Safe Water Can Mean the Difference Between Life and Death
If a storm, earthquake, or issue with your city’s water supply has made your water supply non-potable, you’ll want to have stored water to fall back on. But there are specific ways to keep water safe to drink over long periods of time.
One of the worst offenders for ruining stored water is algae. To prevent algae from ruining your water supply:
- Only use black water cisterns. The dark color prevents sunlight from getting into the cistern, where algae and bacteria will fester.
- Add 4 parts of chlorine to every 1,000,000 parts water. At this ratio, chlorine will not be a health hazard. But it is strong enough to prevent algae from growing.
- Sanitize your cistern. You can actually use bleach in your water storage tank to inhibit bacteria and algae. But only at very low ratios. At one part per million, the amount of bleach you’d need to use in a tank is very low.
If you are considering rainwater for water collection, keep these additional tips in mind:
- You’ll need multiple forms of filtration to remove particulates and debris that occur while collecting rainwater.
- Consider boiling your water before use to ensure that germs are killed prior to consumption.
- Use screens or empty the barrel every 5-10 days to ensure that the collection tank doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitos.