Fresh drinking water that is piped into our homes is a fragile resource that we frequently take for granted. Every day we turn on the tap for drinking water, take showers and flush our toilets knowing that each time we turn the knob or press the button water will flow. But what happens when water doesn’t flow?
Broken water mains and boil water notices occur all the time, especially during weather changes, like when temperatures dip below freezing or when droughts and heavy rains strike. We expect the water to be turned on quickly after a water outage; but what if the water stays off for days or weeks? Are you prepared with enough drinking water to sustain your family and pets? What about water for showers and toilet flushing?
When the water tap gets turned off indefinitely, many people find themselves ill-prepared for no water and depend on the kindness of others to provide for them. But hoping that the government, neighbors or a good Samaritan will help you is not a plan and is irresponsible, especially when your family and pets depend upon you. And if water is unavailable for extended periods of time, like what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, social unrest and breakdown can occur, putting you and your family in potential danger.
What can you do to secure your family for an event where water is not flowing to your home?
-Store bottled water. Either purchase it or store water in containers. The more water the better. Note that people can easily drink several gallons each day.
-Collect water in closed, larger containers for baths or toilet flushing.
-Build a water collection system where water drains from the roof into a storage container. This can be easily done using existing gutter systems and clean drums or storage tanks.
-Purchase a water treatment system. It can be something as simple as a LifeStraw (<$20) or something you use every day like a Big Berkey water filtration system ($150-$400).
-Construct an alternative source (if you have the means) of water, such as drilling a water well.
Keep in mind that water that is stored can go bad over time (build unsafe levels of bacteria, microorganisms, etc.), so it’s best to treat it or filter it through a high quality filter like those sold by Berkey, ProPur or another similar brand. These water filtration systems are designed to filter stagnate, non-potable water and convert it into safe drinking water.