“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
I always wondered about that quote, YAY Google!! Yup, you guessed it, we’re talking about water in this post.
I live within 5 miles of a major Midwestern river and in an emergency I could walk there and back, but I couldn’t drink one glass of it without making myself sick as a dog. Up river from me are sewage treatment plants for 2 major cities, one is about 25 miles and the other is maybe double that. Testing has shown that, while, the sewage treatment methods are able to remove the human wastes, they weren’t designed to remove the bacteria, parasites or the medications that people try to dispose of by flushing down the toilet. This area is also in the “Corn Belt”, so not is there agricultural runoff straight into the river, there are multiple tributaries feeding into the river that range from small creeks up to smaller rivers that also contain agricultural runoff. I don’t even want to dwell on the cattle and hog operations in the area. Oh yeah! I want to down a big ole’ glass of that! We used to boat on that river and I didn’t even want to get any of that water on my skin. Speaking of boating on the river, I know the boaters use the river for a toilet on a regular basis every time they’re out.
We were listening to Full Spectrum Survival’s discussion on preparing for a disaster and one of the topics was water purification methods. I think it was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUv9b0ogwhA, but I’m not 100% sure. My husband played it and I didn’t see which video it was. This is a very, very important topic since you can live for up to 3 weeks without food, but you can’t go more than 3 days without water. Less if you are in a situations where you’re doing hard work and sweating a lot. The best way to kill bacteria, pathogens or microorganisms like “Giardia” is boiling. But, how long does that take??? ” According to the Wilderness Medical Society…
Water temperatures at 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes.
Water temperatures above 185° F (85° C) kill all pathogens within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude. The moment your drinking water reaches a rolling boil, the water has already become safe to drink.” (http://modernsurvivalblog.com/health/how-long-to-boil-drinking-water)
Keep in mind, boiling will only kill bacteria, pathogens and microorganisms it will NOT remove dirt and toxic chemicals. Before boiling dirty water, it has to be filtered first. Either by using some form of commercial filter or, at least, a double or triple layer of cotton like a clean t-shirt. I think something like a Brita filter pitcher will work in this case, but it would become plugged real fast. The cotton t-shirt will remove large particles, like dirt and the Brita will remove dirt and some chemicals, but aren’t designed to remove smaller particles. So, what is the surest way to get clean, safe water?? According to readynutrition.com, they’ve found the Berkey Water Filters to work the best for removing chemicals from their water http://www.berkeyfilters.com.
Another way to “clean” water is good old bleach. A quarter teaspoon is all that’s needed in a bucket to kill some bacteria and pathogens. In Full Spectrum’s discussion, his wife suggested that by adding a 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to a bucket of water you can reuse it for up to 3 days to wash dishes. She did state that the water will still contain the soap and any food particles and that it will start to get cloudy, but any disease causing organisms will be killed off.
Lastly, in any camping supply store or department, you can purchase a small bottle of water purification tablets that the label says will kill most disease causing organisms. I did buy 2 bottles of them, one for my Bug Out Bag / Get Home Bag (more on that another day), but only as a last resort. I also put dropper bottles of bleach in the bags and water bottles with filters in them. We each keep those bags in our vehicles so we always have them with us when we’re away from home. We can use them to get home if something happens when we’re away or have them handy when we head to our Bug Out Location. More on that option tomorrow. Oh, boy. Tomorrow is Election Day. Thank Deity / Deities!! No more political ads!!! HAPPY DANCE!!!!!
OK, that’s enough for one post! Please! Leave a comment and tell me what you think, or ask me about this. Or, tell me I’m crazy and to remove my tinfoil hat because it doesn’t match my shoes.