Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WATER...a real conversation

Why is water storage so important to me? More importantly why storing water should be important to you... When I started preparing, I literally wrote a list of everything I use each day, starting from when I woke up...
The first two things on that list where 1) t.p. & 2) WATER.
When you are getting started it can be pretty confusing. For example why is it better to store gallons of water in the type of container on the left, than the one on the right? It has to do with the type of plastic these containers are made from. For gallons, both of these cost about $1 each, but the one of the left will last longer in storage, because the type of plastic used to make the bottle is a better quality. The ones that look like milk carton WILL LEAK. That is not a lesson you want to learn the hard way.

The thing about water is you probably don't realize how much water you actually use in a day. FEMA recommends storing 1 gallon a day, per person. That covers just the minimum amount for survival. I personally recommend at least a gallon and a half to two gallons per person per day. Recently I helped my mother get her 72 hour kit together & we got 9 gallons for two people for three days. Particularly if you are simply looking at getting started for your 72 hours storage, this type of water storage is cost effective.

Once you get that 72 hour water storage established, then it's time to look at a longer haul. When we were in the suburbs, we had about 300 gallons of water stored, with 100 of that being rain barrels in the back yard.
We were chatting about how our children would react if DH & I were to pass away & they were starting to go through the house. I want to write a letter to them, explaining what is what & why and what to do with the various items, instead of just getting rid of it. We were laughing about the fact t
hat our tv sat on top of two FILLED 55 gallon water containers, cover with a black cloth. Strange as this sounds, there have been many people that visited often that never even noticed those containers.

& the gallons I have everywhere, I have these one gallon containers under each of our shelving units.

We also had two of these 30 gallons containers of water in the house, I am still trying to find a place for them in our new home.

After we did a water challenge (using only our stored water for three days) we added water specially for the dogs. The value of testing yourself and up to that point we hadn't included the three dogs in our water storage plan.

We keep a few gallons by the toilet (which is hidden behind the shower curtain) for emergency flushing.

Then the rain barrels, which are in the back yard, but also provide a renewable water catching system for more long term.

Not to mention the various types of pumps & water filters we have stored. 

This is an actual conversation I had with a fellow prepper, i have posted it before.

Me: So, I have been talking about doing a water challenge on my facebook page. Do you have water stored in the house?
Her: Oh, we are covered. We have a well, so we don't have to worry about it.
Me: Well, what if the well broke down.
Her: No worries, we do have a back up hand pump. We would just set it up & we have the pond. We could start hauling the water in 5 gallon buckets from the pond to the house.
Me: What if something actually happened to the water?
Her: What, like it got contaminated?
Me: Yes.
Her: Oh, we haven't thought about that. We do have the “B.....”.
Me: Hold on, let me check the long 9's for the “B.....”...
Her: What is “log 9's”?
Me: O.k. The log 9's are good on the “B.....”. Log 9's is a system that determines just how efficient the filter is at removing various contaminants.
It's makes me laugh when I hear that a water system will take out 99.9% of the contaminates. That is NOTHING. It only covers giardia, cyptosporidium and cyclospora. 99.9% is the requirement from the EPA for Protozoan (cysts). It won't cover things like bacteria which causes things like Cholera, botulism of typhoid, e coli, streptococcus or salmonella? Or viruses, like Hep A...
Me: Maybe you should consider doing the water challenge...(HINT) I did a three day water challenge & while I thought I had it covered, I still learned a lot.
Her: What did you learn?
Me: Well, for one thing, I hadn't included the dogs in our water storage. I did have enough, but since then they have their own supply of water stored.
I also learned that I would keep a large pot of hot water (which had been boiled) on the stove the whole time. At night I would prepare a lot of water and then put some in the fridge (since I like to drink water cold). And I bought some ice cube trays.
I also, added a 5 gallon water container to hold hot water for washing hands and things like that.

Anyway that is how the conversation we are living on a farm and working towards backing up our well with a secondary pump, which is our main source of water. When buying this property we also were excited to know we have a fresh spring and a pond on our property. This is an important thing to consider if you are looking at property.
I also take water filtration seriously. While there may be others out there, the only ones I personally would recommend are Sawyers, Aquamira & Berkey.

For us, I chose to go with the Sawyers Water filter(s).

1) Great Log 9's. 2) Reasonably priced. 3) 1 Million gallon guarantee 4) They are used a lot for charitable organizations that are being cleaner water to locations in the world where clean water isn't easily accessible. 

If you do choose to store water without any plastic usage, you are able to store water in canning jars. Even canning them. But remember you are talking about a lot of water. The bare minimum is storing 1 gallon a day for each person.

Now you have a basic idea of our water storage situation.
But, wait there is more...if you are interested in learning more about water filtration systems read this Details on Water Filtration Systems (an old post)

What I do here is simply share our preparedness journey. If you liked this post we would love it if you joined our Perky Prepping Gramma community on Facebook, comment or share. Plus it would just make my day. These are the actual products we have on hand and use for our water storage.

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  1. We frequently rely on our water storage in the winter, because our pipes freeze easily, and in the height of summer, because the well goes dry. We have six six-gallon water storage containers, so six gallons per person. (Priority this summer is getting a few more) We also bring in ice to thaw in the winter, and collect rainwater in the summer.

    We ARE a bit unusual because we don't have a flush toilet, and we have learned to "bucket bathe" because of the unreliability of our water. Still, we can usually manage for four days on what we have stored.

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  3. Thank you for the educated share! You made me think about filters and I had not as I too have a great well, and emergency pump back up. CLEAN water was never a thought if there is contamination problem that wasn't expected.

    Love your blogs! ❤