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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:07 PM
ethib ethib is offline
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Default Power Outage questions

In the case of a power outage

How long is the water supply from a faucet safe to drink before you'd need to purify yourself? assuming not from an earthquake where there is contamination issues from broken pipes

Also how long would natural gas be available on a stove top?
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:21 PM
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wheels wheels is offline
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The water question depends on how/where you are supplied. Normally they do a boil order if they loose pressure in the lines, so it depends how much gravity fed storage they have when the power goes out. If I remember correctly the San Diego outage about 18 months back was between 7 - 14 hours depending on where you were and there were boil orders in several water districts.

Natural gas usually stays on from what I have heard.

Hopefully someone with some utility background can chime in.
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Old 02-15-2013, 1:04 PM
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ireload ireload is offline
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In my current area, we have "pumped" water. During the So-Cal power outage a year and half ago, the pumping station has back up power. As long as the generators are fueled then water pressure is assured. With gravity fed water lines from water tanks are not so dependent on pumps once water is in the tank. I do not know if my current water district has a "holding tank" for treated water. I know that my previous water district since I toured their facility has over 1.5 million holding tank for their treated water in their treatment facility. Water is then pumped from that large holding tank to the many smaller capacity tanks around their district. From what I've been told during my tour, that short power outages, like a few hours, no mandatory boil water is issued but longer they do issue that order just to be on the safe side. Now the boil water order may vary from different water district. It's best to call them and ask questions. By the way the tour I took back then is prior to the Y2K. I've never seen so many towable water tanks in one place plus several towable generators.

Last edited by ireload; 02-15-2013 at 1:07 PM..
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Old 02-15-2013, 4:37 PM
ethib ethib is offline
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for the natural gas - it has to turn off at some point right? 1 day? 1 week? 1 month?
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Old 02-15-2013, 5:42 PM
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I thought after an earthquake you are supposed to shut the gas off in your home right away?
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Old 02-16-2013, 1:45 AM
noctambulant89 noctambulant89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC View Post
I thought after an earthquake you are supposed to shut the gas off in your home right away?
Ideally yes, however my grandfather who worked for the gas company said only do this if its a super bad earth quake (and always check gas lines before lighting any candle) due to the fact that it usually takes a few days to come back on. This advice is based on his knowledge before he retired 15years so ago, I do not know if its different and more up to date now.
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Old 02-16-2013, 2:29 AM
badreligion badreligion is offline
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I work for a water and power company and part of my duties include maintence on the water pumping facilities and resevours. Let me start by saying that every water district and municipality is different in their view of water storage and supply. They all follow the same basic guidelines but their individual operation will be different. Things like terrain and local water play important parts in how they operate.
If you live in an area that is flat your going to be more dependent on pumps to maintain water pressure. Pumps need power so you may find yourself without local water in as few as two hours. Hopefully your water municipality has plans to provide emergency pumps and generators but that may take several hours to get online.
If you live in a location that has hills you should have several resevours up on hills that provide the pressure to feed your home. Depending on how much your local municipality decides to keep in the resevours you may have water for a few weeks.
Most water storage should be potable for 2-3 weeks without treatment depending on how well it is maintained right now and the amount of water stored.
Southern CA has a much bigger problem than Northern CA if the power goes out due to our over dependence on water from the North. The CA Aquaduct will stop delivering water to SoCal without pumps.
Also keep in mind that a lot of municiple water lines are quite old and can actually suffer more damage when water doesn't pump on a regular schedule.

Boil Order typically happen during a power outage of older water systems. When the pumps turn off so do the chemical systems which treat the water as it is being pumped.
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Old 02-16-2013, 2:32 AM
FORD4LIFE FORD4LIFE is offline
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Natural gas goes up to over 1,000 PSI. By the time it reaches your house it has decrease to about 0.5 psi, it will last for a heck of a long time as long as it hasn't exploded. So it really not anything to compare against water
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