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Discussion Starter #1
My wife thinks I'm crazy and paranoid for storing a 55 gallon drum of water in the basement. I think I'm just being safe and thinking ahead considering you can only go about 3 days without water.

How long is stored water good for? Should it be rotated out after treatment?

Rather than adding bleach to the drum for long-term storage I read that using Calcium Hypochlorite is a better alternative. It will store for 10 years, whereas bleach will only store for 6 months before it degrades. It's sold as "Pool Shock" at pool supply stores. Make sure it's at least 65% and NOT the typical 40-50% you get at Walmart.

1 pound (sold in one pound bags) will treat about 65,000 gallons of water. Cost is about $4.

For granular calcium hypochlorite, 1oz = 50ml = 10.1 teaspoons

To treat clear raw water with 65-70% calcium hypochlorite there are a couple of ways to do it. If you want to directly treat the water with calcium hypochlorite use the following:

1 Gallon: add one grain, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
55 Gallons: add 1/8 teaspoon for a 5ppm solution.
400 Gallons: add 1 level teaspoon for a 5ppm solution.

http://livingprepared.blogspot.com/2009 ... lcium.html

http://communityawarenesspreparation.ph ... k-t97.html
 

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Aaron said:
.For granular calcium hypochlorite, 1oz = 50ml = 10.1 teaspoons
...are you sure ?

...50 ml (as a volume measurement) of Ca(ClO)2...with a density of 2.35 g / cubic centimeter is ~ 4 ounces...BTW...1 US ounce = 29.57 ml H2O @ 4 degrees Celsius...the density of water @ 4 degrees Celsius is ~ 1 g / cubic centimeter...1 cubic centimeter (cc) = 1 milliliter(ml) = 1 gram H2O...

...be careful what you swallow...seriously... :p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ullie said:
Aaron said:
.For granular calcium hypochlorite, 1oz = 50ml = 10.1 teaspoons
...are you sure ?

...50 ml (as a volume measurement) of Ca(ClO)2...with a density of 2.35 g / cubic centimeter is ~ 4 ounces...BTW...1 US ounce = 29.57 ml H2O @ 4 degrees Celsius...the density of water @ 4 degrees Celsius is ~ 1 g / cubic centimeter...1 cubic centimeter (cc) = 1 milliliter(ml) = 1 gram H2O...

...be careful what you swallow...seriously... :p
All I know is I'm supposed to put 1/8 teaspoon in my 55 gallon drum. I've verified this from several different websites.

How to use the Granules to make a ‘Disinfecting Solution’ of Bleach:

To make 1 gallon: Dissolve 1/2 heaping teaspoon (3½ grams) of granular calcium hypochlorite into 1 gallon of water.

Shake well several times during the resting time of 30 minutes.

This mixture will produce 1 gallon of ‘Disinfecting Solution’ liquid chlorine.
 

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Aaron said:
I've verified this from several different websites.
...calcium hypochlorite AKA hypochlorous acid is an oxidant and corrosive and may be harmful to your health...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ullie said:
Aaron said:
I've verified this from several different websites.
...calcium hypochlorite AKA hypochlorous acid is an oxidant and corrosive and may be harmful to your health...
Ullie,

I appreciate your concern. It's all good buddy. It's also listed as a safe method for disinfecting drinking water from the EPA website.

http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw000/faq/emerg.html

People are using granular calcium hypochlorite because you get more for your money and it's got a longer shelf life (10 years) than household bleach. It's common knowledge that adding the correct amount of bleach to water makes it safer to drink in an emergency. Boiling water is always the best method. When you add granular calcium hypochlorite to water you are making a bleach solution. Yes, you are correct...granular calcium hypochlorite is highy corrosive and dangerous by itself, but I'm not ingesting it by itself...I'm adding 1/8 teaspoon to 55 gallons of water to keep it from growing microorganisms while in storage in my basement.

If I were to say I was adding 8 drops of household bleach per gallon of water you probably wouldn't have said anything. Granular calcium hypochlorite is the same thing, only in a dry form that won't go bad in 6 months like liquid bleach.
 

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Use RO water, in clean container it will store as long as the container doesn't break down. RO can break down some materials and speed others. Nothing for the bugs to eat so no contamination. Make sure the container is food safe,

I use 5 gal water bottles the poly carb ones not the cheap ones. No mineral value in the water, but for survival it that would not be an issue for me
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I purchased the blue food-grade poly 55 gallon drum designed for food/water storage.
 

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Aaron said:
I appreciate your concern. It's all good buddy. It's also listed as a safe method for disinfecting drinking water from the EPA website.
...Aaron

...i'm aware of the various methods used to make water potable...however...regardless of what is posted on the EPA website...i recommend caution...even in low concentrations...you are dosing yourself with a toxic substance...the effects on your health may become cumlative in time and you may present health issues down the road...ie its a matter dose and duration of use...personally...i would use water treated as such as a last resort only...and for very short periods of time if possible...
 

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I have two 6 gallon water containers, but I store them empty. I fill them up whenever a situation requires it, such as a hurricane near where I live.

I use bottled water for drinking water purposes, and I keep ten cases of 24 on hand, and drink it down when I want, and replace what I drink from time to time.

I do the usual, fill up the bath tubs, for emergencies, and we have local fresh water sources for use for sanitation purposes (toilet flushing).

You can always capture fresh rainwater and filter it, if you have to...and you should learn how to make a solar still...it is so easy, yet so few people learn....

I think bottled water is your best bet...it is inexpensive if you buy a little at a time, and it stores easily. But I drink it before it goes bad. I agree with Ullie -- treating tapwater with chemicals to ward off algae & staph...not what I want to drink. I would just buy some bottled water...I doubt your wife would mind that.
 

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Here's a great study on the effectiveness of using calcium hypochlorite as a disinfectant of water, published in the American journal of public health.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... 7-0033.pdf

Note that this study would apply to both calcium and sodium hypochlorites, as they are both used as a mechanism of introducing free (or available) chlorine into the water. Also note that the dirtier the water, the more of the total chlorine is combined with other molecules in the water (combined chlorine), and the less free chlorine is available to act as a disinfectant.

Most water treatment plants introduce 2-4ppm of free chlorine into public water systems to prevent bacterial growth. Raw water of an unknown quality is recommended to be treated with 6ppm or even higher is there is a lot of turbidy in the water during an emergency. The above study shows that if you start with relatively clean water, 1ppm is sufficient to disinfect the water.

After having done some research on this, I've come up with the following procedure for creating purified and disinfected drinking water, at a much higher quality than from what I can get from the tap:

1) Harvest your raw water from the cleanest possible source. Don't use a river or lake that is used for storm runoff, and never harvest water from a roof unless you are going to use reverse osmosis or distillation, as most roofing materials will leach contaminants into the water. Reverse osmosis and distillation is great for water purification, but also removes minerals that create the taste of good, crisp water, and also are needed to maintain good health.

2) Transport and store your water only in food grade, FDA approved containers.
http://www.uline.com/BL_8150/Plastic-Pails-And-Lids
http://www.uline.com/BL_8154/Plastic-Drums

3) The first preparation step is to aerate the water with a couple of airstones and an aquarium or bicycle pump. You want to introduce a lot of small bubbles, rather than large ones. You may notice an odor is produced from the water when you do this, continue aerating the water until several minutes after no more odor is produced. This will release dissolved gasses, and oxidize dissolved iron and manganese (and other misc metals), causing them to precipitate (or undisolve) from the water.

4) The second preparation step is let the water sit for a couple hours, and let particulate matter in the water settle at the bottom of the container. The cleaner water can then be siphoned off the top, or the junk water at the bottom can be flushed out by opening a valve on the bottom of the container.

If the water isn't very clear to start with (high turbidity), you can optionally perform a process called flocculation, which causes molecules to adhere to one another, and settles them at the bottom as a 'flock'. This is a bit more work, but will increase the life of your filters.

Use a test strip to ensure the water has a pH of 7.0. Add hydrated lime to the water until this pH is reached. Then add 5-10ppm alum (aluminum sulfate) to the water and stir the water aggressively for several minutes. Then let it sit for a couple hours as described above. All turbity in the water should coagulate and fall to the bottom. If the pH is lower than 7.0, the alum might itself dissolve into the water, which can cause health problems if you ingest large quantities. As long as the pH is 7.0, the alum will settles to the bottom and will be flushed out, or removed during filtration. Never add more than 10ppm alum, if the turbidity isn't removed, it is likely a pH issue. Note that adding too much alum will lower the pH, so adding too much alum will hurt rather than help the process.
http://www.sensafe.com/480104.php
https://www.kens-fishfarm.com/p-65-hydr ... ponds.aspx
http://www.zearth.com/Swimming-Pool-Spa ... paign=ZE53

5) This is the most important step - filtration. You can skip all other steps as long as you perform this one, although your filters won't nearly last as long. Mount a couple of super sterasyl candles in the bottom of a 5 or 6 gallon bucket. Simply add your prepared or raw water to the bucket, and let gravity slowly pull the water through the filters and into another bucket below it. Typically 1/2 gallons per hour are what is filtered by gravity per filter. These filters have .2 micron sized pores that filter out most solids, cysts, and bacteria. The ceramic is impregnated with silver, which also kills any bacteria that make it though on contact. It also contains a carbon block that removes dissolved gasses and chemicals from the water. The first gallon of filtered water should be reintroduced back into the filter bucket rather than used immediately.

Never run chlorinated (tap) water into the filter, or you will significantly reduce the lifespan of the carbon block (although this ceramic filter media will still work). If the flow rate slows, the filters can be cleaned dozens of times with a stiff brush. Boiling the filter will restore some life back to the carbon block if the water has a funny odor/taste. Properly maintained filters should be able to produce several thousand gallons of purified water each, especially if you prepare the raw water as described above.
http://www.filtersfast.com/Doulton-W912 ... Filter.asp

6) After filtering the water, it's generally a good idea to add 1ppm of free chlorine to the water to prevent bacteria growth when stored. This might not be necessary if the water is used right away, but I'd still do it 'just in case'.
http://www.poolsinc.com/store.cfm?&Dept ... ce=froogle
http://www.sensafe.com/480023.php


Chlorine and aluminum sulfate can be toxic, so it is important that you only introduce the correct amounts. I highly recommend that after you identify a water source, to prepare a batch or two of water for practice, and send a sample of the water to a test lab before using to ensure that you did everything correctly, and that the source water doesn't contain anything harmful that that survived to purification process.
http://thewaterlab.com/
 

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I have some frozen milk jugs filled with water in my freezer to keep it cold and keep the electricity use down when it's not packed full. They also double as a good water source in an emergency. I have a well and also some bottled water just in case. Fortunately I live near many clean lakes and rivers if necessary. I listen to this show http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ for more great survival tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
jalso,

That is a very in-depth review, Thanks for all that great info. About how long will the calcium hypochlorite that I added to my 55 gal drum of city tap water be good for before I have to drain the drum and refill?

I'm guessing the calcium hypochlorite will only be effective for so long against bacteria growth in my drum before I have to start over again.
 

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It will last the same amount of time as if you dosed your water with bleach. At 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit it will last around 6 months at full strength, at which point it will begin to degrade 20% each year. Higher temps will cause it to degrade faster.

I'd retreat the water once a year. Theoretically, you should only have to dose the water with 20% of a full dose to get back to full strength, but actual results will vary. There's no reason to dump the old water, unless you notice there's something wrong with it.
 

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Congrats on trying to be prepared. The pool shock will create a bleach solution when added to the water. Just add a small amount of bleach or the bleach solution you made with the pool shock to your water every six months or so. Make sure the pool shock you are using does not contain anti foaming agents or perfumes (the same goes for bottled bleach). Be careful where you store the pool shock as it is corrosive and will cause damage to other items (don't stick it in with your other survival items). The word with pool shock storage is "airtight" container. Consider adding smaller containers of water which can be transported more easily for a bug out, as opposed to a bug in situation. Before drinking the water allow the bleach to "cook off". You could boil it, agitate it, or just leave it for a while and let the bleach evaporate. You could also add a very small amount of bleach to the water and save the pool shock for use just before you need to treat the water, city water has a lot of chems in it to prevent bacteria growth already. It sounds like you have enough info on pool shock to not turn your whole water supply to bleach (although bleach is priceless in a extended survial situation, sanitation seperates the men from the beasts). My wife thinks its crazy that i have two food grade, 55 galon drums tied into our downspouts and that I have many seven gallon containers of treated water along with filters ect. but it is up to those of us who see our potential vulnerabilities to try and protect our loved ones, even if they can't see the threat. Good job. A super sick sig 556 doesn't do you much good if you die of thirst.
 

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I have a free-flowing creek within 1/4 mile of my house. It also has plenty of trees around it, that, when processed correctly and set aflame, will help disinfect it. I have a few unused, steel jerry cans to boil water in bulk. I also have a large cast-iron Dutch oven that I can drop in my fireplace or on my grill to get the job done.

I also keep one of those collapsible, clear 5 gallon water bags to disinfect by solar power. I also have a Steri-Pens that will disinfect water via UV light one canteen at a time, great item for long-term hiking camping BTW so you don't have to carry a lot of water, cleaning pumps, or chemicals. I have bleach and will use that, too, but I keep it for household stuff and don't stockpile it. My neighbor has a pool so I'm sure if worse comes to worse I can use some of his chemicals or even use his pool-water.
 

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I am a water treatment operator working for a large utility on Southern Californy. There is no such thing as "clean river or lake water". If it is surface water it contains bacteria, microbes etc. and must be disinfected. It doesn't matter how fast it is moving or whatever, if a fish or warm-blooded animal contaminates it, no amount of movement will purify it. And water-borne diseases can be a real beotch.

Same with rain water. Not only does it "clean the air" of pollutants as it falls it is like distilled water in that it contains no minerals. Drinking distilled water is not a good practice because it leaches minerals out of your body. In a pinch? Okay. Regularly? Don't do it.

As some here already know Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach) and Calcium Hypochlorite both contain Chlorine, just in different quantities. 12% hypo that you pour into a swimming pool contains about 1 lb of Cl2 per gallon. Chlorox contains about 5%.

I'll add 2 small drops of fresh, 12% hypo from an eyedropper to 5 gallons of clean, bottled water and it doses it to about 1 part-per-million. Same as normal tap water. I would avoid Chlorox because it seems to have perfumes or something in it.

A guy on the radio here had a brilliant, if slightly expensive method of storing water; hook up an extra water heater in front of the one you are using. It is continually being flushed with fresh stuff every time you turn on the hot tap and if your water heater ever goes out, you have a new one in place ready to go. Another alternative would be to install a tank in front of your water heater to do the same thing.
 

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After a few hurricanes I keep a supply of bottle water for drinking and cooking which I continually rotate.
And it is important to keep a large supply of water for flushing the toilets and for bathing I do not use any chemicals in this water, usually it can be obtained when a hurricane is approaching by filling the bath tubs and other containers and utilizing water from a swimming pool if you have access to one.
However it is equally as important to have an adequate generator available I have had my house wired to simply disconnect the main line into the breaker box and plug in my generator, again I keep fuel stored for it which I rotate periodically by using it in a vehicle even though I add stabilizer to it when I fill my containers. I also run the generator about once a month to maintain the charge in the battery and assure it is ready should the need occur.
It definitely pays to be prepared. :D
 
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