“Each trooper will be charged with responsibility for preserving water. Our existence as an operating army depends on these following water saving procedures. Remember, water is life.”
Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi classic Dune showed us a world with very little water, where even the moisture of your own breath was captured and retained as a future source of drinkable water. In our advanced technological world (where the cars are starting to park themselves) we just as dependent on water as Duke Leto’s army on Arrakis for our survival. Perhaps you have heard of the Rule of Three’s in a survival situation, a person will last: 1) Three minutes without fresh air 2) Three days without fresh water and 3) Three Weeks without a meal. Even getting near those numbers is not pleasant and in fact life threatening.
Like many in the prepping field, I thought I had “plenty” to see me through most problems. Then two things happened, my family ran a “mock EMP” weekend at the Secret Compound and the April 27th Tornados took power and water (like my EMP weekend) from everyone around me. The mock weekend found me drinking water that I had over-clorinated for storage, this was fixed. The second showed me how “some” of my neighbors will act when the lights go out and the local law enforcement is at capacity. This altered my plan of using a year round creek about three quarters of a mile from my home as a source of water, as I did not want to be at the mercy of someone controlling access to that creek, I didn’t want to have to trade FMJs for water if you know what I mean.
When I was a kid growing up, it was nothing for me to just stop and slurp water from just about any creek or puddle I would find when I was thirsty however these days I’m a little more selective about the water I pour in my mouth. On the one hand you built up immunities to whatever was in your local water supply but on the other, the Pepto or Immodium was as close as a “MOOoooooooom!” I have several rain barrels around the place and wanted to be able to drink from them with out worry. While I can store upwards of four or five hundred gallons this way it is not immediately drinkable (potable). I also wanted a method that didn’t require me to stock purification pills by the case, batteries by the case for UV filtration or have to worry that my bleach was out of date.
I like plain, dirt simple and reliable solutions to my problems. Thus I needed a way to make my dirty, algie, mosquito infested rain barrel water potable and have a dirt simple way to do it. I filtered the water first through an old T-shirt, then through a coffee filter and finally I boiled the water. The rule used to be that you had to boil the water anywhere from five to twenty minutes however the latest “word” on boiling for drinking is to simply get it to a good boil, then allow it to cool. This does mean you have to have a heat source such as a stored fuel or wood. Something even easier (and less hands on) is to use a solar still, this uses the power of the sun to evaporate the water vapor and allow it to condense and collect into a clean container for drinking.
This is a simple diagram on the concept of a solar still, a search of the internet can show you plenty of ideas with different materials that can suit your needs.
Written by BP