If the water runs....

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If the water runs on Jan 1st, 2000, how can you be sure that it is good? Will you test it? How long will the water reserves last? How long will you test your water before you are sure that there has not been a "problem" with processing the water? I was thinking about this the other night, and just thought I would toss it out for your suggestions/comments. Thanks, Donna

-- Donna (Donna@home.com), January 09, 1999


Hi Donna

This is what I have done to ensure quality drinking water after my supply has run out: http://www.atkinsid.com/bottle.htm - remember to put the name "Duane" somewhere on your form for a 5% discount for Y2Kers.

-- Duane (Duane24062@aol.com), January 09, 1999.


I read in a survival manual that if you boil water for 15 to 20 minutes it will be safe to drink. It won't taste good (something about no oxyget) but it will be safe to drink.

You can also do other things with tarps/plastic that made the bad water condense and the condensation drips back down pure and clean.

-- Sub-Mitt (lurking@ofcourse.com), January 09, 1999.

Have you contacted your local water treatment plant to find out how they operate, test and exactly where the dangers might lie? They may not really know what will happen in y2k, even if they are working on compliancy, but it would be helpful to know just how they normally keep track of the quality of the water they put out to adjust chemical additions accordingly.

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), January 09, 1999.

Hi, Donna

It seems to me that safe is better than sorry, and if you have a way to boil your water, 15-20 minutes at a real rolling boil will kill most critters. You can re-oxygenate the water for taste by pouring it from one container to another a few times; kind of like trying to get some of the bubbles out of the ol' bromo-seltzer.

Check the archives below for much more info on water storage, solar stills, etc.

Good luck!

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), January 09, 1999.

Boiling will help - but as someone mentioned before, what a waste of energy... plenty of tea I suppose :)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 09, 1999.

Boiling only kills living organism (bacteria & viri).

For chemicals, you need distillation, other chemicals (to neutrilize the bad ones) and filters.

Loads of fun.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous.com), January 09, 1999.

You don't have to boil the water to make it safe to drink. Boiling it is a waste of energy. You can do a solar pasturization process that raises the temp to about 150-160 degreee for a period of time, then filter it for any suspended particles. IF there's a chance of chemical pollution then nothing short of distillation will clean it up. Try http://www.fc.net/~tdeagan/water/past.txt for a discussion of a pasturization process.

Good luck

-- j (sandpine@juno.com), January 09, 1999.

Check this out also


-- j (sandpine@juno.com), January 09, 1999.

Distillation will only clean up chemically-contaminated water if the boiling temperature of the contaminate is higher than that of water. You're safer with a good filter.

-- Shimrod (shimrod@lycosmail.com), January 09, 1999.

You can make your own activated charcoal filter, and that'll handle most chemicals.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), January 09, 1999.

If the end of civilization doesn't happen, I will simply get my water where I work, in a lab that uses a double distillation process.

If there is neither power nor hospitals nor the helpful National Guard, I will get water from the reservior, which should be fairly toxin-free. This water I boil for 25 minutes. If I am to use this stuff for drinking, I will also filter it with at a 0.22 uM filter just prior to use. I will keep it covered at all times.

At home, if you can get the equipment together, double-distillation is a good way to get rid of both toxins and bugs. Stuff that is below the boiling point of water (ie, methanol, butane, other hydrocarbons) can be made volatile and gotten rid of if you add a pasteurization step to your purification process. Heat the water to about 95-99C for awhile. Don't collect the stuff that condenses out at this temp. Then collect the condensate that comes off from the full boil at 100C. To be sure, repeat process.

-- Harrison Bergeron (coprolith@rocketship.com), January 09, 1999.

Bill could you tell us how you make your own activated charcoal filter? TIA

-- gilda jessie (jess@listbot.com), January 09, 1999.

make your own rainwater collector and filter:


-- Goldi (goldilucks@yahoo.com), January 09, 1999.

Harrison - you're assuming that the "filtration-distillation system" at work will still work, still be accessible, still be "clean" over a possibly extended period of time.

For example, if power is down, can you still drive to work, be able to get in and get enough water? Would you want to use the gas to drive to get water, or keep it for other (emergency) purposes -> even if power was predicted to be down for only "a couple of days" in your area - you couldn't know exactly how long it really will be down until it actually comes back up.

So how long can you expect to use that as a drinking water source?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 09, 1999.

I believe activated charcoal can be made from materials such as hardwood and coal. Charcoal for cooking grills has additives.

The material should be contained in a controlled atmosphere and heated to 1000 degrees farenheit. I've asked here before how one could do this and so far we're not exactly sure. Normal open fires of paper and wood burn at 451 degrees. I think that the temperature of a coal fire could be increased, as in a foundry, with a blower. I don't know if that would make it to 1k or not.

The "controlled atmosphere" may be done by using something like a large pipe to contain the wood to be heated. With caps on each end and a breather hole for pressure release, it would prevent air circulation and therefore "controlled".

Is that the way it could be done? Someone tell us more please..


-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), January 09, 1999.

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