Emergency Water Purification Using Pool Shock (Calcium Hypochlorite)

Potable water is one of our most precious resources and will likely be in short supply during a disaster. While bleach can be used effectively to purify water, it has a relatively short shelf life. Stocking up on pool shock (calcium hypochlorite) is a vastly superior option.

Pool shock is a dry powder commonly sold in discount stores, hardware stores, and, of course, pool supply stores. As long as it is kept dry, it will last a very long time. Mixed and used properly, one teaspoon of pool shock will purify up to one hundred gallons of water, so even one small package will go quite a long way. It also is fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to how useful it will be during an emergency.

Here is how it works. Please note this is a three stage process.

Step one is to filter your water. This assumes you are using water from a rain barrel, puddles, or other possibly questionable sources. Pour the water through a coffee filter or other improvised filtration device to remove any solids and get the water as clear as is possible. If the water is especially cloudy and time isn’t critical, place the water into a container and let it sit for an hour or two. This will allow the solids to sink to the bottom of the container. Gently scoop the water from that container and place it into a clean jug or other vessel.

Step two is to make your purification solution. Do Not Drink The Purification Solution! Add one heaping teaspoon of pool shock to two gallons of water. Mix it thoroughly. This solution is essentially a form of bleach. This purification solution will not last a significantly long time so only make as much as you need at the moment, if possible.

Step three is to add the purification solution to your water. The ratio should be one part solution to one hundred parts water. This breaks down to one pint of solution to every 12.5 gallons of water. After mixing it well, there should be a faint chlorine smell to the water. If need be, this smell can mostly be removed by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers as the chlorine will evaporate away.

Due to its longevity, ease of use, and inexpensive cost, stockpiled pool shock can be a valuable item for barter or trade purposes.

It is a wise idea to have as much water stored ahead of time as is possible. There are many methods for storing water around the home, as well as finding hidden sources of water already in the home. However, it is wise to also have the means to purify additional water as the stored quantities will eventually run out.

Jim Cobb is a disaster readiness expert. He has studied survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. In addition to this study, Jim has acquired extensive practical knowledge by living what he teaches. He is the owner of http://www.survivalweekly.com. In addition to writing on these topics, Jim is also available for speaking engagements. He was recently a featured speaker at the 2011 Survival & Preparedness Conference in Dallas, Texas. His common sense and down to earth approach to “prepping” have garnered him a substantial following. Jim is a columnist for Survivalist Magazine, writing “Preppers Corner.” He is also a regular guest on the Prepper Broadcast Radio Network.

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