In the wake of many natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy and tough winter storms, many people are thinking about what they can do in the event of an emergency. When a natural disaster strikes or even a pipe freezes due to chilling winter weather, many people are left without clean water to drink, cook or clean with. Water storage is one way to ensure you and your family’s needs are taken care of during an emergency like this. However, keeping water potable isn’t always easy. For those considering water storage, here are some ideas for how to do it more effectively.
Water storage at the land (Photo credit: JoePhoto)
1. The Right Tank
Having the right kind of tank to store your water in is important. When selecting a container, look into what the container is made out of. Many plastics have chemicals in them that can seep into your water storage and contaminate it. Make sure the container you purchased is qualified by the FDA for water storage. In addition, ensure that the storage container you purchase is durable and can withstand the natural elements. A small hole during a storm can quickly drain your water supply. Finally, choosing a container in black or green can reduce light penetration, which helps to prevent algae growth. Finally, think about how you will access your water supply when the need arises and have the tools needed easily accessible.
2. Treating the Water
After selecting the appropriate container, be sure the water you store is treated properly, so it will be good for long-term storage. In general, if the water you use is not chlorinated already by the city, add some household bleach to the water. For cloudy water add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. For clear water add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Change out the water you store annually to ensure that it stays good.
The amount of water you need is another important consideration. In general, store one gallon of water per person per day. If you can, have enough water for everyone in your family for up to 14 days.
4. Where to Put the Tank
Where you place the tank can also effect the quality of the water storage. In general, make sure the tank is away from heat and sunlight. Avoid placing a tank directly on concrete because the temperature tends to change dramatically and concrete tends to give off moisture. Instead, place it on a slatted platform, so air can flow beneath the tank. Avoid placing the tank where it can cause damage to your home in the event of a leak.
5. Teach Family Members how to Access
It’s an unfortunate fact that you may not be home when an emergency occurs. In this event, it will be important for your family members to know how to use and access the water tank. Show them how to safely open the tank, distribute the water and teach them to check for possible contamination. If you feel the water may have been contaminated, filter or boil the water to remove any bacteria.
Kevin Smyth is a professional blogger that enjoys providing consumers with home improvement advice. He writes for National Tank Outlet, a leading source of plastic water tanks.
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