Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: safe drinking water

If you had seven days notice before SHTF

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Lets say the public was given a 1 week notice before the start of a major global conflict. Rarely does that kind of advance knowledge leak out to the public. For the sake of discussion lets say for once the public knows what is going to happen a week ahead of time.

One of the incidents I am referring to is the leak that Israel may attack Iran during Yum Kippor.

I have been hearing various rumors for over 2 decades, so I take them with a grain of salt and keep living life.

The word has leaked out, you do a review of your survival gear stockpile, now what?

What does your water stockpile look like?
What does your ammunition stockpile look like?
What does your fuel stockpile look like?
What about seeds for your long term survival garden, communications, livestock, livestock feed, firearms, propane,,, and other preps.

Firearms

Ruger 10/22 and Marlin model 60 side by side

If you do not have your firearm and ammunition stockpile ready before SHTF, do not count on accumulating supplies after SHTF.

Lets say you had a 1 week notice, what would you buy? Would you buy ammunition, and sacrifice resources to buy food, water, livestock feed, fuel,,,?

Even if you have money to buy ammunition, what makes you think there is going to be anything on the shelves?

Would you rather buy ammunition, food, water, food for the livestock?

My 13 chickens (hens, no roosters) go through a 50 pound bag of laying mash every two weeks. For the price of 200 pounds of laying mash (4 – 50 pound bags), which would last around 2 months, I could buy 100 rounds of Federal 223 Remington.

Would you rather have 2 months of eggs, or would you rather have 100 rounds of 223 Remington?

Then there is the waiting period and permits that some sates have setup. Even if you wanted to buy a firearm, would you have enough time to go through the waiting period, background check, and permit application period?

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Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1
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How safe is the water source at your Bug Out Location?  Currently, when we stay at the camp we have to either filter water from a nearby creek, or use water from a very old hand dug well.  The old well is becoming less and less reliable, so its time to drive a new well.

There is a saying I like to use – without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.  A contaminated water source can wipe out a community in a matter of days, and that is just the way it is.

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

 

Here are the current plans

Use post hole digger to dig a hole around 3 feet deep.

Insert around an 8 inch PVC sleeve into the hole, sleeve will be around 4 feet long.  This gives us around 1 foot above ground.

Take a 4 inch piece of PVC pipe, notch the end so that the pipe has “teeth”.

Build a cap with 2 water inlets.

Attach water hoses to water source and to cap.

Take a 2×4, drill some holes so that a U-bolt will fit though the board.

Back truck up to well site and drop tailgate.

Attach the cap to the top of  the 4 inch pipe.

Stand on tailgate of truck, insert pipe into sleeve.

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Solar Desalination

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tent on beachPeople living along the ocean, or salt water barriers might get a kick out of this. It seems that MIT has developed a portable solar powered solar desalination unit. Besides, MIT, IBM along with some people from Saudi Arabia are also working on a solar powered desalination unit.

The small version of the MIT desalination unit is supposed to be able to produce 80 gallons of drinking water every 24 hours. The larger version has an estimated cost of $8,000 and will produce an estimated 1,000 gallons of water everyday.

The desalination plant in Al Khafji, Saudi Arabia hopes to use solar power to produce 7.9 million gallons of water daily. Which would be enough water for 100,000 people.

Solar powered desalination would be ideal for people living along the coastal regions, and people who live along rivers, canals and bayous up to 20 – 30 miles inland. During high tide, salt water pushes its way inland, making the water brackish. Brackish water is a combination of fresh water and salt water. It has just enough salt water in it to make it unsafe to safe to drink by livestock, pets or humans.

During some kind of SHTF situation, being able to use a solar powered desalination unit would be ideal.

Currently desalination units use large amounts of natural gas or electricity to make sea water safe to drink. Since a large portion of electricity comes from coal fired plants, desalination contributes to environmental issues – such as mercury in our lakes, streams and fish. Breaking the bonds of conventional electricity would make desalination a lot more eco friendly.

Drinking water in an urban survival situation

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If the water went off tonight, what kind of plans do you have in place? As with everything else in my survival plans, water is broken down into 3 phases – short term, medium term, and long term solution.

Short Term – this is your bottled water. Most people have a couple of cases of bottled water laying around somewhere. On a trip to the grocery store most people might grab a case or two of bottled water to have around for guest or parties.

Some survivalist stockpile water in 35 or 55 gallon drums.

When the water goes out, the bottled and stockpiled water will go first. Its convenient, you just un-screw the top of the bottle and the water is ready to drink. Most people like to take the easy way out, and bottled water is about as easy as it gets.

Medium Term – this is your water filters. This may include your Berkey water filters or some kind of backpacking, lightweight water filter.

Sooner or later, the filter is going to reach its lifespan, and that is it.

Long term – private water well that is safe to drink. This could include water wells on farms, or rural water wells where people do not get city water.

Now that we are past the three layers of water preps, lets move forward.  “Where” exactly do you get water in an urban survival situation?  Lets see, there are – local ponds, streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, rain fall, ditches, bayous,,,,,.

For an example, in the middle of Jasper, Texas (where I live), there is a park with a small pond and creek.  Using my bicycle  I could cycle to the park, use some water bottles to retrieve the water, bring it back home and run it through my Berkey water filter.  Its about 8 miles round trip from my home to the park.

River water – Another example, the Angelina River is just a few miles from my house.  Once again, using my bicycle I could cycle to the river, bring several 32 ounce water bottles, collect the water from the river, cycle back home and then run the water through my Berkey water filter.

Rain water – once those 55 gallon drums run out of water, they could be positioned under the down spout of a rain gutter.  But this only works if you live in an area that gets rain fall.  If you do not have any 55 gallon drums, some 5 gallon buckets should work just as good.  If nothing else, refill those water bottles that were used when the event first started.

Waterborne diseases – As sewers fill up and start to back up, people will start doing their “business” outside.  The problem here, is when an area receives rain fall, the sewage can be washed off the soil and into the local rivers, steams, ponds,,,, any kind of surface water.  If water can stand around the pipe going into a well, there is a chance that contaminated water can get into the well.  That is why its recommended that a cement step be built around the pipe of a well.

Possible diseases include:
Cryptosporidium
E. Coli
Shigella
Giardiasis
Botulism
Cholera
Dysentery
Legionellosis – Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever
Salmonellosis – Salmonella (mostly foodborne)
Typhoid fever
Hepatitis A – food and waterborne
only to name a few.

In my opinion, the ideal situation would be to have a water well with some kind of solar water pump on it, or at least a hand operated water pump.  In a worse case situation, having a well and a hand powered pump is better then nothing.

One of the big differences between urban and rural water plans, would probably be that a lot of people in rural areas already have some kind of water well in place. Whether its to water the cows, horses or other livestock, or as their main water source, a lot of people who live in rural areas have access to some kind of water well. From there, its just a matter of getting the water out of the well with no electricity.

I would like to hear some input on this topic. What are your safe drinking water plans in some kind of long term survival situation? Do you have a water well already in place? Do you have a rain water collection system already in place? Do you have any creeks, streams, ponds or lakes nearby that your planning on filtering the water from?

Post your comments in this thread about drinking water in an long term urban survival situation.

Urban survival and safe drinking water

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Over the past few weeks I have been putting a lot of thought into the availability of safe drinking water in an urban survival situation. Its not enough to have access to “water”, when its not safe to drink.

Its common knowledge that people require food, water and shelter to live. From those three points it breaks down into sub categories.  Such as what kind of food, what kind of shelter and what kind of water.

I have decided to break my water preps into 3 simple phases based on the amount of safe drinking water you have access to – short term, mid term, long term.

Short term – this is your bottled water. Regardless if its 1 pint plastic bottles, or 55 gallon drums, this is your short term solution.

Why is it short term? Because its in limited supply – sooner or later its going to run out.

Mid Term – This is something like a berkey water filter, something where you can take river, lake or pond water, filter it and make it safe to drink.

The mid term solution does not rely on stockpiling massive amounts of water. You keep a little water at your house, then use the filters to make water from outside sources safe to drink.

Filtration could be either a short or mid term solution – because the filters have a limited life. Even if the filter has a rating of 10,000 gallons, that is still a hard limit.

Long term – Something along the lines of a private well. You have your own private supply of safe drinking water.  Wells have allowed mankind to have safe drinking water for thousands of years. There is no reason why they will not work today.

One of the problems faced in the urban jungle – some cities prohibit citizens from having a private well. If that is the case, then the laws need to be changed.  People should have the right to access the water under their land.

In some areas, such as around chemical plants, the ground water might not be safe to drink. Dumping and leaking of chemicals have contaminated the ground water in places like Port Arthur Texas and Houston Texas.

Over the years I have seen a lot of water storage solutions discussed. Some of those solutions include – cases of bottled water, 35 and 55 gallon drums, water beds, 500 gallon above ground storage tanks, swimming pools, fish tanks, rivers, streams, private wells.

Regardless of the solution, it all goes back to – is the water safe to drink – yes or no? If the answer is no, what is required to make the water safe to drink? Is that solution a permanent solution? Or will it run out, or wear out – like a filter will do?

The next question is – is the water supply a permanent solution? Yes or no?

Bleach or other chemicals – not a permanent solution
Man Made Filters – not a permanent solution
Mechanical Desalination – not a permanent solution

The final goal is to have a permanent solution for safe drinking water.

Please post your comments in the Urban Survival Water Solutions thread of the forum.

Water wells and urban survival

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Water wellWater, water everywhere and nar a drop to drink – is a classic statement from the rhyme of the ancient mariner.  But in the case of urban survival, there is no water and there is nothing to drink.

Most urbanites depend on water supplied by the city – through the cities water system. However, this is also a weak point in disaster planning. Most cities and towns have prohibited their citizens from digging private wells. If that is the case in your area, its time to get the laws changed. Not being able to have your own water supply makes you and your family a slave to city. Free people do not ask permission to use something that is on their own property – or in the case of ground water, under their property. Slaves ask permission, freemen use what is theirs as they see fit.

Depending on the area where you live, that will define how deep the well has to be.  If you are planning on installing a water pump, go ahead and set it up for an electric water pump as well as a hand powered pump.  This would include a housing for the pump to go in, ground rod and maybe electrical wiring.

Instead of a hand powered pump, a solar powered unit could be installed and the solar cells could be placed on top of the pump house.  But in this article, we will just be discussing hand powered pumps.

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