There are many misconceptions about how much chlorine in water storage is enough. Understanding some basic principles of water storage and water treatment can help create a safe water storage environment.
Two Parts To Water Storage
There are two parts to water storage that everyone should understand. The first is water quality and the second is storage. Water quality is how clean your water is. Water storage is storing water in a way the preserves the quality and safety of the water for future use.
Water Quality Means Clean Safe Water
Water quality has to do with factors that make water safe or unsafe to drink. Basically, there are two types of contaminants. These are biological and inorganic. Biological contaminants include things like bacteria and viruses. Inorganic contaminants are things like dirt and chemicals. To safely store water, begin with water that is free from both organic and inorganic contaminants. These can be removed by a good water purifier filter like the Big Berkey. Once you have clean safe water, you want to store it in a way that keeps it that way over an extended period of time.
Water Storage Keeps Water Clean and Safe For Long Periods
Water storage preserves the quality of water over time. To understand water storage, you need to understand that there are three basic things that can compromise your water. These are air, light, and heat.
When clean water is exposed to the air, it is also exposed to floating biological matter. Sometimes that is a good thing. When you make a starter for bread, you leave the starter in the open air to gather floating yeast and lactobacilli, which create
sourdough starter. But this is a bad thing when you are storing water. So you want to make sure that your water is stored in air tight containers.
Light is another thing you want to keep away from your water storage. Light helps algae grow, and nobody wants algae growing in the water barrel they are going to drink from later. That is why most water storage containers are made from a dark blue or brown material.
The third thing you want to eliminate is heat. You want to store your water in a cool shaded area. Heat promotes some types of biological growth. In addition, heat can break down plastics and release them into your water.
Storing Water Long Term with Chlorine
Storing water long term with chlorine is easy if understand and follow the tips above. Treat water with about 5 to 7 drops of chlorine per gallon. That comes out to about 1/8 of a teaspoon per gallon of water. WARNING: Only use regular bleach with no additives and make sure that the bleach has not been sitting on a shelf for an extended period of time. Bleach does not have a long shelf life.
An Alternative To Storing Bleach
As stated earlier, bleach has a short shelf life. An alternative to bleach is pool shock without additives. Pool shock is stored in powdered form and stores for a very long time. One small spoon of pool shock can make gallons of bleach very cheaply. It needs to be pure calcium hypochlorite with at least 73% available chlorine to work. To make 1 gallon of bleach from pool shock, mix 1 gallon of water with 3.5 tablespoons of pool shock and let stand for a few minutes. Store any unused bleach in a plastic container that can be sealed from air to reduced loss of effectiveness.
Using these principles and following this simple water storage tips, you can store emergency water safely for years.
One Last Though - Other Alternatives
There are other alternatives to bleach and chlorine. One of our favorites and a best seller is ED Goodloe's Stabilized Oxygen. This water treatment method is safe and very effective.