Saturday, August 23, 2014

Water Plan : Part I

I'll be running a series on our water plan, and what we have been doing as a suburban family preparing for the future. While water is always toted as the number one priority for any preparedness exercise, it is often an over looked item. We are guilty of having the knowledge to prepare, but haven't fully acted on it. Granted, we are better prepared than most people.



Here is our current situation:

5 - seven gallon containers that are sitting in the garage since our move to the new house. They need to be taken under the house and filled with a water hose, and a drop or two of bleach added for the year long storage. I'll need to buy another container since the Dr. is another family  member to our household. We usually have about 4 to 7 cases of water on hand at all times. Each case has two and a half gallons each, or about a half day supply for our family. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. This is rationing level. This doesn't include water to flush the toilet or take a bath.

We have two hot water tanks. One is 80 gallons, and the other is 20 or 25 gallons. Best case scenario is that only the power goes out, and I'm able to cut the water supply at the curb to preserve the drinkable water. Five humans and one dog equals six people. 100 gallons divided by six equals a little over 16 days drinking supply. If it really get to critical level, the dog will get drinking water from the creek.

We have located one open water source that is within easy walking distance. We have about 2 gallons of bleach on hand, so we can purify the water that way. This source would quickly become non-drinkable in a prolonged situation from pollution and sewage.

Our other option is rain water collection. We have a large pool that can be used to collect water from the downspouts. This is probably my preferred method since chemical or sewage runoff is very unlikely. More research will have to be done on this topic. The water can be purified with either bleach or boiling. The record for Arkansas without rain is 39 days. (Source) Any rain collection system should account for the longest days without rain versus storage capacity. I can not stress this last sentence enough. We have tarps that can be used to funnel water into several five gallon buckets (we currently have 8) to expand our storage capacity even further. Of course, a serious SHTF event would necessitate this drastic action.

I do have a white gas camp stove that can be pressed into water purification duty, and have about 4-5 gallons of fuel which should last quite a while.  I'll have to calculate burn time at a later date, or buy another gallon.

Water storage is very unsexy in the preparedness world, but the most critical.  Toledo residents that had a water plan could have assisted neighbors (if they had enough to spare) and had an easier time. 

Questions: Do you have a water plan? Any other ways to acquire or store water that I hadn't mentioned? What things can you do today to improve your situation?




10 comments:

  1. I have a pool, so 30k+ gallons just sitting there, we also have a pond, and a swamp at the corner of the property. Within walking distance are 3 large ponds, 1 creek, and 1 VERY large bayou. Depending on the time of year it will require different strategies to make the pool water drinkable based upon the chlorine level. I also have a few hundred pounds of sand, about 40 pounds of charcoal, and around eight 32 gallon drums. It was always my intent if the need arose to stack two drums on top of one another, fill the top drum with sand and charcoal (as a filter) and use the bottom drum as a collation unit. We have an enormous shop with a metal roof that is excessively good at pouring tremendous amounts of water into certain areas where the foundation has settled. If you would like some drums K, I would be happy to send a few your way.

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    1. You are good to go! I'll chat with you about the 32 gallon drums.

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  2. I have a spring that runs 24/7 and I already fill my drinking water in jugs there so that I have not used power to bring my water to the house for several years. I have bleach but the stuff goes out of date so fast that I have to really watch to keep it fresh. I guess you could also process canning jars (half gallons) to where they would be canned pure water with no bacteria but it would take a lot of space but wouldn't go bad.

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    1. Very true, you have to watch the expiration dates on the bleach, or use the powdered form. The powdered form can be deathly if used wrong.

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  3. Besides my 1300 gallon cistern and the rain barrel I don't count we have our farm pond and two others with non-residential owners within about 100 yards. A couple years back I ordered two ceramic and charcoal filters that were designed to be used with 5 gallon buckets. They were very reasonable and worked even after the charcoal activation date because of the small micron ceramic. Not sure if you can still buy em or not but at the time it was the best bang for water treatment buck I could find. The ceramic filter could be washed over and over too.

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  4. Sounds like you have the bases covered pretty well. I rely on my well, on my spring, and on stored water in containers.

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  5. In my mind 'acquire' is a matter of catching it as it falls out of the sky, but I'm in the Great NorthWet, so I can do that. One of the things I'm working on adding to my system is an in-line filter, so elevated tanks could be used and water could be scrubbed on an as-needed basis. It sounds like PP's filters are pretty close to what I'm thinking. I like that you tie the required volume to the time to rain- that's an important feature, and it seems that it ought to be in the formula- 2 gal/person/day x number of days between rainfall.

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    1. You've got the right formula. Maybe an extra 10 gallons to do some laundry?

      2 gallon x person x (day x number of days between rainfall) + 10 = minimum storage capacity in gallons

      Probably a fudge factor of 10% to boot?

      minimum storage capacity in gallons x 1.10 = min. storage plus cushion

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