August 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm #21040
I like to know the opinions of everyone here as to what is the best way to filter water when the SHTF times, no electricity and the SHTF last more then two years.
This water filters need to be able to filter, River, Lake, Pool, Rain, and Well water.August 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm #21045
Wow Freedom – that is a huge subject! Berkey and Katydyn filters are great – different sizes and uses. I have various versions of both. Rain water can be filtered through one of their models. My well water has an alternate hook up don’t currently use but it will need the use of electricity from my solar generator to filter enough water to fill the expansion tank.
My pool is a different story. Versions of Berkey and Katydyn can filter it for drinking. I have lots of shock, calcium chloride etc stored and solar skimmer and circulator so it doesn’t need electricity even now to use. The circulator has a solar panel on top and with a few changes to it, it can even pump water out of the pool. (I use one in the pond when I need to pull water to water plants or fill livestock tanks). I think I spoke of them here before but gosh knows where. I envision the pool for a backup water storage not for swimming necessarily – think we will be too busy comes to that.
This company has many, good single use water test kits for the basics. Might be handy to stock a few for the most common issues. Water quality/testing etc is a huge science all on it’s own.August 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm #21047August 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm #21048
tweva, good post, I want everyone to post what they think is the best system. I think this is one of the most important subject we need to learn since without water there is no life.August 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm #21056
We have a really nice portable something-or-other system that is supposed to be legendary. I’ve got a very busy couple of weeks coming up but after that I will be sure to document, test, and post about it.August 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm #21059
Tweva, since you have a pool and are obviously a very advanced gardener I was wondering if you could answer a question I have:
Our pool is one of my main backup water sources. Like you, I’ve also stockpiled the necessities to keep the water chlorinated for a good period of time, and am also experimenting with rain catchment systems to reduce (and occasionally eliminate) my need to fill it with the garden hose when the water level gets low.
There are occasions where it rains so much here that I actually have to backwash out some water, and it seems like a terrible waste. We have a draining pump that I could use to fill drums of excess water. How long do you think I’d need to let that water sit to remove the chlorine, making it safe to water my garden with? Or is that not even a necessary step?
Hope you’re having a good Monday!
-AmandaAugust 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm #21060
Hi Amanda –
the problem with the drum is that in order to de-chlorinate the water it needs sunlight so the drum would need to be clear or opaque. However, here is what Dr. Bones (a real MD says about it/pool water) in this case so safe for humans to drink:
“If you are stuck without water after a hurricane or other event, but have a swimming pool nearby that’s full of water, can you drink from it? The answer is no, pool water contains lots of chlorine; but there’s a simple way to dechlorinate that water so that you can use it.
Take an empty, clear 2 liter soda bottle and fill it with water from the swimming pool. Seal the bottle, and let it stand in direct sunlight for, say, 8 hours. The sunlight will degrade the chlorine enough to make it drinkable. Also, if you have aquariums, you probably have dechlorinator that you add to make the water safe for fish. This should work well to dechlorinate pool water as well.
Also, remember that the only water that needs to be sterilized is water you intend to use for drinking and cooking. Water used to clean clothes or to work the toilet does not need to be sterilized or dechlorinated , for obvious reasons.
Now, for watering plants. I don’t know that it is that big of a deal myself, unless the pool has abnormally high levels of chlorine in it (like your eyes would be burning if you swam under water for a bit). My plants have never suffered, certainly not the grass, when I have discharged overflow from the pool.
That being said, I found something that was interesting without any digging.. This was interesting. Probably an experiment done by a high school person, but useful nonetheless. Long term, that might be another story.
I would much prefer not to add a de-chlorinator (you can buy it for like fish tanks I think it’s sodium trichlorate) on top of everything else before using it to water plants.
HTHAugust 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm #21061
Amanda- I was thinking….(watch out! ) If you have to add water with a hose, and then take out water when it rains…why not place the barrel on the edge of the pool or raised a little nearby and drill and cement/caulk and put in a spigot (plastic). Take water out into barrel, when low, open spigot and with or without a hose (depending on where located) add it back. Now I don’t think a single 55 gallon drum would work as I sometimes discharge much more I think (30,000 gln pool) (not big enough – but could be wrong) but you can easily connect them with plastic flexible hose near the top like I do my rain barrels (they aren’t caulked etc in that instance). You can add as many as necessary. just be sure the barrels have lids – mosquitoes and bugs and algae oh my!. Just a thought.August 4, 2014 at 8:07 pm #21064
Amanda,like tweva said on how to degrade chlorine id easy but what is not easy is to keep the water chlorinated so buy a lot of chlorine to keep the pool clean and then when you need the water do the degrade and i would then filter it with a system like Berkey which would be very easy on the Berkey filters since the water is pretty clear but the Berkey will make sure anything else gets taken out to.August 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm #21079
All cities use chlorination for public water supplies, so it does not have to be at zero to water the garden.August 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm #21080
74 – but pools generally speaking have much more chlorine in them than a mains water supply. Although I agree with you…just wanted to point that out for people who might take your comment the wrong way and think mains water = pool water for chlorine levels/drink-ability. (Gee look Mom – I made a new word! LOL )August 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm #21152
I would go with a sand filter with a charcoal layer and then use a bigger sized solar oven or cooker to cook it.
Thats pretty sustainable and should get most water cleaned up to make it drinkable.(Wont help with harmful chemicals in the water of course)
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")August 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm #21155
Jay sand is a great filter for water and since many of us are saving sand bags we only need the charcoal layer which can be made. Some chemicals can be removed by a water distiller which can be made too.August 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm #21158
These are all excellent suggestions! Water for drinking and hygiene purposes would of course have to be filtered (I’ve seen the chemical lists on the bottles we dump in there, and long-term drinking that sets warning bells off in my head), and my question was primarily for the garden. There is a lot of chlorine on the city water we are connected to, but so much more in the pool water that I’d be hesitant to just pour it directly on plants.
Tweva, I checked out the link, and you’re right: it does kind of look like a school project, and there’s really no telling how long they did it for. To be honest, it kind of makes me want to do a home science project and see what the effects (if any) WOULD actually be! For control purposes I’ll get three identical types of vegetable plants from the same place (it’s later in the growing season here, but there’s still hopefully 6-8 weeks left). Each will be watered with one type only: rain water, water that has had the chlorine degraded in a soda bottle, and one with water directly from the pool.
The storage drum idea is something I’m working on for the future (the pool is built into the slope of a hill with a lower retaining wall in front and upper behind), so I’m pretty tight on space in the actual pool area itself. Hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to have more of the woods cleared to make room, but it’s just not feasible for this year.
The Hubby’s saltwater aquarium is a pretty elaborate setup so I’m in no shortage of testing supplies, but he’s a purist and doesn’t like depending on chemicals to treat the water. It’s a biological filtration setup that depends on a natural cycle of bacteria growth from several sources: live rock, live sand, and a refugium tank underneath. I hope I sounded smart there, because that’s usually where I stop listening when he’s talking about it.
Lots to think about and consider, and I’ll keep you all updated on my little science project.
Hope you are all having a great day!
-AmandaAugust 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm #21229
Jay sand is a great filter for water and since many of us are saving sand bags we only need the charcoal layer which can be made. Some chemicals can be removed by a water distiller which can be made too.
A combination of solar oven with a water distillation option would be amazing.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")
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