I live in a small desert town. There is the Truckee river, but that is a big problem for us downstream.
During the Gold Rush in our area, our river water was indefinitely tainted with Mercury… not good for drinking. In addition, access is difficult and miles away.
While pondering the idea of survival if things go south, I had to think of creative and AFFORDABLE ways to store water, and not just a little water.
My thoughts are 3 months of water if things were bad. I started with the usual things most of us do.
100 gallons over months from the store.
Of course, this is fine for drinking and cooking, but at a gallon a day per person, and additional water for some bartering, it just will not be enough.
So, I filled my few 5-gallon jugs like most of us have.
I knew I had to have more water. There’s cleaning, dishes, and even bathing.
If we were able to even get to a water source, it could be very dirty. Water from puddles on a rare day might rain or snow, low-lying muddy areas, and drainage ditches would not be safe to drink.
My next step was to purchase a coffee machine (to distill it), heavy-duty pans, and a 5 Gallon Zero Water filter with extra filters that might last 3-6 months.
If my emergency power source could not operate a coffee pot, I would have to boil any water in a large pot on my grill.
I still did not feel I had enough, so I purchased a large water filter.
110 Gallons of water, with the ability to convert dirty water, was a plus. I had to store more.
I tried to look up those 55 Gallon Jugs for water storage. 150$ for just one container seemed a lot for my budget.
I went to my local hardware store and purchased several 34 Gallon Rubber Made cans for app. 15$ a piece.
There were another 90 Gallons of water with decent lids. I keep these in my garage to avoid freezing temperatures and possible theft.
Then I watched a YouTube video, one of those doom and gloom prophecies of imminent disaster. Fearful an apocalypse might last 3-6 months, I knew we would need thousands of gallons of water, not 200 gallons.
As I sat on my backyard patio, enjoying a sunny day, I pondered the problem. I tried to think of an affordable solution. Where would I access that kind of water? How would I store so much water without spending a fortune?
Just then one of the kids called out:
“Hey, Ma, look at me” as my son held his breathe and ducked into the water of the 3 x 10-foot pool I bought last year. I looked at the pool and I looked at the old pool box that was still used for odds and ends.
‘Holds 1074 Gallons of Water’ the box touted. I observed the 30$ pool cover off to the side, the filter that ran most days, and the bleach/shock treatment used every so often to keep it clean.
I quickly recalled watching ‘Hotel Rwanda’ about the civil war in Uganda in 1994. The Hotel used their pool water for cooking and feeding their guests during the long weeks/months of power outages due to the war.
There were my thousand gallons of water, right in front of me. I ran to the computer and bought a second one.
Yes, there are concerns. When the power goes out, the filter will not work, so someone would have to move the water around with the pool cleaner a few times a day.
You would have to continue to test the water with the little tester strips overtime to help decide if it was safer to drink if it came to that.
The water would stay clear for weeks, if not months if treated properly and covered. It might not be perfect, but if you had to use it for drinking you could boil it then filter it in the 5-gallon filter.
It would be ideal to not have the inflatable tops but to have the hard-sided pools but be grateful for what you have. Use what you can.
I know with the winter comes the chance of a freeze or two, guess will just handle that as it comes. Upon our freezes last year, the pools did not freeze and held up well.
Overall, I credit my resourcefulness and creativity in finding ways to come up with this much water. There could be other issues such as security, which I have also addressed in other way… best saved for another article.
All in all, this brings our water stores to 2,348 gallons of water to date.
Mama always said, ‘Look around you, be smart, and use what you have. You might surprise yourself.’ Got to love your Mom.
Some will agree, and others will have issues with my water storage, but I am on a tight budget, and this best suits my family’s needs just in case S does HTF any day soon.