about storing well water - differing opinions around

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I've read many of the water storage / water treatment threads here and also been out to different suggested links. In one of the archives there was a thread about storing well water. There were differing opinions expressed about proper storage (bleach or not, if bleach # of drops, etc.). As one who doesn't tolerate chorine well, one comment from that thread very much echoes my own question when considering water storage. That being: If you are running perfectly clean well water straight out of the faucet into a clean container, would you need to put bleach into it? Why/Why not? (Okay, a paraphrase of the sentiment expressed). Comments about the potential ill effects of bleach were mentioned as well.

I have a few other questions, too, that I put in toward the end of an earlier thread, but I didn't get much response. It is about the merits of storing water given my situation. We have a creek and a spring. I viewed these as being my water storage areas as we have limited storage space as it is. Plans for alternate treatment methods of boiling or bleach or h2o filter (probable future purchase).

Additionally, because of living in a cold winter climate, if we would lose power, we lose heat. We lose heat for long enough and we will have a problem with liquids in the house freezing. I'm hoping that won't be the case. (Yes, I'm looking at alt. heat possibilities-- but don't know whether that will happen or not.) However, if that ends up being the case, then I'm guessing any stored water will freeze and possibly burst containers as well.

So a brief sum of the questions:

1 - Is it safe to store well water into a clean container without bleach? 2 - Given my circumstances, does it seem reasonable to count on the creek or spring as my water storage? Or am I missing something important here?

Sorry for any redundancy,

-- winter wondering (winterwondering@yahoo.com), July 16, 1999


Winter -

I also have a well, but also a pond on my property. After considering all alternatives (generator, manual pump, etc.), I decided on purchasing a Big Berkey water purifier to be used with either the pond water or rainwater. Have heard many good things about it. Have not purchased it yet but will soon. Also have purchased 2 55-gallon food-grade barrels to use as a cistern. Cost was my primary motivation in this solution. Much cheaper. Also, want unlimited supply (not just stored water). Even if you use the running water on your property, I would still consider getting a purifier (not filter, there's a difference). A good case of giardia could be fatal post-y2k.

Hope this helps!

-- dakota (none@thistime.com), July 16, 1999.

Here's where I bought my Big Berkey:


-- walt (longyear@shentel.net), July 16, 1999.

OK, let's try to answer the questions. These are my opinion, based on what I've read several places.

1. Chlorine in already potable water? -- yes: prevents algae from forming.

2. Dealing with the chlorine (bleach) -- use a good filter/purifier. As a test, I stored water for a brief period with chlorine in it, then ran it through my Big Berkey. It came out tasting better than my (already good) well water.

3. You would need to treat rainwater, using bleach.

4. You would need a purifier or good filter to treat the spring/creek water.

So, your situation cries for a good water purifier, and the Big Berkey will do the job pretty well. But, why not store some water ahead of the problem? If you're worried about bursting containers, don't fill them completely -- give it some expansion room.

Here are some suggested sites:



-- de (delewis@Xinetone.ent), July 16, 1999.

Another thing you could do to get rid of chlorine is simply leave the drinking water out (in an open container) for a couple hours before you drink it, chlorine dissapates into the air over time --- thats what most people do before they add treated water to their fish tanks, so the chlorine doesn't kill the fish. Or if you're in a hurry, just heat it up a little. For cooking, the heat will dissapate the chlorine quickly, so you shouldn't notice it. Just an idea IF you don't get a filter.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), July 17, 1999.

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