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View Full Version : Storing water then purifying question??


burtondjdj
12-29-2012, 6:26 PM
if i were to store water (i know iot goes bad after some time) could i then purify at a later date? i was thinking of having a basic charcoal/sand purification system ready to go.

another question....could i use charcoal that you buy for the bbq?

questions may seem dumb to some but if you must make fun i like constructive criticism.

Lessthanperfect
12-29-2012, 7:45 PM
Pretty sure you would need activated charcol

but i guess regular would be better than your t shirt

bleach can be used to purify water too not 100% but im pretty sure its 10 drops of houshold bleach per gallong

also as for your sand charcoal i have heard but do not know for sure but they need to be aged and the charcol would go on the bottem of the sand and the small the sand grains the better and the charcoal would need to be smashed to really fine to creat as much surface are as possible

speedrrracer
12-30-2012, 12:26 PM
Water does not go bad. H20 is always H20.

What happens is that bacteria, virii, algae are already present in your water, and they have babies. Those babies go to school, grow up, meet a nice bacteria, and have more babies.

Eventually, all the poopy diapers from all those babies makes the water dangerous to drink.

So you probably need to treat your stored water to prevent the population explosion. You can filter / purify water after the fact, but in certain circumstances (such as really bad algae, etc) it's extremely difficult, and it's pretty much always more difficult than treating beforehand.

It's an extremely important topic, so you should get busy reading asap.

ireload
12-30-2012, 2:33 PM
As far as I've been told that activated charcoal does not purify any organics just chemicals. Sand is not absolute in purifying either. You can go with distillation (solar or open flame), boiling, chemical means, or filter media with a good micron rating.

I filter my water before storage and sanitize where the water is going to be stored, thoroughly wash anything that would come in contact with the container that way you can minimize or remove the possibility of contamination. This method has worked for me so far. I've had water stored in barrels and 5 gallon containers up to 3 years without treatment during storage. I've even had a buddy of mine verify the water is good to go before drinking since he worked in a lab.

Never dumb questions by the way. The only thing dumb is not asking.

wjc
12-30-2012, 3:49 PM
Pretty sure you would need activated charcol

but i guess regular would be better than your t shirt

bleach can be used to purify water too not 100% but im pretty sure its 10 drops of household bleach per gallon

also as for your sand charcoal i have heard but do not know for sure but they need to be aged and the charcol would go on the bottom of the sand and the small the sand grains the better and the charcoal would need to be smashed to really fine to create as much surface are as possible

8 drops per gallon of regular bleach. Don't use the scented or "splashless" type.

nothinghere2c
12-30-2012, 3:54 PM
+1 for the bleach

barbasol
12-30-2012, 4:09 PM
I just empty clean and refill 3-4 times per year

delta9
12-30-2012, 4:39 PM
if i were to store water (i know iot goes bad after some time) could i then purify at a later date?

How are you storing your water? As long as the container is sterile and the water has been previously treated it will last pretty much forever.

rimfire78
12-30-2012, 4:52 PM
Aquamira drops keep stored water algae free for up to 1 year.

Norcalkid
12-30-2012, 5:26 PM
Bleach goes bad. I would look into pool shock. Can be stored and used to make bleach as needed.

Gugs
12-30-2012, 5:36 PM
I just empty clean and refill 3-4 times per year

I've been doing the same thing... empty/clean/fill with tap water 3-4 times a year. Do you add bleach? I haven't been adding bleach to my water, and at the end of the 4th month, there is a slight odor when I unscrew the cap. There's no visible "growth" and the water remains crystal clear. Is the water still good for consumption with the slight odor?

BLC
12-30-2012, 5:53 PM
Posted in wrong thread.

Didn't mean to thread jack, sorry.

mudbud
12-30-2012, 8:49 PM
When you are asking about purifying water there are 2 things people often get confused on..

First of all There is filtration methods

second there are disinfection methods.

I work as a water operator for a local city.

they are similar but different

filtration typicaly is just used to remove taste and odor problems

(while some filtration does remove some harmful bateria....depending on the media used some viruses are to small to be removed)

the second is disinfection where what generaly consider inactivation of the critters in water.

most think of bleach which is common typicaly is has a strenght of 5 to 15 %

the other item that one could obatain is hth chlorine which is generaly 65%

the later has a longer shelf life.

for the situation you have described best bet would be to start of with clean safe water.

if you are unsure of its purity after siting follow a simialr routine as treatment plants do

way to much info to really go into details other that to say the safest easiest would be to filter then disefect then boil ..

but even at that point you could have water that was "safe" but tasted like crap


here is a decent link for some of your water questions

http://www.grandpappy.info/wwater.htm

five.five-six
12-30-2012, 8:52 PM
TAGGED

I store water but I am not proactive on rotating it :(

Rhythm of Life
12-30-2012, 9:00 PM
Chlorine tabs, wait 4 hours and its good to drink.

Gugs
12-31-2012, 1:46 AM
Thanks for the link mudbud.

I think I may try filling my water containers with the filtered water from one of those machines that are usually in the front of grocery stores. I'll let it sit for the usual duration to see if there's any difference in odor. Thoughts?

Taidaisher
12-31-2012, 7:09 AM
Thanks for the link mudbud.

I think I may try filling my water containers with the filtered water from one of those machines that are usually in the front of grocery stores. I'll let it sit for the usual duration to see if there's any difference in odor. Thoughts?

I wouldn't consider those things as a source of clean water. Generally speaking, the mechanism inside the machine is ok, but the nozzle/spout on the machine that dispenses the water isn't clean.

burtondjdj
12-31-2012, 11:26 AM
thank you all for the great information. i am getting ready to start storing water and am trying to gather my information so i can figure out the best way to store and purify if i need to. i have also been looking at the best means to purify in a bug out situation. all this info is great. much appreciated.

five.five-six
12-31-2012, 1:14 PM
I have a RO unit, and a DI stage, is RO clean enough or should I polish it off with DI as well for storage? DI media gets expensive and I don't want to waste it.

Gugs
12-31-2012, 10:36 PM
I wouldn't consider those things as a source of clean water. Generally speaking, the mechanism inside the machine is ok, but the nozzle/spout on the machine that dispenses the water isn't clean.

Good point.

mudbud
01-01-2013, 12:22 AM
Thanks for the link mudbud.

I think I may try filling my water containers with the filtered water from one of those machines that are usually in the front of grocery stores. I'll let it sit for the usual duration to see if there's any difference in odor. Thoughts?

Fyi

The machines infront of stores come from municipal water supplys ie tap water.


All they do if filter for taste and odor do nothing for safe drinking

You are fine with your cities tap water.

"Tap" water from your local city is also more regulated than the bottled water you get from the grocery store as well.. Most bottled water comes froma municipal ie public water source they typical remove everything from it then add back a small amount of things.


Distilled water in any large amounts generally is not good for your body.

Add some salt minerals etc back to it .

wont get into much depth on that part unless ya wa to pm me .

Water is a universal solvent ...you can google it but basicly it will take up a certain amount of what ever till it ballances ....

IN general my thoughts are this if you have city water use that your already paying for it

Yes it does have a Cl2 residual but that is needed to keep the critters at bay .

As far as Ro and de

different methods can be used to "scrub" de and disinfect it most wont utilize it to the max use it is generals tossed prematurely but unless your a lab you would have no way of testing it


ro

gereraly once it reached the saturation point of the filter as with de they need to get tossed.

.................................................. .................................................. ........

For the SHTF secnario

I would focus on "safe" drinking water not water that looks or tastes great.

Disinfect it by either boiling or using Cl2



sorry kinda went on a side track lol

kb58
01-01-2013, 9:49 AM
Another issue that's never addressed is the problem of chemically-contaminated water. At some point we may have to fill a bucket from a local pond/stream/runoff source after a SHTF. The problem is that we don't know what's in that water, and I don't mean bugs. Depending what happened it could have poisons, acid, oil, etc in it. Filtering, tablets, and boiling may - or may not - get rid of that. Not much we can do but thought I'd bring it up.

Gem1950
01-01-2013, 12:14 PM
The best filter for the $$ - http://www.jamesfilter.com/berkey.aspx

mudbud
01-01-2013, 3:20 PM
Long and short if it has chemical/radiologial etc there are small steps you can take

this is the basic steps that most larger municipal water systems use for normal water supplys

http://www.h2ou.com/h2trtmntstages.htm

kinda simplifies it ^^^

an interesting read

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3148627/

Dirtrider....
01-02-2013, 3:04 PM
Great information shared here... but what do you all use to test the water to make sure its safe to drink? Are there products or portable devices we can use to tell if the water is actually safe to drink after all the various steps shared?

I would hate to "think" i have safe drinking water when in reality i dont or vise versa.

darksands
01-02-2013, 3:45 PM
+1 for using chlorine for organisms.

mudbud
01-03-2013, 11:09 AM
Great information shared here... but what do you all use to test the water to make sure its safe to drink? Are there products or portable devices we can use to tell if the water is actually safe to drink after all the various steps shared?

I would hate to "think" i have safe drinking water when in reality i dont or vise versa.

Most of the testing that is done for public drinking water is done by a lab.

you can buy a tester for cl2 iron etc.

The tests for coliform bacteria require 24 hrs and are generaly done by a lab because the results could be skewed with a tainted sample..

As far as other testers there are some being devolped for municipalities to "monitor" water supplys incase they become contaminated, in turn it would send an alarm to the proper person etc.



But for the most part as far as chemicals in the water larger treatment plants test their own water with a chemist at a onsite lab, smaller districts send it to a lab.

IN general and to what scale one wants to be "prepared" is up to the the persons budget and renewal of said technology he wishes to use.

distiling water for the most part would remove any harmful things in it.

cl2 would kill microorganisms

ion exchange filtration would remove alot of radiological and other nasties not removed by conventional filtration.

They used zeolite in russia and japan after the diasters there..

There is also man made resins that remove target isotopes etc ..

google search ion exchange water treatment ...more than i can insert here lol

HDoctane
01-03-2013, 6:57 PM
if you go onto the clorox web page they have the water purification chart up there for all amounts of water to be purified i think its a pint per a thousand gallons half pint per 500 and thirteen eyedrops worth per a single gallon etc good info on there

Mr Malarkey
01-10-2013, 7:13 PM
Aquamira drops keep stored water algae free for up to 1 year.

+1

Aquamira is chlorine dioxide, and is a much stronger disinfectant than any form of regular chlorine.

artoaster
01-10-2013, 7:27 PM
Not enough information in OP. What is the source of the stored water? Tap?

What is the storage container made of?

Personally, if I were to store water at home for emergency I would simply store it in room or garage in plastic 30 or 55 gallon sealed barrels where the sun would not heat up contents and be fine with that. Of course, I would prefer to store reverse osmosis filtered water in those storage containers by having a system at home that would provide the water used to fill them. Tap water has too much chlorine and flouride and other disinfectants and dissolved salts and solids. In an emergency I wouldn't worry about TDS or chlorine so much and just use the water.

Water stored is a huge benefit if you needed it. If it were somehow slightly bad it could be boiled or treated or run through a charcoal filter when used years later.

mudbud
01-10-2013, 9:37 PM
You are correct in what is is tap water.

As for anyone that is interested i strongly sugest you learn what is in yours.

That can be done by the yearly consumer confidence report that is put out by what ever municipality you recieve water from.

Here is a start.

http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/ccr/index.cfm

As stated with any benefit there are also drawbacks to what is used "disinfect" our water. dpd's high Thm levels etc etc..

How ever in a Shtf you are better off with a supply of water that is readily available that has been stored that is reasonable safe, and or can be made readily so.

If you were not fortunate enough to store water ie it takes up alot of room, ground water sources are more protected than surface water.

Ie a well vs a spring, river or lake.

If your not able to store water you should take it upon your self to have the means to disinfect, at the very least. Some form of cholrine. Most has cl2 has a shelf life keep that in mind.

If you have a well have an alternate means to power it.

If you have a house with a yard you can buy storage tank that can be place in your yard realtively cheap.

If you have a garage keeping it out of the sun is a +1

The cooler the water the slower the growth of microorganisms.

Many simple filters can be made on the cheap, ie zeolite sand, avaible from pool supply store as well as de filters. Those will do a fair job

Activated charcoal will remove taste and odor compounds as well as semi filtering a small ammount of turbidity which could harbor bacteria and viruses that are resilant to disinfection.

There are now availble for moderate cost

Just did a simple search for ro units

http://www.reverseosmosis.com/categories/Filter-Housing/

All in all most people wont have adequate storage.

"All the preperations you make only make you a nut if they are never needed"
:inquis:

gwgn02
01-11-2013, 7:33 AM
Every time I finish a big jug of Grape juice or other drink (3qt or gallon size) I wash out the inside with anti-bacterial soap and hot water, then fill it with hot water and put a cap on. I set that aside in my garage for emergency. It adds up quickly. Water I've stored for 5 years still looks and tastes fine. I don't notice any changes to it.

gwgn02
01-11-2013, 7:33 AM
Every time I finish a big jug of Grape juice or other drink (3qt or gallon size) I wash out the inside with anti-bacterial soap and hot water, then fill it with hot water and put a cap on. I set that aside in my garage for emergency. It adds up quickly. Water I've stored for 5 years still looks and tastes fine. I don't notice any changes to it.

thomashoward
01-11-2013, 10:21 AM
Water does not go bad. H20 is always H20.

What happens is that bacteria, virii, algae are already present in your water, and they have babies. Those babies go to school, grow up, meet a nice bacteria, and have more babies.

Eventually, all the poopy diapers from all those babies makes the water dangerous to drink.

So you probably need to treat your stored water to prevent the population explosion. You can filter / purify water after the fact, but in certain circumstances (such as really bad algae, etc) it's extremely difficult, and it's pretty much always more difficult than treating beforehand.

It's an extremely important topic, so you should get busy reading asap.

When my wife finishes a gallon of bleach, I take the empty rinse it a little bit and fill it with water. No worries about anything growing.Enough residual bleach to kill bacteria

fredridge
01-11-2013, 10:35 AM
so can you just use tap water and replace it every few months?

Especially if you already drink tap water?

Or then maybe a basic filter since it is already treated?

burtondjdj
01-11-2013, 12:57 PM
i live in the desert and i am thinking 55 gallon drums. ive heard bad things about plastic, would this be an issue? also it will get close to 100 degrees in my garage is that bad?

burtondjdj
01-11-2013, 12:58 PM
i live in the desert and i am thinking 55 gallon drums. ive heard bad things about plastic, would this be an issue? also it will get close to 100 degrees in my garage is that bad?

Dubious_Beans
01-11-2013, 2:49 PM
If you have a house with a yard you can buy storage tank that can be place in your yard realtively cheap.

Yes, poly tanks can be reasonably priced and come in sizes from a few hundred to many thousands of gallons.

I have a 300 gallon tank that is 42" in diameter and stands a bit over 5' tall.
Many folks could find room in their garage or alongside the house somewhere for a tank that size.

It's also worth mentioning that a single large tank has a better volume to surface area ratio than using many smaller containers...
One of the advantages of a large volume to surface area ratio is that the water responds more slowly to external temperature swings and doesn't heat up as much during the day, which probably translates to increased "shelf life".

Dubious_Beans
01-11-2013, 2:59 PM
Water stored is a huge benefit if you needed it. If it were somehow slightly bad it could be boiled or treated or run through a charcoal filter when used years later.

Yes, and as long as it's not too terribly contaminated even non-potable water will be of great value for washing hands, faces, dishes, clothes, along with an occasional toilet flush.

After several weeks of SHTF I'm probably gonna want to wash some underwear.

SDBlaster
01-11-2013, 3:36 PM
I have a question that I seem to have read conflicting answers for. If i purchased one of those 55 gallon water storage containers from costco, which comes with a filter/ pump, would I be ok with just using tap water to fill it, rotating every 6,8,12 months or is adding bleach necessary???

ireload
01-11-2013, 4:39 PM
I have a question that I seem to have read conflicting answers for. If i purchased one of those 55 gallon water storage containers from costco, which comes with a filter/ pump, would I be ok with just using tap water to fill it, rotating every 6,8,12 months or is adding bleach necessary???


You can use tap water from a water authority since these authority already fiters and purify the water from lakes. But before putting tap water, use a filter. I have a two stage filter I purchased from Home Depot a while back. I sanitize the hose, the barrels, my hands and anything that tap water is going to come in contact. Use food grade hose or water line when filling up the drum. Don't use regular garden hose. Chemicals from the hose can leach into the drum. Though it's not right away, it can be cummulative. I use the RV fresh water hose from Walmart in the RV section. They also sell the filter that attaches to the fresh water hose. I've stored water in barrels up to 3 years before rotation. Just make sure that it's covered from direct sunlight and sealed good.

I can't comment on "well water" since I have no experience in that arena.

86mcss
01-11-2013, 6:33 PM
You can use tap water from a water authority since these authority already fiters and purify the water from lakes. But before putting tap water, use a filter. I have a two stage filter I purchased from Home Depot a while back. I sanitize the hose, the barrels, my hands and anything that tap water is going to come in contact. Use food grade hose or water line when filling up the drum. Don't use regular garden hose. Chemicals from the hose can leach into the drum. Though it's not right away, it can be cummulative. I use the RV fresh water hose from Walmart in the RV section. They also sell the filter that attaches to the fresh water hose. I've stored water in barrels up to 3 years before rotation. Just make sure that it's covered from direct sunlight and sealed good.

I can't comment on "well water" since I have no experience in that arena.

this is my understanding as well. water from your faucet is already "pre" treated. you just have to make sure the containers you are using are bacteria free and you should be good to go for long term storage.