You may have heard this before, “Water is Life”. I certainly have and I think that it’s a statement that even thou it presents “survival” in an ultra-simplistic manner, it carries a great amount of truth. Water IS critical to sustain life and without clean drinking water, you will certainly perish. It sounds harsh, but it is the cold hard truth.
As the world watches how the water crisis in Flint, Michigan develops, it’s hard not to take note of the very real possibility, maybe even probability, of something similar happening elsewhere. In fact, some of our Bugout Network members live in areas near Flint, so we’ve all been watching the situation closely. It is hard to imagine the water coming out of your faucet could be hurting you, but it can happen and in many places it will.
The water in Flint is loaded with lead which as we know, can be extremely dangerous for humans, even fatal in some cases. High levels of lead in the water can cause high blood pressure, anemia, kidney problems and reproductive problems. Children are more susceptible to developing problems from high levels of lead simply because their smaller bodies can tolerate less lead than an adult.
The people in Flint never expected their water to be contaminated. They assumed their city officials were protecting them. Sadly, they were wrong and now, there is a major water crisis. Water is being shipped in while the city figures out how to remedy the problem. It is going to be extremely costly and as you can imagine, there is a lot of red tape and loopholes that must be jumped through. In the meantime, residents are stuck without safe drinking water.
If you suspect your water is contaminated whether it comes from your private well or the city, you should have it tested. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to periodically test the water just to be on the safe side. You can pay for testing by a lab, which will give you an in-depth analysis or buy a simple water test kit at the hardware store. Many metals are not detectable by smell or taste.
If you discover your water is contaminated, don't drink it. The following tips will help you stay safe when you are dealing with contaminated drinking water today or after a major disaster.
Filters are a quick, easy and effective way to remove some contaminants from the water. Depending on the concentration of contaminants in the water, you may go through filters pretty quick. A whole house filter or a filter reserved for running water through before drinking can be purchased. They range in price. However, it is best to make a purchase based on the filter replacement cost and not the cost of the actual unit.
You could attach a filter to the kitchen sink only if you are not worried about bathing in water with high lead concentrations. These faucet filters are fairly inexpensive and you won't be wasting any water. A countertop filter system is yet another option. Basically, the unit sits on the counter and you either attach a hose from the faucet to the filter or pour the water through the unit.
Please note that water softeners are not the same as a filter. They are not effective at removing the lead from the water.
These units are effective at removing lead and other contaminants from the water, but they are not ideal if water is in short supply. The units basically run the water through a tight membrane. Only a portion of the water makes it through and is safe to drink. About three gallons of water is forced down the drain for every gallon of clean water that makes it through the system. The units can also be quite costly. They are generally installed under the sink. The water comes in from the main water line, runs through the filter and then out to the tap.
The process of distilling water is effective, but it is extremely time consuming. In a survival situation it would not be ideal. The amount of fuel it takes to heat the water to get it to go through the distillation process is usually a deterrent. You would also only be getting a very small amount of safe water. In today's world, distillers are typically electric. You plug it in, fill it with water and wait for the steam to rise, condense and flow into a small catchment container. A distiller is much less expensive to purchase than a reverse osmosis unit, but the electricity you would use to run it makes the cost very similar.
Bottled water is an option, but it is very expensive and isn't practical for long term use. The situation in Flint will take weeks or months to resolve. It would be much easier and more cost effective to purchase a filter or one of the other cleaning methods mentioned above. Please note that water softeners are not the same as a filter.
It is important to point out that what happened in Flint can happen anywhere. It may not necessarily be lead that is poisoning your drinking water, but some other contaminant. Chemicals, bacteria and viruses can all make your water unsafe to drink. It is a good idea to have a filtration system in your home, just in case the water is contaminated and you don't know it.
Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on your government officials to look out for you. Flint residents have learned that lesson the hard way. They were being poisoned without them knowing any different. Don't trust or assume your water source is clean and safe. Take your health and the health of your family into your own hands and do what you can to ensure your water is safe.
For more updates of the situation in Flint visit flintwaterstudy.org
He doesn't consider himself an expert, but a facilitator and he works hard to provide a platform to those with valuable expertise to share their knowledge with as many people as possible.
He enjoys helping others prepare themselves for multiple dangerous scenarios, by coaching them on how develop their own customized survival & preparedness plans and develop their survival skills. He promotes the core concept of making preparedness and survival knowledge part of their daily lives.