Removing Creepy Crawlies From Your Water…

I love holidays…not the new made-up ones, but the ones that we had when I was growing up.

Here’s a Halloween pic I found on my phone of my boys and I from a few years ago when we were dropping them off for pre-school.  Yes…I’m in disguise…

In the theme of creepiness, I wanted to share a bit about removing creepy-crawlies from your water after a disaster.

Most water purification deals with back-country water sources…good water that has scary bacteria, protozoa, or viruses in it. City water has that, plus volatile organic compounds and runoff from golf courses, industrial runoff, and more.

Spooky, don’t you think?

Urban purification is different…It’s a complex topic, and we cover it some in Urban Survival Cards, but let me give you a few quick tips that could save your life.:

1. Volatile Organic Compounds (fuels and solvents) will go right through your camp filter…EXCEPT for Sawyer “S” Series.  Fortunately, VOCs float in still water (picture the mini oil slicks in parking lots after a light rain), and if you can gather your water from 12″ below the surface, you will miss them. If you have to collect running water, try to let it settle before you take off the water that you’re going to filter/purify.

2. Chlorine is great at killing bad things in water.

Here’s how much to use:

2 drops of unscented 6% bleach per quart of water

8 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water

1/2 teaspoon unscented bleach per five gallons of water

If water is cloudy, use twice as much.

If the bleach is 6 months old, use twice as much.

If it’s 12 months old, double it again.

If stored in a car, double the amount every 3 months

and replace it every 3-6 months.

Let the bleach/water mixture sit for 30 minutes before drinking. If you can smell bleach, you’re good to go.  If not, put in half again as much and let the water sit another 30 minutes.

If you don’t like the taste of the bleach water, (Who does?) run it through activated charcoal to remove the bleach.

I want to emphasize the point about storing bleach in your car. Fresh bleach will only take 2 drops per quart to purify water, but it will take 16X as much bleach to do the same work if it’s a year old. Put another way, a teaspoon of fresh bleach will purify 10 gallons, but if it’s been stored in a car for 12 months it will only purify about 2 1/2 quarts!

In short, if you carry liquid bleach in your car, replace it with fresh bleach every three months.

3. Most camp filters will not remove viruses. Viruses are 10-100x smaller than bacteria and fit right through.

The main anti-viral filters I recommend are from Sawyer. Every anti-viral filter is tested to make sure that virus size particles won’t make it through.

Otherwise, you need to use boiling, UV, chlorine, or iodine along with your filter to destroy viruses.

4. Iodine can mess with your thyroid, cause allergic reactions in people allergic to shellfish, and it shouldn’t be used by pregnant women or women over 50. This is enough reasons for me to not carry it anymore, but when I did, I would run the purified water through an activated carbon charcoal filter to remove the iodine.

If you have any interest at all in Urban Survival, you really need to check out Urban Survival Playing Cards.

They’re a pocket-sized survival tool that should be in every vehicle and go bag your family owns.

The cards are the cheat sheets for the full Urban Survival Guide Course:

Here’s what Doug in California had to say:

“In 23 years service in the Air Force, I completed both arctic and jungle survival training, many combat/battlefield skills courses, and I served under daily fire in Vietnam.  I think I’m fairly well prepared to survive the environmental hazards.

However, your course has significantly broadened my perspective when it comes to urban survival and surviving both the good and malicious intent of my fellow citizens.

Thank you so much for digging out the information and for shortening the learning process.”

-Doug (Retired Air Force) in California

All I can say is, “WOW!” Thanks Doug.

To get the “cheat sheet” survival cards go >HERE< now.

Questions?  Comments?  Fire away by commenting below…

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