Ensure a Safe Water Supply
If you live in a rural area where you do not have “city” water then you probably get your water from your own well. It doesn’t matter whether it is a drilled well or a dug well; it still takes electricity to pump it into your sinks and toilets. In the event of a major storm, terrorist attack or just plain malfunction, the loss of electricity means the loss of water for your household.
One of the best solutions is to always have a reserve supply on hand. Those four or five gallon plastic containers some folks call “jerry cans” are perfect for storing water. They are available at camping supply stores, most rural hardware stores and also places like Walmart. Kmart, and Target. An old rule is to have at least one gallon of water on hand per person, per day. So, getting two or three of these containers is a good idea. Be sure to rinse the containers out well before using them.
Purify the water (even if it is clean when you store it) with Clorox or Purex “regular” bleach. Be sure you do NOT use the scented or perfumed bleach. For clear water use 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) per gallon and for cloudy water use twice as much, 1/4 teaspoon (16 drops) per gallon. Store your containers in a cool place, and out of sunlight. A kitchen pantry, a hall closet, etc is great. Do NOT store them under the kitchen sink where other bleach, detergents or cleaners may be present.
Water will keep for up to 11 or 12 months this way. If it has a bleach taste or odor when you go to use it just pour the water to be used back and forth between two pitchers or pans a couple of times and the bleach odor will diminish. It is a good idea to replenish your stored water every 5 or 6 months.
So much for cooking and drinking. How about your toilets? A pail of water (about 1 gallon) just poured into the toilet will self-flush the toilet into your cesspool or septic tank. Having an additional 5 or 10 gallons on hand for this purpose is also a good idea.
If having stored safe water isn’t convenient for you, you can purchase a simple water purification filter. This one makes over 3 Liters of clean drinking water a day, for 3 days.