Monday, August 4, 2014

State of Emergency in Ohio: They can’t even boil their Water


Hi Fernando--What a horrible situation in parts of Ohio where their
water became so contaminated they are told they cannot even boil the
water to make it drinkable. How would you handle that situation if it
happened to you? Thanks.....

Hello J,
Check this link to see what its like for people trying to buy water in Toledo.
The situation is very bad. It seems that water in the area is contaminated due to algae in the area, mostly in Lake Erie, which releases a toxin called microcystin when it decays. The algae grows best in warm, shallow waters like those of Lake Erie. It can’t be boiled, boiling only concentrates the toxin. What about filters? Even filters such as Berkey filters have their limitations. They are capable of filtering pathogens and microorganisms, but getting rid of a cyanotoxins is a different story.
The way I would deal with the situation would be this:
I’d drink the water I have stored, and refill with rain, which in Ireland you would have the opportunity to do so every couple days. While weather is a disadvantage here in general terms, mostly due to the cloudy weather, at the same time the abundance of water is a key strategic asset. Its no accident either. I came here taking into account both the pros and cons, and the availability of water is something I take very seriously. If you look at the rule of 3 it says you cant live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours of exposure, 3 days without water or 3 weeks without food.
In just  a matter of days, shortages and price gouging of water became the norm in Ohio.
People don’t realize how fast they would get thirsty and need water. Food people may go for a day until they get really upset about not eating, but water its just a matter of hours until the thirst kicks in, and when there’s no water around there’s no limit to how much money you can ask for a bottle of water. 

So What to Do?

Simple, Store water!!

Water has to be the most overlooked supply when it comes to survival and preparedness. People just take it for granted, that is, until they don’t have it any more. Filters, tablets, its all ok, but you need actual water stored. Barrels, cases of water, jugs, even refilled soda bottles its all good. In fact, the smaller bottles tend to be handier for general use. 

Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container

How much water you should store depends on a simple question: How long would you like to live if there’s no water to be found? In general, a gallon per person per day is the recommended standard. I would suggest having at least two week worth of water, more obviously being better. You can add a drop or two of bleach per liter before storing, but it may not be necessary. As long as the water is away from sunlight you shouldn’t have any algae problems. Try rotating once a year to avoid nasty plastic taste. 

In terms of purifying water (when possible) besides filters it’s a very good idea to have bleach as well. It can be used to make water safe, and it can be used for general cleaning, something of importance given the recent problems with Ebola and the concerns of a pandemic.
What I suggest doing is getting bleach tablets such as these:

Magichem Bleach Tabs (makes 10 gallons of bleach per card- 4 cards per order)

 These are very compact, practical, take up very little space, and unlike bottles of liquid bleach, they do not lose power until combined with water into liquid bleach. They are usually not very expensive either, and they will store well for years, ready to be turned into fresh bleach when combined with water.


Anonymous said...

I'm in Cleveland Ohio. Amazing how few are not worried long term about this. Anyway we have stored water. Gravity filters, rain barrels etc. I'm thankful for this site that I have been prepared. I was living in NYC for hurricane Sandy and all the bases were covered. Lights and gasoline especially. Stored water there as well but we had pressure. A lot of taller buildings didn't. I could see it definitely wasn't fun for neighbors in skyscrapers to lug jugs up twenty flights of stairs. Or even wait for their paid staff to bring it to them. Here in Cleveland it would be waiting in long lines.
I reckon distilling the tap water in Toledo then filtering it may work?

Anonymous said...

pressure cooker and copper tubing, distill it. Reverse osmosis filter.

Anonymous said...

Hi FerFal. I looked into water treatment for microcystin contamination. Microcystin can be oxidized at a pH of less than or equal to 7 with greater than .5PPM chlorine in 20 minutes. Simply, a gallon of bleach and a pool test kit would be sufficient in most instances to inactivate the microcystin. Myself, I would go with at least 1 to 3ppm for treatment.

An ozonator is also effective, but much more costly.