How to Secure Emergency Water Supply in Your Home

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If another outbreak, riot, chemical situation, or dirty pump could disrupt or abandon the toxic water supply in your city, how long could you and your loved ones live? The remedy depends on the water supplies you have on hand and your ability to replenish them. You can click here for more info on better water quality for emergencies. 

Water Heaters as an Emergency Water Supply Source

waterYou may need to check and turn off the circuit breaker (if it’s an electric water heater) or turn off the water heater and shut off the gas supply (if it’s a gasoline-powered unit). Most water heaters have a drain valve located on the bottom of the piece that resembles a regular garden faucet, only shorter. After the water has cooled for a few hours, you can attach a garden hose to the bottom.

Then, run it down to where it is two or three feet lower than the tank. You’ll probably keep the initial water full of sediment in another container and let the sediment settle. After decanting, it may be safe for consumption, however, this water that drains first will almost certainly have to be used for non-consumptive purposes due to its high nutrient content. Remember to refill the tank once the water has recombined. So, don’t forget to fill the tank before opening the fuel tap or perhaps the switch if it’s electric.

Bathtub and Other Tanks as Emergency Water Storage

tubIf you think your water source is in danger of being cut off, fill any bathtub you have. A standard bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water, along with a 20-day supply of drinking water for a family of four. Protect your water supply by covering the bathtub with a plastic sheet or shower curtain, and check the first few hours to make sure the drain plug isn’t leaking. Consider filling this inside the door and cover with plastic wrap.

Fill as many other containers as possible, such as coolers, pots, and pans, and also make sure that large containers are well protected from children who might fall in. A fine idea for suburban survival is to buy some food barrels, fill them with water, and store them in the garage. Always avoid reusing basic food containers to save water, as plastic ones can release harmful substances into the water over time.

Other Emergency Water Sources

clear waterIf your municipal water supply has been shut off, you may be able to squeeze a few gallons out of your home’s pipes by locating the lowest faucet in your home. Check to see if water is still coming out of the outlets or basement, and fill any sterile containers you have. You may choose to shut off your home’s main water valve.

In general, long-term use of water therapy pills in the form of rosemary is not considered safe. The best way to take care of your water is to wash it with a survival-type water filter made to remove pathogens. Chlorine-based water pills are considered safer for long-term use, which highlights the main reason why the vast majority of municipal water supplies in North America are chlorinated. In the long term, emergency water treatments with chlorine, such as sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide, remain toxins that must be consumed in appropriate doses to avoid death or illness.

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