Snap Shot: Water

Water is the source of life. But some are at loss about the details of storing, purify, and finding water.  The purpose of this post is to give you a quick overview of water.  In times when the power is out or other times of emergencies you may not have the luxury of remembering all of the information associated with water.  It is my hope, that you will remember some simple solutions.


How much water does a person need?

For food and hydration needs, you will need one gallon per person per day.  This may go up or down depending on how humid your environment and activity level is. 

Where to find water

Going to the store is the obvious place to look for water, but what if they are sold out.  If you have the chance, fill up your bath tub with water.  Don’t ADD Bleach to the tube.  This water is for multiple reasons, not all of them drinking.

In extreme needs you can use the water from your water heater.  Click here for a great step by step article how to utilize your water heater.

Here is my personal favorite method for getting extra water.  Instill a water barrel to your drainage spout. We have a 25 gallon container; it filled up in one day!!  It takes up no extra room in the garage. And you can use it to water your garden.

Note:  Streams are not safe to drink from.  You must purify the water. 

How to purify water

Boiling is best way to purify water.  Once the water is at a boil, you can stop and the water is useable.

Add bleach water to purify the source. The below information comes from the Washington State Department of health:

Purifying by adding liquid chlorine bleach

 If boiling is not possible, treat water by adding liquid household bleach, such as Clorox or Purex. Household bleach is typically between 5 percent and 6 percent chlorine. Avoid using bleaches that contain perfumes, dyes and other additives. Be sure to read the label.

  Place the water (filtered, if necessary) in a clean container. Add the amount of bleach according to the table below.

 Mix thoroughly and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before using (60 minutes if the water is cloudy or very cold).


Treating Water with a 5-6 Percent Liquid Chlorine Bleach Solution
Volume of Water to be Treated Treating Clear/Cloudy Water:
Bleach Solution to Add
Treating Cloudy, Very Cold, or Surface Water: Bleach Solution to Add
1 quart/1 liter 3 drops 5 drops
1/2 gallon/2 quarts/2 liters 5 drops 10 drops
1 gallon 1/8 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon
5 gallons  1/2 teaspoon 1 teaspoon
10 gallons 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons

DOH Pub 821-031
Revised – January 2009

Alternative Methods to Purify

There are other chemical/natural methods to purify water, those can be found at REI, or any other adventure store. Directions can be found with the product.

You should have matches or fire starter in the house to start a fire outside.

There are other advanced methods of purify water.  The bow method, solar still are among the few ways.  These need to be researched and tested before an emergency happens.

Where to store water

Water jugs are the safest way to store water.  Write the date on them, so you have an idea on long they have been sitting there.  This water is always good, if it have been over a year I would think about boiling it.

Soda bottles are good to use to store water.

DO NOT USE MILK JUGS!! You can never be sure that 100% of the bacteria is dead.

Facts You need to Know

You can live for 2 or 3 weeks without eating.  Some of us (slaps belly) could live longer:)  But you can only go for about 3 or 4 days without water.  In hot conditons it could be a hella of a lot sooner.

Your pee can be purified and drank.  But let’s be honest, if your in that position, your in a world of hurt.  Here is an article I would highly recommend:

Urine: To Drink Or Not To Drink

Local Resources

Oregon Water Resources Department

Portland Water Bureau

The Rainbarrel Man Co.

PDX Purple blog and supplies

Links/stories you may enjoy

The Texas  Rainwater Harvest Manual 

Purifiy water in an emergency 

Build a Solar  Water Heater 

Related Posts

Leave a reply