Monday, November 15, 2010

Expedient Water Collection, One Method

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

It is very important for preppers to store water, but sooner or later your family's stored water will run out, so you will need to collect water.

There are many methods of collecting water for your family to use. One of the easiest ways is to collect rainwater. In most cases, rainwater is ready to drink.

One way of collecting rainwater is to use a blue trap. Now, you don't have to use a blue tarp; you can use a sheet of plastic or a poncho to collect the rainwater.

First, you will need to collect your supplies. You will need a sheet of plastic or a tarp, 4 pieces of strong string, four poles/posts, and a bucket. Pretty simple especially if you click on the picture on the left for a larger view.

To build, sink the four posts into the ground. You need to make sure the posts go in pretty deep. The posts and the string will have to hold the weight of the rainwater and also survive any wind gusts.

Next, tie the two high corners to the post with strong string. I used 550 cord. You don't need to use 550 cord; any strong string will work. After that, tie the tarp's two lower corners to the posts. Notice I tried to form a 'V' at the bottom. The 'V' directs the water into the bucket.

If you don't have a bucket, place the posts closer together and make all four corners the same height. The tarp will hold the water until you can empty it. Make sure you use strong string because a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds (4 liters weigh about 3.6 kilos)

Possible Modifications

You don't need four poles; you just need four places close enough together to tie the string to hold the tarp up. I have used trees (watch out for leaves and sticks), a fence and two poles, and ... your imagination.

As I wrote in the article, you can use a poncho, sheet of plastic, metal roofing, or anything that can be cleaned enough to collect water. Be reasonable with your imagination; you don't want to use anything dangerous that will leech chemicals into you collected water.

Kiddie pools, food-grade 5-gallon buckets, a hole lined with another tarp are some of the things that could be substituted for a bucket. Heck, if you don't mind getting wet, you could fill individual canteens as the water flows down the poncho.

550 cord, shoe laces, an electric cord from a lamp are some substitutions. If you use wooden poles, you could use nails to hold the tarp to the poles.

Lastly, if your plastic sheet or tarp doesn't have holes along the edges (grommets), you will have to use a technique I learned from M4040's "Tarp Shelter" page.

First, lay out your tarp. Next, put a stone or rock in the corner.

After you do that, fold the corner over the rock and tie a loop around the plastic sheet

Then tie it to your post.

Yes, I know; I used a bed sheet for my explanation but it works for plastic sheeting, too.

M4040 - Home

M4040 - Tarp Shelter

Monday, November 8, 2010

Deliberate Water Storage, Part 2

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

A couple of weeks ago, I gave you some tips on Deliberate Water Storage. I would like to add some more information.

First, any #1 or #2 plastic beverage bottle will work; color doesn't matter. As you can see in the picture to the left, I have three soda bottles, two water bottles, and one Gatorade bottle.

Next, if you can, use only clear plastic beverage bottles. I know, I just said any color will work. That's true.


A clear beverage bottle will allow you to easily see the water in the bottle. When a bottle of water is exposed to light, any light, algae will start to grow. The algae will give the water a light green tint. In a green or blue bottle, you won't notice the water change color.

Next, I used a clean 48 quart cooler to disinfect my containers. First, I washed the cooler with soap and water, rinsed really well with tap water then filled with tap water. Next, I added 12 tablespoons of bleach, since 48 quarts equals 12 gallons.

If you are using your sink to disinfect bottles, you need to wash the sink with soap and water first, rinse, then fill with water and add bleach. Just like above, but watch your amount of chlorine.

Remember, 16 drops of bleach for each gallon of water.

After you make up the sterilizing solution, you need to submerge the bottles and caps (don't forget the caps) in the bleach water for 30-minutes. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the bottles. Air bubbles will allow microorganisms to survive. Yes, this includes the little itty bitty bubbles that seem to form after you have walked away because you have better things to do then look at bottles soaking in a bleach solution.

Not This

Next, a full five-gallon container will weigh 40 pounds (18 kg). You will need an adult or an older teen to carry it from place to place. A 2-liter bottle only weighs 4 pounds (2 kg), so a child could carry the bottle for you.

In the above photo, there are three 5-gallon containers, two jugs and one bucket. The blue jug has a neat feature. It has a spigot that is stored inside the cap, but there is a problem with the design. The cap has a recess that allows dirt and dust to collect in the cap.

To stop the possible contamination of the cap/spigot from dirt and dust, I placed some tape over the recess in the cap.

Lastly, you are going to need something to remove the water from your jugs and/or buckets because a full jug is hard to empty when it is full.

The pump on the left; I bought from Walton Feed for about $13. (You have to download the catalog then search for "pump") The pump on the right; I bought from our local farm and home store for about $3.00.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Expedient Water Storage, Part 2

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

In the last article about "Expedient Water Storage" I told you about places in your home to store water and collect water.

In this article, I am going to highlight a few containers you and your family can use to quickly store water during an emergency and some 'Dos and Don'ts' in water storage.

The first container is the five and six gallon white plastic bucket. Just like I mentioned in "Week Four - Food" these plastic buckets must be food-grade plastic. If you are planning to use used buckets, the buckets must have had only food in them. Some examples are cake icing, pickles, or cherries.

Another bucket is the simple water bucket for watering animals. In the above picture, it is the purple bucket; we bought it at our local Farm and Home Store.

Another container is the five-gallon water jug. If you watch sports, especially American Football, you usually see the team dumping the contents of the jug on the coaches head.

The last container, I will highlight, is the plastic picnic cooler. Most families have one or two for holding food, on ice, for camping trips, float trips, or other outdoor events.

Expedient Water Storage Containers
And this leads to my 'Dos and Don'ts.'

* Identify containers that you can use in an emergency, now
* Use only clean containers

* Don't use containers that have contained nonfood items like oil, waxes, or other chemicals
* Don't use old chlorine bleach bottles for water storage. Remember, too much chlorine in your water can kill.