term storage (see 5 year water storage preserver ).water-barrel

One suggestion I would make to you when storing ANY water is not to store the container directly on a cement floor or ground. This can be accomplished by using plywood or 2×4 boards covering the entire base of the container to act as a protective safety barrier. You see, all plastic breathes and can allow transfer of odors and contaminates from the ground. Keep all fertilizer, gas, paints, and other chemicals away from your stored water.

WARNING: Water Never to be Used for Emergency Drinking

Never, ever use swimming pool, spa tub, water fountains, water beds, even if you have a water filter. Why? These waters are contaminated with chemicals, acids, algaecides, and other harmful chemicals which can be deadly. These water sources might be able to be used for bathing, hair washing or operating flush toilets in an emergency. In addition, we do not recommend using flood control canal water for emergency drinking water either since these canals are often polluted with sewage and who knows what.

© 2017 Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc. Click Here to see our full list of preparedness articles and blog posts.

Harry R Weyandt is the founder and owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., one of America’s oldest and most respected preparedness companies. He has been a leading authority in the preparedness industry for over 30 years and has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, FOX News, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others as an expert in his field. He lives in Utah with this wife Vickie along with their children and grandchildren. His hobbies are boating, camping, international travel and anything to do with preparedness.

****5 year preserver link to:

https://www.nitro-pak.com/water/storage/water-preserver

 

Emergency & Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

Emergency & Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

Emergency & Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

Harry Weyandt

Harry Weyandt

By Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak.Com Preparedness Expert

After a disaster or public emergency, water supply lines may have been broken and become compromised. One of your first priorities is to make sure you secure any water you have in your home for drinking and taking care of basic needs.

Once a disaster has occurred, you’ll need to act quickly to find and safely store as much water in your home as possible so you and your family can make it through the crisis period. The recommendations below are assuming that you have not already put together an emergency water storage plan with water barrels or other containers you have stored away for such uses. If so, the below ideas will be an additional supplement to what you have already stored.

Potentially Your Biggest Water Reserve…Your Bathtub

If advance public warning of an impending disaster such as a major hurricane or tornado has been made, quickly wash and rinse your bathtub(s) of potential contaminates, securely plug the tub drain and fill them fill them full of water. Your bathtub is a huge expedient source for water for you and your family.aquapodkit

As a more sanitary alternative for using your tub for this purpose, a product that I like and was designed for this specific purpose is the AquaPodKit emergency tub liners. They were made to allow you to safely store up to 65 gallons of water in your bathtub in an emergency. This would be enough water for a family of four to cover your basic water needs for 7 to 14 days. The kit also includes a handy hand pump to allow you to pump the water back out afterwards when you need to use it. At under $30, I recommend purchasing one or more of these for your home plus an addition spare liner as a backup.

Other Ways to Store Water Quickly When Disaster Strikes

Again, when possible before a disaster strikes, try to safely secure any water you can in your home by using containers like:

  • Kitchen drinking pitchers with lids
  • Stock pots with lids
  • Plastic kitchen sealed food containers (i.e. Tupperware®, RubberMaid®, etc.)
  • Tightly sealed zip-locking plastic bags to fill and seal

Another temporary water storage product that I have used for many years myself as part of my own personal supplies is the Reliance collapsible water carrrier.  They come in either a 2.5 or 5 gallon sizes. Personally, I like the smaller size since it only weighs about 20 lbs. when full compared to 40 lbs. for the 5 gallon size.

These are among the best made and perfect for expedient water storing and transportation in an emergency. The on/off spigot makes them convenient for hand washing also. Having a few of these as a part of your emergency supplies is a smart idea whether for in home water collection or when getting and transporting water from other outside water sources like streams, lakes or emergency public water trucks that may be provided.

Shut Down the Water Supply Line to Your Home

After a major earthquake or when you believe any water lines may have been compromised, immediately shut off the water supply to your home. This will prevent any possible contamination from the outside entering the untapped water sources hidden within your home.

Where to Look for Hidden Water Sources in Your Home

Every home has many hidden sources that you may not have considered and could be used in an emergency. Here’s a quick list of possible sources found in most homes.

  • WATER HEATERS (access thru the drainage spigot at the bottom of the heater). This is a huge untapped water source. Once cooled, you can have access to 30 to 50 gallons of water per water-heaterheater.
  • ..UPPER TANK ONLY if it does not contain bluing or chemical agents. Forget it if it does. Use a cup to scoop out the water into a safe container.
  • PIPES IN YOUR HOME. Several gallons residual of water can be found within the water pipes in your home, especially for multi-story homes. Find the lowest water faucet or spigot inside or outside your home or basement. Drain the water directly into a safe storage container as soon as possible (don’t use a hose which may
    be contaminated with old water).
  • REFRIGATOR WATER PITCHERS or other refrigerator beverages.
  • FREEZER ICE CUBES or bags of ice in your freezer that have melted and placed in a safe container.
  • WATER BOTTLES stored around the home.
  • OTHER DRINKABLE LIQUIDS: Draining the liquid from canned vegetables, fruits, tuna, etc. can be used for drinking.

No matter where you may obtain water in an emergency, be prepared to make doubly sure that your water is safe for drinking. If unsure that your water is safe to drink, you will want to filter it, water-iconchemically treat it, boil it or distilling it to insure it is safe.

Other Possible Outside Water Sources

If you are fortunate to live in an area with lakes, natural springs or moving streams, you could filter, chemically treat or boil the water from these sources to make them safe to drink. We cover this more thoroughly in other blog posts.

Water to NEVER USE for Drinking!

Some water should never be used for emergency drinking, even if filtered. DO NOT USE Water from waterbeds, hot tubs spas or swimming pools. This water has been treated with a variety of chemicals like acids, algaecides and other dangerous chemicals that have rendered this water NOT SAFE to drink. You could use spa and swimming pool water for bathing though in an emergency.

Other water sources that should not be considered are public fountains and flood control stream beds that may have unknown chemicals, oils, fuels, bacteria or algae. Be safe and NEVER drink ANY water that is suspect, discolored or has unusual odors. THESE WATERS CANNOT BE MADE SAFE TO DRINK. DON’T RISK IT!

© 2017 Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc. Click Here to see our full list of preparedness articles and blog posts.

 Harry R Weyandt is the founder and owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., one of America’s oldest and most respected preparedness companies. He has been a leading authority in the preparedness industry for over 30 years and has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, FOX News, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others as an expert in his field. He lives in Utah with this wife Vickie along with their children and grandchildren. His hobbies are boating, camping, international travel and anything to do with preparedness.

How To Pick The Right Water Filter

How To Pick The Right Water Filter

How To Pick The Right Water Filter

Why Treat Water?
Access to clean water is an absolute necessity in life. It’s common knowledge that still water should be avoided when it comes to a drinking water source, but the old adage that “flowing water” is safe to drink can come with heavy consequences if taken literally. While immaculate water sources may appear clean at one juncture – it may be a completely different story somewhere upstream. Because of the sheer uncertainty involved with water sources of all kinds, it’s vital to treat water to ensure that it’s clean and free of harmful microorganisms and pathogens. These Microorganisms stem from human and animal waste and are most commonly spread by rain and run-off into natural water sources.

Harmful microorganisms reproduce at astronomical rates within your body and attack your immune system with a force that only nature can produce. There is no concrete way to know if water is clean by just looking… In the case of treating water, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Common Pathogens Encountered In The Wild:

Bacteria – Bacteria are microscopic living organisms, usually one-celled, that can be found everywhere.
Cholera – An acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
Cryptosporidium – One of the most widespread intestinal parasites and a common cause of severe diarrhea. Often found in surface and groundwater sources susceptible to flooding or faecal contamination.
Escherichia coli – Also known as E. coli. It is transmitted to humans primarily through consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw or undercooked ground meat products and raw milk. Sometimes present in water contaminated by fecal matter.
Giardia – Has an outer shell allowing it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and making it tolerant to chlorine disinfection. The parasite is most commonly transmitted by water. It is the most common cause of non-bacterial diarrhea in North America.
Protozoan parasite – Protozoan parasites live in the cells and tissues of other living creatures. Protozoans can cause problems, from targeting the central nervous system to diarrhea.
Salmonella – Salmonella bacterium can live in water for several months. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
Shigella – Shigella is one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhea worldwide. Estimates suggest that Shigella causes approximately 90 million cases of severe dysentery with at least 100,000 of these resulting in death each year.
Viruses – A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms.

Purifiers vs Filters: What’s The Difference?

At their core, water purifiers and water purifiers are very similar in nature in that they both rid water of impurities through a physical barrier, chemicals or some kind of biological process. However, there are small nuances to each that should directly influence someone who is looking to purchase either a filter or a purifier.

Water Filters:
Water filters generally do not utilize chemicals as a cleansing agent and rely more heavily on physical barriers that filter out harmful bacteria and protozoa. If the water you are treating resides within the United States, water filters are generally enough to rid all bacterial agents and harmful substances that could cause health complications or problems. See the full list of types of water filters below and when they are appropriate for any situation.

Types of Water Filters:

Gravity Water Filters: This filter uses the basic concept of gravity as a way to push water from one reservoir to the other. Simply hang the dirty water container above the clean container and let gravity do the rest. It is best suited for larger groups as it designed to produce a large amount of water.

Mediums Used: The majority of these filters use a Ceramic medium, Products like the Katadyn Base Camp filter utilizes Glass Fiber Pleated Membrane (for outdoor backpacking).

Pros: No pumping, High capacity (produces a large quantity of water), very geasy to use and manageable for people who don’t have a lot of time to wait for filtering process or might be physically impaired.

Cons: Large, not very portable.

Pump Water Filters: Simple and easy to use, this water filter is powered by a pump mechanism. You simply pump in order to transfer water from the water source directly through the filtering device. The results are instantaneous and there is zero wait time with this method of water filtering. If you’re on the go and time is not on your side, this is an extremely wise choice.

Mediums Used: Ceramic (lasts longer and filters up to 13k gallons. The ceramic medium is also easy to clean), Glass Fiber (Flow rate is much higher, however, harder to push through than ceramic. This filters Life cycle is much shorter than the ceramic medium as it only produces 200 gallons of clean water).

Pros: Small, Portable, No Wait Time (Instant Treated Water), Filters out all sediment, Super Clean/Clear Water. Quantity only limited by medium.

Cons: Must be filtered manually, for those with a physical impairment, this may not be the best option.

Water Filter Bottles: This water filtration option is highly portable, light weight and designed for those who are on the go. This style of water filtration unit does not produce a large quantity of clean drinking water. Of all the water filtration devices, this one is the easiest to use and is easy as filling up the water bottle with untreated water to produce clean, drinkable water.

Mediums Used: Glass Fiber Membranes.

Pros: Small and convenient. Easy to use and carry, Does not require physical exertion whatsoever.

Cons: This device is mostly made for personal use as there is only one straw per unit. Compared to other filters, it’s more expensive per gallon to produce clean water and has a limited filtering capacity (up to 26 gallons). Water bottle filters are not made for long term use or large quantities.

Straw Filters: These are the most highly portable water filters out on the market today. On top of only weighing two oz., it’s extremely easy to use. One must simply suck the untreated water in via a straw and then push it back out into a water reservoir using the same straw. This is the ultimate on-the-go personal water filter.

Mediums: Glass Fiber Membranes (Hollow Fiber technology).

Pros: Low Cost, small, light, filters bacteria and protozoa, no chemicals or iodine, only weighs 2 oz.

Cons: Personal use, for smaller groups.

Water Purifiers:
Water filters also rid the water of harmful bacteria, protozoa and pathogens however they generally use a chemical process such as UV light treatment, iodine and chlorine. One thing that water purifiers can do that filters cannot is completely rid water of viruses. This end result is obtained by removing all minerals from the water. One downside to this process of removing all minerals is that it strips essential minerals that your body needs to function properly. Water purifiers should be used when traveling outside of the United States as many common pathogens, bacterial agents and diseases can be found overseas that filters cannot properly treat.
Types of Water Purifiers:

Ultraviolet Water Purifiers: Bacteria cannot live in the presence of ultra violet light. This concept was originally used in large scale water treatment facilities and can now be found in purifiers that fit inside of your pocket. The process itself is chemical but doesn’t use harsh chemicals like chlorine dioxide or iodine. Simply stir the UV pen in a container for 60 seconds in order to treat your drinking water.

Medium: UV Light

Pros: Kills all viruses, small, quick, easy to use, very lightweight and can be used in large groups.

Cons: Uses batteries, electronic (could drop it and break the bulb), doesn’t remove any dirt and sediment (can buy a pre-filter to filter out large items), can only purify one quart at a time (more for personal use or small groups).

Pump Water Purifiers: Pump water purifiers are extremely similar in nature to pump water filters. The only key difference is that the purifier version uses chemicals to rid the treated water of viruses. While iodine is still used, the most common chemical in water purifiers today is Chlorine Dioxide.

Mediums Used: Ceramic (lasts longer and filters up to 13k gallons. The ceramic medium is also easy to clean), Glass Fiber (Flow rate is much higher, however, harder to push through than ceramic. This filters Life cycle is much shorter than the ceramic medium as it only produces 200 gallons of clean water). Uses chemicals… generally Iodine or Chlorine Dioxide.

Pros: Small, Portable, No Wait Time (Instant Treated Water), Filters out all sediment, Super Clean/Clear Water. Quantity only limited by medium.

Cons: Must be filtered manually, for those with a physical impairment, this may not be the best option. Some people don’t like the taste of chemically treated water.

Water Bottle Purifiers: Exactly similar to the water bottle filters, this method of purifying uses the exact same process as filtering, however, it uses chemicals in order to completely rid the treated water of viruses.
Mediums Used: Glass Fiber Membranes and virus killing chemicals (Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide).

Pros: Small and convenient. Easy to use and carry, Does not require physical exertion whatsoever.

Cons: This device is mostly made for personal use as there is only one straw per unit. Compared to other filters, it’s more expensive per gallon to produce clean water and has a limited filtering capacity (up to 26 gallons). Water bottle purifiers are not made for long term use or large quantities.

Chemicals: While many water purifier devices use chemicals as an additional process. Iodine and Chlorine Dioxide can be used in tablet form and dropped into untreated water. It’s a slow process but is guaranteed to rid untreated water of parasites and viruses.

Pros: Very lightweight and small, Carry in pocket or 72 hour kit.

Cons: Doesn’t filter out sediments, Not ready to drink immediately (long wait time), you will need to plan ahead and wont have instant access to clean water. Each chemical has a noticeable different in taste: Iodine you can taste (many companies provide a neutralizer to mask taste), Chlorine you can not taste which is why it is the most common water purifying chemical to date.

Water Quality

Clean Water

The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes 80% of all travel diseases to contaminated drinking water. Don’t let contaminated drinking water spoil your trip. Avoid tap water and ice cubes anytime the water quality is uncertain – even bottled water can be questionable, when available. According to WHO, almost half of all travellers suffer from some form of diarrhoea while en-route.

Good health while travelling starts with travel preparation – and the right Katadyn product for safe drinking water.