Hints & HELP!
Emergency Water Supply
by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appeared in the April 6,
2003 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
is a resource that many times is taken for granted. In times
of disaster either from weather or other causes an emergency
water supply can be helpful. You can purchase bottled drinking,
distilled water or safely prepare and store water for your
daily drinking and cooking supply.
can be stored in food-grade plastic or glass containers
with tight-fitting screw-on caps. Plastic containers labeled
for beverage storage can be purchased.
the containers and lids thoroughly with hot tap water and
dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly with hot tap water.
treat water for storage, use liquid household chlorine bleach
that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use
bleach with soaps or scents added. Add the bleach according
to the following table, using a clean, uncontaminated medicine
Two drops bleach per quart or liter container of water.
Four drops bleach per 2-quart, 2-liter or 1/2 gallon container
Eight drops bleach per gallon or 4-liter container of
treating larger quantities of water, use the following table
to convert drops to standard measuring units.
8 drops = 1/8 teaspoon
16 drops = 1/4 teaspoon
32 drops = 1/2 teaspoon
64 drops = 1 teaspoon
192 drops = 1 tablespoon
384 drops = 1/8 cup which is equal to 2 tablespoons
the water and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. You should
be able to smell chlorine after the 30-minute waiting period.
If you cannot, add another dose and let the water stand
another 15 minutes. Cap containers and label each, describing
the contents and preparation date.
shelf-storage of water, store containers in a cool, dry
place away from direct sunlight. Because most plastic beverage
containers degrade over time, store them away from heat
and light to prevent leakage. Store water in plastic containers
away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances
because vapors from these products can penetrate plastic.
Remember, water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon, so make
sure the shelf or storage area is strong enough to support
the weight. For best quality, replace stored water every
six months. For commercially bottled distilled or drinking
water, check the label for an expiration date. If none is
given, commercially bottled water should have an indefinite
shelf-life. To improve the taste of water stored for a long
time, pour it back and forth between two clean containers
several times to aerate it.
water in opened containers within one or two days.
that is past the time of desired use can be used for plants
or the yard. Be water wise and conserve.
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