Water, H2O, Agua

Mt. Katahdin
Mt. Katahdin

No matter what you call it you cannot live without it.

We have a well and therefore an electric well pump that gets the water from the well to the pressure tank, which is also electric.  When there is no electricity the biggest thing for us is that we have no water.  That, to me, is even worse than being a little cold.  Now if you know there is a storm coming you can get ready for the possibility of the electricity going out.  I do fill the bathtub that we have in the second bathroom.  They even make bathtub water storage containers. These are large bladders that will hold 65-100 gallons of water and fit right in the bathtub.  Some even come with a pump to easily move the water into smaller containers for use.  So far I haven't invested in one although they run around $20-$40.  I like the idea because it keeps the water clean and drinkable.  The water that I fill my tub with when we are expecting a storm is only used to flush the toilets with because no matter how clean your bathtub is I still don't want to drink that.

Berkey Water Filters
Berkey Water Filters

That brings me to water filters.  Some folks who are on municipal water systems have filters on their faucets or use something like a Brita to filter your water on a daily basis.  Fortunately we don't need to do that with our well water.  I have had it tested several times and it is more than safe to drink right from the tap.  My son lives in the Dallas, TX area and is on municipal water. He has a Brita type pitcher in his refrigerator that he keeps his drinking water in.  These are fine for filtering out things like chlorine and other bad tastes but they really won't take out the things that make you sick like bacteria, viruses and heavy metals.  For that you would need a filter system with more than just charcoal filters.  Although we have not invested in one of these yet either, I'm looking at a Berkey Water Filter.  It is a significant investment running between $200 and $300 depending on the size you get and if you buy additional filters.  I would recommend always having at least one set of back up filters on hand.  The Berkey uses two filters with room to expand to 4.  Water is filtered at a faster pace if you have 4 filters in your Berkey.

So, there is no storm but the power suddenly goes out.  It is always a good idea to keep a few bottles of drinking water stored for just such events.  I have a few gallon Poland Springs water jugs that I keep water in.  I try to change it out every six months or so.  These are not the milk jug type bottles but stronger plastic.  Milk jugs actually are not good to store water in.  They are made to eventually break down and will leak.  Not good if you have them stored in the bottom of your closet when this happens.  Soda bottles are actually good for water storage.  They are made to hold the pressure of carbonation so they are pretty strong.  If you drink soda wash the bottles out after use and fill with water.  If you don't drink soda, I bet you know someone who does, just ask if they will save some bottle for you.  Right now I don't have a good place to put filled soda bottles so I have just been saving them.  We drink very little soda so I save all that I get.  I'm working on some ideas and hope to have a spot to fill and store about 20 two liter bottles of water very soon.  It is helpful if you can store your bottles in a dark place such as the bottom of your closet.  Stored water can sometimes taste a little flat.  To rejuvenate it just take two glasses and pour the water between them a couple of times.  This puts a little air into it and helps with the taste.

We also have a pond and a couple of 3 season streams on our property but surface water is never safe to drink without filtering it.  There are many kinds of portable water filters made for camping and hiking and these are effective.  Each of my family members carry a LifeStraw with them at all times in case of emergencies.  You never know where you might be when there is a water emergency.

Although not hooked up yet we have the supplies, including the hand pump, to insert into the well if it looks like it would be a very long term power outage.  Barring any strange thing happening that would contaminate our well we know that the water is safe to drink.  You might want to consider getting something like this.  The pump we have was not very expensive and the pipe is just several lengths of PVC pipe and joints.  Don't forget the joint cleaner and sealant.  Eventually we will put this on the top of the well and build a small house around it so it will not be exposed to the weather.  We will replace the inexpensive hand pump with a Bison Hand Water Pump which are made right here in Maine and are very high quality stainless steel.

Take some time to review what you would do if you were unable to use your tap water.  It is okay to start small but please do something.





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