Accessing water in Cordova is not really a problem. Accessing potable water, which is fit for consumption, may be more challenging. Contaminated water may have a bad taste, a pungent aroma, or a cloudy appearance….or ….it may taste, smell, and appear absolutely normal. Be careful. Microorganism in post-disaster contaminated water can cause diseases such as dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis, and giardia. Whether the accessible water is used for drinking, cooking, or hygiene…if it is suspect, it should be purified before your family uses it.
There are numerous ways to purify water. Prior to the actual purifying, let the water settle and let any suspended particles fall to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towels or cloth. Then, choose the best purifying option for your family.
- Boiling water is the easiest and the most effective way to kill microorganisms. Boiling kills the dangerous microbes, but does not remove heavy metals or salts. It is still safe to drink. Be sure to boil, at a rolling boil, for 3-5 minutes
- Disinfecting water is another relatively easy way to purify water. Use simple household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 % sodium hypochlorite; that’s why you buy bleach and add it to your 7 Day Survival Kit! Do not use scented bleach or any of the others with additives. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Stir. Let stand for 30 minutes. Repeat the process again if you do not smell a slight odor of bleach upon completion. During the second dosage, it only needs to stand for 15 minutes. Bleach is the best choice for disinfecting. Commercial products that do not have 5.25 % sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient should not be used. If your family uses water purifying products that are sold in camping or surplus stores, check the active ingredient.
- Filtering water through a high-grade filter meant for that purpose, solely, is another alternative to purifying water, although a more expensive one. The initial cost is high, the filtering process is tedious, and filters must be maintained and replaced periodically. But it is an effective alternative.
- Lastly, there is distilling. When you boil water and then collect the vapor, that condensed vapor water is purified. Additionally, it does not have any salt and other impurities.
None of these ways to purify water is perfect….but one of these ways will best fit your family. Consider your options for purifying water. But more importantly, remember your options.
Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared. Drink safe water.