Finding Water In Case Of Emergencies
Having a steady supply of and instant access to clean water is something many of us take for granted.
However, in case of emergencies or natural disasters, pollution of water, you could find yourself in an emergency situation. If you are lucky enough, you might have already read our previous page on how to store emergency water and you have your own stored water.
However, if you are unlucky, you may find yourself without any clean water. Don’t worry: look around you as there are some emergency water sources you can find.
- Liquid from canned fruit and vegetables.
- Use the water in your waterbed only as a last resort.
- Take ice cube trays in the freezer and pour the cubes in a covered container. Leave at room temperature to allow them to melt into drinking water.
- Outside home sources include rainwater, streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water such as ponds, lakes and natural springs.
- Open the faucet at the highest level at home, for example the upstairs bathroom. A small amount of water may still leak out. You can also try opening tap at the lowest level of your home (for example, a sink in the basement).
- Try the water tank of your toilet storage or backup. If you have not used chemical products in the tank, you might be surprised to learn that this water is actually clean. While it theory it might gross you out, it usually just needs to be purified.
- Remember that hot water system plumbers like Watermaster emergency plumber installed in your hours? You can use the reserve of water in the hot water heater tank. Most heaters have 100 or 200 litres stored. Turn off the electricity or gas. Open the drain on the bottom of the tank. Turn on a hot water tap and drain water from the tank into a container.
- Use your pool as a backup source of water. Again, this water will just need to be purified.
To be safe, all these emergency water sources should be treated if you have time and as if you are unsure if it is clean. Treatment aims to eliminate potentially pathogenic microorganisms that may be present in the water.
- Filter water to remove impurities: this can be achieved by passing the water through paper towels, a clean cloth folded into several parts or cotton in a funnel. If you do not have funnel, cut the top of a plastic bottle, and use it as a funnel.
- Boiling water: Water should be boiled at least three minutes.
- Allow water to cool for at least 30 minutes then add four drops of chlorine. The water must be cooled before adding the chlorine, so it doesn’t evaporate.
- Store it or drink it: the newly treated water can be consumed or stored in washed containers which should then be sealed and labelled with the date.
- DO NOT DRINK water that has an unusual odor or color, or that you suspect might be contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals. You cannot treat this water or make it safe. You will need to find another source.