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Emergency Water: 4 Ways to Enjoy Clean Water Anytime

Elizabeth Renter
February 5th, 2013
Updated 05/21/2014 at 1:17 am
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waterdrippingleaf 265x165 Emergency Water: 4 Ways to Enjoy Clean Water AnytimeIn recent years, many of us have heard about the many signs and signals that point to a global water crisis inching near. The world doesn’t have to be ending for the water supply to become unusable and undrinkable – just ask the victims of any major natural disaster. Whether it’s a super storm, a local outage due to a broken line, or the zombie apocalypse, you need to know how to access clean water for your own survival and wellbeing. Fortunately, you have several options for emergency water in the case of a personal, national, or global crisis.

Emergency Water: Recognize and Prepare

It seems like the go-to protocol in emergency preparation is in having gallons of store-bought water stowed away in case something should happen. But, this isn’t without its own dangers. Not only can water in plastic jugs take up a lot of space, we just don’t know how the BPA in the plastic could be breaking down as it sits on your cellar shelf waiting for the day you need it. What’s more, bottled water is nothing more than filtered or tap water, but is priced 2,000x higher than tap water. Stocking up on bottled water or storing your tap water in plastic simply isn’t the safest option.

And in case you didn’t know, this is what your tap water looks like. Tap water is riddled with heavy metals like lead, toxic fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, birth control, and much more. While it’s understandable to turn to tap water or bottled water int he case of a dire emergency, it should be known that these just aren’t the safest options available.

Here are a few safer options for emergency water.

1. Water Filtration Systems

Mechanical methods like filtration systems is a good option. These range from the expensive and highly effective household  reverse osmosis carbon filter systems to the simple and far less pricey personal hand-held devices. You can have them installed in the kitchen for use in cooking only or get them installed for the entire home at a bigger price point. It may be wise to invest in a system that doesn’t require electricity, such as a Berkey system. These devices are portable and gravity fed.

Water purification straws, made for campers and survivalists, are relatively cheap (under $30) and can be great in a pinch. These are great for in your car too.

2. Boil Your Water

One of the simplest options of all—boil the water. Boiling water can remove most biological contaminants. Be sure you bring it to a rolling boil and let it go for at least five minutes in order to purify it completely. Because this method removes the oxygen from the water, it may taste a little flat. Simply shake it up to reintroduce some oxygen after boiling. Boil for around 5 minutes to remove most pathogenic bacteria and parasites.

3. Find a Natural Spring

If you can find spring water stored in glass containers, this is a better option, though it may be more expensive and less convenient. However, if you can’t find true spring water, checkout the website Find A Spring to see if a pure spring is nearby.

4. Store, Store, Store

When you do choose a safe way to obtain your water, don’t forget to stock up on glass containers and store, store, store. Store the water in as many glass containers you have so that you are prepared with clean, safe water for weeks to come.

Finally, you can also resort to chemical means to purify your water. Water purification tablets can be found online and in some outdoor supply stores. There are iodine tablets (which will make your water taste a little funny) and halazone, chlorine, or potassium permanganate tabs. You can even add bleach. The CDC suggests adding one-eighth of a teaspoon of unscented bleach to one gallon of water; wait a half hour, and then drink. If the water is cloudy when you start, add one-fourth of a teaspoon. Chlorine bleach isn’t a healthy drink option, however, so this choice makes a good “last resort”.

As humans, we need water before we need food. And because we can’t depend on the system to always supply us with clean, usable water, it’s important to have other options ready should the system fail.

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  • siry

    MMS is another way to purify whater and cheep too

  • dogitydog

    Against the use of a water filtration system? Alrighty then. What is your position on filtered air?


    BERKEY Water Systems

  • Cheryl @ Home Clean

    These 4 tips are great. I was a bit against the use of filtration systems. However, where access to proper quality water is limited, the use of such is absolutely reasonable. Spot-on advice, thank you!

    Domestic Cleaning London

  • Nancy

    Distilling water also is a good way to get pure water.

  • Daisy Cecil

    To get pure water, reverse osmosis water filtration systems can help a lot.

  • Ann Phua

    Another way of filtering raw water is to use the moringa seeds. The plant is easy to grow, the leaves has a huge amount of nutrients and the seeds can absorbs the impurities of water. The many wonders of nature and its free.

  • ioniseur Bawell

    I think lots of ways water filtration system–available in the world . Some water filtration systems including those using activated carbon, may neutralize the water and maintain a balanced pH……..

  • megahome distiller

    The solar water distiller is a relatively new comer. it rivals the electric water distiller, competing on the residential water distillers market. I’ll review the advantages and the disadvantages of solar distillers in comparison to electric distillers.

    Advantages of Solar Distillers

    A typical size solar distiller (e.g. Rainmaker) can produce 1.5 gallons (six liters) per day during the summer, dropping to 3 liters in the winter season. It should be out in the sun, it takes 10 square feet (0.9 square meters) and it weighs 69 lbs (31kg).

    The advantages are:

    1 – Free of charge sun energy (during sunlight it eliminates 500 Watt electric consumption per one hour of sunlight)

    2 – There are no moving parts; it is therefore reliable and almost maintenance free (cleaning is required though)

    3 – Water taste is claimed to be better since the device act as a Solar Water Vaporizer and it doesn’t boil the water (resembling rain water)

    4 – Neutral pH is claimed (like rainwater), not like the not neutral pH of steamed distilled water

  • john

    I read about material called black mica used for purifying ponds and lakes

  • dave

    To save money on a Berkey, you can use 2, five gallon food grade buckets for the containers and 2 filters @ $50 each. youtube has a video on this. Would have saved me $200. Each filter processes 16,000 gallons.

    • connie silver

      I have a British berkfield. Used it for years. The Nikken water filter is by far better.. You can by it without the brand name much cheaper if you can find it. It has about 7 filters. Tastes wonderful.. Makes the water alkaline which is what your body needs. FYI plants love it.

  • Ella

    Thanks for the great article. I am hoping to get a Berkey soon. I also want to get those straws! Just a reminder, boiling water concentrates fluoride. Also, does anyone know where to get a good glass water dispenser that can go in the refrigerator?

  • solange silverman

    Telling people to boil water is a bit irresponsible. Boiling water increases the toxicity of fluoride.

    • juan

      not everyone has fluoridated water

  • Daisy

    Bleach ??????!!!

  • Time

    You can also use evaporation.

    Place a smaller container(like a cup) in a larger container(ice cream tub), place water in the larger container, cover with a clear membrane(such as food wrap), place a small weight(pebble/rock) over the smaller container, and leave in the sun.

    The sun will naturally heat up the water, which will evaporate as water in the sun does, but then be caught on the membrane and funneled into the smaller container.

    Not the best or most efficient method, but a simple one that can be adapted to whatever you have available.

  • josette

    The only way and most effective in ridding your water supply from all contaminates is distillation by a home table top pure water distiller world wide postage and three year warranty.