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Monday, June 8, 2009

Storing your home Emergency supply of water

By Joseph Parish

We all can appreciate the fact that we must stockpile a adequate supply of water for our families use during any emergency condition. This is generally an straightforward chore if you approach the problem in a suitable manner.

Water can typically be stored in any type of portable or permanent container. These containers can be constructed of just about any type of substance ranging from plastic to glass. Used plastic milk cartons, bleach containers or even empty mason jars make outstanding storage vessels. You must however ensure that the container which you decide to use has never been employed for holding any type of fuel or toxic ingredient. Once you have found one wash it well with soap and water. Make certain that when you store the water you place a label on it signifying it as water and the date that you stored it.

Large qualities of water can be stored in a backyard swimming pool or in some sort of underground tank. Once again if you use a tank make sure it was not previously used for any toxic products. You would do well to try and find containers which can be stacked one on top of another since as in any storage location space is a premium. A hand pump of some sort is a good investment as five gallon containers can become extremely heavy when you try to pour yourself a glass of water.

A safe period of time to store water is usually 3 to 6 months maximum. Even then you will want to properly condition the water to prevent harmful bacteria from forming in it. Here are several ways that you can accomplish this as I will demonstrate below.

Bleach is an excellent way to render the bacteria harmless. Place approximately 8 drops of bleach in one gallon of water or if using a five gallon container put in ½ teaspoon. A quick rule of thumb is to let your container of water sit for about 30 minutes at which time if you can smell the chorine in the water it is safe to store otherwise you may need to retreat it.

Another method of canning water is by use of heat. In this method you would fill clean, sterile jars to within an inch of the top of the Mason jar. Place the jars in a pressure cooker for approximately 5 minutes or you can put them into a boiling water bath for 20 to 30 minutes. When you process water this way the water will be useable for many years. Inspect the jars yearly to ensure that the deals have not been broken.

Water should be stored in a cool location. Never let your water freeze as it will likely break the container if it does. Sample the water every three months and if it has a flat taste don’t get too excited as this taste is a result of the air being depleted in the water. Merely shake the container a few times to mix air in it. This will more then likely make the water as good as it was the day you bottled it.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


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