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Water Purification


Melting Snow for Water
Many of us are familiar with the phrase, “Never drink yellow snow”.
While that’s an easy truth to remember, the contaminants that we are most concerned about (disease causing organisms known as pathogens) are not easily detected or clearly obvious for that matter.
And while you and I may think that newly fallen snow is pristine & perfectly safe for creating drinking water, we should always take steps where possible to reduce our risk of getting sick from consuming contaminated snow.
Here are the two most common ways to turn that freshly fallen snow into usable drinking water.
Gradually add snow to a bottle that already has some drinking water in it. As the snow melts to create more water, add some more snow. Eventually, you’ll have a bottle full of water which can then be passed through a water purifier or treated with drops/tablets.
Traditionally, water treatment drops & tablets are thought to present less of a threat to your health than the pathogen.
Most good water purifiers are designed to address those same pathogenic organisms & remove them from the water without needing chemicals. If you subscribe to the best-practice of redundancy, then water filters are your ideal go-to kit as they will also remove those water treatment chemicals as well.
In an appropriate container that already has some water in it, add some snow and then melt that snow by placing it near a heat source such as a stove/fire pit (use fire-safe container), solar oven, once the water cools, you can drink it.

Unusual Ways of Water Purification
Here are some cheap and easy ways for anyone in the developed (or underdeveloped) world to purify their water. The peels of some of the most widely consumed fruits in the world are remarkably efficient at absorbing a wide variety of harmful pollutants, including heavy metals, and they can be transformed into effective water filters with only minor preparation.
BANANA PEELS
Minced banana peels could be used repeatedly to purify water contaminated by industrial plants and farms — up to 11 times — and still be effective.
Banana Peel Applied to the Solid Phase Extraction of Copper and Lead from River Water:
Pre-concentration of Metal Ions with a Fruit Waste they also noted the very low cost of banana peels and the fact there is no need to prepare them chemically for the water purification procedure.
Runoff from farms, and industrial wastes can all put heavy metals, such as lead and copper, into waterways. Heavy metals can have adverse health and environmental effects.
Current methods of removing heavy metals from water are expensive, and some substances used in the process are toxic themselves.
Compounds in banana peels contain atoms of nitrogen, sulphur and organic compounds such as carboxylic acids. These acids are charged such that their negatively charged electron pairs are exposed, meaning they can bind with metals in the water that usually have a positive charge.
APPLE AND TOMATO PEELS
An easy, cheap way for a rural community in the developing world and those bugged out to purify their water.
Apple and tomato peels — two of the most widely consumed fruits in the world — are remarkably efficient at absorbing a wide variety of harmful pollutants, and that they could be transformed into effective water filters with only minor preparation.
You begin by peeling your apples and tomatoes and placing them in a rubbing alcohol solution and letting them soak. Next, remove the peels and let them dry out. Once they’re thoroughly desiccated, simply place the peels in a container of water and wait. After a few hours, remove the peels from the water and it’s ready to drink.
The apple and tomato peels together were reliable absorbents of toxic heavy metal ions, dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals, various nanoparticles, dyes and pesticides.
SOLAR DISINFECTION WITH LIME
Solar disinfection of water combined with almost any type of citrus is very effective at reducing dangerous E. coli levels, however limes seem to work best.
A recent study published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that adding limes to water that is being disinfected by the sun speeds up the disinfection process.
The preliminary results of this study show solar disinfection of water combined with citrus could be effective at greatly reducing E. coli levels in just 30 minutes, a treatment time on par with boiling and other household water treatment methods.
In addition, the 30 millilitres of juice per 2 litres of water amounts to about one-half lime per bottle, a quantity that will likely not be prohibitively expensive or create an unpleasant flavour.”
Please note that these methods do not remove all pathogens from the water, just a wide variety of pollutants, so you shouldn’t use it as an all-encompassing water purifier.
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Fluoride Is Poison

To all my listeners especially those who have small children and those that suffer with Fibromyalgia

I wouldn’t have researched this subject if I wasn’t concerned with your health and safety, and the health and safety of your loved ones.
I know we all get crazy emails trying to scare us about everything imaginable, and I am always the last one to believe them and the first one to disprove them as urban legend.
But unfortunately this reality is one that has irrefutable science behind it and a shocking truth that I have been compelled to share with everyone I know. The truth revealed here maybe the biggest scientific cover up of our modern era.

Please share this with your friends and family, and spread the word...
What is Fluoride
Let me ask you a few rational questions;

Would you brush your teeth with rat poison if it just might have some kind of beneficial properties as an anti-cavity agent? Yes, I am asking you if you would put a highly toxic poison that was used as rat killer and as insecticide in your mouth and brush your teeth with it.

Would make your children brush their teeth with a toxin slightly less poisonous than arsenic and even more poisonous than lead, even though everyday they ingested some of this toxic substance that would accumulate throughout their body and could cause numerous health problems?

What if there was so much poison in their toothpaste that it would kill them if they ate the whole tube because it tasted like bubble gum; would you leave it in their bathroom drawer or would you keep it locked up with the medicines or toxic cleaning agents?

If you have been using fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth, you should have answered "yes" to all of the above questions.

Before we go any further, let's look at the definition of Sodium Fluoride and establish the fact that it is a highly poisonous substance.

Here is the definition of Sodium Fluoride that is used in toothpaste to prevent cavities:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sodium+fluoride

sodium fluoride
– noun
a colourless, crystalline, water-soluble, poisonous solid, NaF, used chiefly in the fluoridation of water, as an insecticide, and as a rodenticide.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Hmmm, there’s just something insane about using the words “poisonous solid”, "rodenticide", "insecticide", and the "fluoridation of water" in the same definition. Fluorine compounds, or fluorides, are listed by the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) as being in the top 20 of 275 toxic substances which pose the most significant threat to human health.

We have all been brushing our teeth with rat poison and one of the most environmentally damaging toxic waste substances produced by the aluminium and fertilizer industries in America, Sodium Fluoride.
We've also been drinking Fluorosilicic Acid (an inexpensive liquid by-product of phosphate fertilizer manufacturering process) in our tap water and cooking with it as well.

Go read the warning on the back of your toothpaste tube.
"WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a doctor ."

Your toothpaste warning says that if you ingest more than the usual amount while brushing, call a doctor.
That's because fluoride is a highly toxic poison and each tube of toothpaste, even the bubble gum flavoured specifically marketed for children, contains enough fluoride to kill a child.
http://www.fluoridealert.org/toothpaste.html

When I was a child there wasn't a poison warning label on my toothpaste tube letting me know not to swallow it because it was poison. Back then toothpaste commercials showed a tooth brush just loaded with toothpaste.
Back then no one was telling anyone, "Don't swallow your toothpaste". Fluoride was portrayed as perfectly safe to your health in commercials and by government publications.
It wasn't until April 7th, 1997, that the United States FDA (Food & Drug Administration) required that all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. carry a poison warning on the label.

In this country we consume highly fluoridated tap water, processed foods and drinks every day. We consume more than the usual amount we would ingest by brushing our teeth alone. One of the fastest ways to absorb a medicine is directly under your tongue and we hold this poison in our mouths 2-3 times a day when we brush our teeth.

Think about how often your children are swallowing it while brushing their teeth because it tastes like bubble gum. We’ve been ingesting it for years and it has been building up in our bodies because fluoride is an accumulative toxin.

This toxin is taking its toll on the health and smiles of people of all ages in the U.S., Britain, Canada, and other modernized countries. Dental Fluorosis is a mild form of fluoride poisoning that is the most visible and well-recognized side-effects of ingesting fluoride toothpaste and drinking too much fluoridated water.
Dental Fluorosis is a discoloration of teeth that ranges from mild to severe. Whereas dental fluorosis used to impact less than 10% of children in the 1940s, the latest national survey found that it now affects over 30% of children.
Fluoridation could turn out to be one of the top 10 mistakes of the 21st century.

Finding Water in an Urban Area

If your taps ran dry, what kind of plans do you have in place? As with everything else in my prep plans, water is broken down into 3 phases – short term, medium term, and long term solution.

Short Term – this is your bottled water. Most people should have a couple of cases of bottled water laying around somewhere.

When the water goes stops, the bottled and stockpiled water will go first. It’s convenient, as all you do is un-screw the top of the bottle and the water is ready to drink. Most people like to take the easy way out, and bottled water is about as easy as it gets.
Medium Term – this is your water filters. This may include your bought water filters or some kind of backpacking, lightweight water filter.
But sooner or later, the filter is going to reach its lifespan, and that is it.
Long term – private water well that is safe to drink. This could include water wells on farms, or rural water wells where people do not get piped water.
So where exactly do you get water in an urban survival situation?  Don’t panic, stop and think, local ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, canals and even rain fall offer you a source of the nectar of life.
For example at the end of my road is a river and by simply walking 60 yards with some water bottles to carry the water, bring it back home and run it through my water filter. 
There are three rivers and numerous ponds within 5 miles of me.
Rain water – once those 55 gallon drums run out of water, they could be positioned under the down spout of a rain gutter.  But this only works if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. 
If you do not have any 55 gallon drums, some 5 gallon buckets should work just as good.  If nothing else, refill those water bottles that were used when the event first started.
Waterborne diseases – As sewers fill up and start to back up, people will start doing their “business” outside. 
The problem here, is when an area receives rain fall, the sewage can be washed off the soil and into the local rivers, streams, ponds, canals etc. in fact any kind of surface water. 
If water can stand around the pipe going into a well, there is a chance that contaminated water can get into the well.  That is why it’s recommended that a cement step be built around the pipe of a well.
Possible diseases include:
Cryptosporidium
E. Coli
Shigella
Giardiasis
Botulism
Cholera
Dysentery
Legionellosis – Legionnaires disease
Salmonellosis – Salmonella (mostly foodborne)
Typhoid fever
Hepatitis A – food and waterborne
In my opinion, the ideal situation would be to have a water well with some kind of solar water pump on it, or at least a hand operated water pump.  In a worse case situation, having a well and a hand powered pump is better than nothing.
One of the big differences between urban and rural water plans, would probably be that a lot of people in rural areas already have some kind of water well in place.
Whether it’s to water the cows, horses or other livestock, or as their main water source, a lot of people who live in rural areas have access to some kind of water well.
From there, it’s just a matter of getting the water out of the well with no electricity.
As usual with prepping to survive you must firstly plan act and test.
 

Water for Survival
Your body loses water through normal body processes (sweating, urinating, defecating and even breathing). During average daily exertion when the atmospheric temperature is 20 degrees Celsius (C) (68 degrees Fahrenheit), the average adult loses and therefore requires 2 to 3 litres of water daily. Other factors, such as heat exposure, cold exposure, intense activity, high altitude, burns, or illness, can cause your body to lose more water. You must replace this water.
Our body consists of 60% water, 75% of our brain and lean muscles is water, and 83% of water in our blood. Dehydration results from inadequate replacement of lost body fluids. It decreases your efficiency and, if injured, increases your susceptibility to severe shock. Consider the following results of body fluid loss:
A 2% dehydration, results in a feeling of thirst.
A 5% dehydration, results in a feeling of being hot and tired, and strength and endurance decrease.
A 10% dehydration, results in a feeling of delirium and blurred vision.
A 20% dehydration, results in death.
The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration are:
Dark urine with a very strong odour.
Low urine output.
Dark, sunken eyes.
Fatigue.
Emotional instability.
Loss of skin elasticity.
Delayed capillary refill in fingernail beds.
Trench line down centre of tongue.
Thirst. Last on the list because you are already 2 per cent dehydrated by the time you crave fluids.
In any situation where food intake is low, drink 6 to 8 litres of water per day. In an extreme climate, especially an arid one, the average person can lose 2.5 to 3.5 litres of water per hour. In this type of climate, you should drink 14 to 30 litres of water per day.
With the loss of water there is also a loss of electrolytes (body salts). The average diet can usually keep up with these losses but in an extreme situation or illness, additional sources need to be provided. A mixture of 0.25 teaspoon of salt to 1 litre of water will provide a concentration that the body tissues can readily absorb.
Of all the physical problems encountered in a survival situation, the loss of water is the most preventable. The following are basic guidelines for the prevention of dehydration:
Always drink water when eating. Water is used and consumed as a part of the digestion process and can lead to dehydration.
Acclimatize. The body performs more efficiently in extreme conditions when acclimatized.
Conserve sweat not water. Limit sweat-producing activities but drink water.
Ration water. Until you find a suitable source, ration your water sensibly. A daily intake of 500 cubic centimetre (0.5 litre) of a sugar-water mixture (2 teaspoons per litre) will suffice to prevent severe dehydration for at least a week, provided you keep water losses to a minimum by limiting activity and heat gain or loss.
You can estimate fluid loss by several means. A standard field dressing holds about 0.25 litre (one-fourth canteen) of blood. A soaked T-shirt holds 0.5 to 0.75 litres.
You can also use the pulse and breathing rate to estimate fluid loss. Use the following as a guide:
With a 0.75 litre loss the wrist pulse rate will be under 100 beats per minute and the breathing rate 12 to 20 breaths per minute.
With a 0.75 to 1.5 litre loss the pulse rate will be 100 to 120 beats per minute and 20 to 30 breaths per minute.
With a 1.5 to 2 litre loss the pulse rate will be 120 to 140 beats per minute and 30 to 40 breaths per minute. Vital signs above these rates require more advanced care.
Tips:
Don't eat (especially dry food) if you cannot find water, because to digest food your body will need water.
If you're very thirsty and find water, drink it slowly, don't overload your system, and try to drink every 10 minutes until you don't feel thirsty anymore.
Ways to Find Water
Water is one of your most urgent needs in a survival situation. You can’t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 litres of water each day to maintain efficiency.
More than three-fourths of your body is composed of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress, and exertion. To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses. So, one of your first goals is to obtain an adequate supply of water.
Water Sources
Almost any environment has water present to some degree, here are some?
Frigid Areas: Snow and ice can be melted. Warning: Do not eat snow or ice without melting! Eating snow and ice can reduce body temperature and will lead to more dehydration. Sea ice that is grey in colour or opaque is salty. Do not use it without desalting it. Sea ice that is crystalline with a bluish cast has little salt in it.
For sea water you need to use desalted kit, do not drink seawater without desalting.
Rain Water: Rain water is not the main source in survival situation but in case it rains and you're short of water it would be of a big help, try to find a wide container, because the width in this case is more important than the depth especially if it's going to rain only for a short time, you may want to occupy the widest surface possible to take advantage of every drop of rain the wider the better (a kids inflatable swimming pool would be nice). Also you can spread a big clean sheet of plastic and make a hole in the middle, place it about 2 feet above the ground, place a bucket underneath the plastic sheet, exactly underneath the hole, so that the rain collected from the big plastic would pour rain water through the hole into the bucket, you may need to empty the bucket to a bigger container and place it again under the hole. (Try to make the centre of the plastic form a V so that the rain water will accumulate only in the centre by placing a clean stone in the centre).
Water at the Beach: Dig a hole deep enough to allow water to seep in, obtain rocks, build fire and heat rocks, drop hot rocks in water, hold cloth over hole to absorb steam, wring water from cloth. The rocks will make the water evaporate; the cloth will capture the evaporated water and convert it into water.
Alternate method if a container or bark pot is available, fill container or pot with seawater, build fire and boil water to produce steam, hold cloth over container to absorb steam; wring water from cloth.
Water in the Desert: In deserts you can find water in:
Valleys and low areas
Foot of concave banks of dry river beads
Foot of cliffs or rock outcrops.
First depression behind first sand dune of dry desert lakes.
Wherever you find damp surface sand
Wherever you find green vegetation
After you spot one of the options above dig holes deep enough to allow water to seep in.
In a sand dune belt, any available water will be found beneath the original valley floor at the edge of dunes.
Cacti can contain a good source of water, once a barrel cactus is found cut off the top and mash or squeeze the pulp. Caution: do not eat pulp, place pulp in mouth, suck out juice and discard pulp. Without a machete cutting into a cactus is difficult and takes time since you must get past the long strong spines and cut through the tough rind.
Stills (Solar Stills): You can use stills in various areas of the world. They draw moisture from the ground and from plant material. You need certain materials to build a still, and you need time to let it collect the water. It takes about 24 hours to get 0.5 to 1 litre of water.
To make a belowground still, you need a digging tool, a container, a clear plastic sheet, a drinking tube, and a rock (See image below).
Solar Still
Select a site where you believe the soil will contain moisture (such as a dry stream bed or a low spot where rainwater has collected). The soil at this site should be easy to dig, and sunlight must hit the site most of the day.
To construct the still:
Dig a bowl-shaped hole about 1 meter across and 60 centimetres deep.
Dig a sump in the centre of the hole. The sump's depth and perimeter will depend on the size of the container that you have to place in it. The bottom of the sump should allow the container to stand upright.
Anchor the tubing to the container's bottom by forming a loose overhand knot in the tubing.
Place the container upright in the sump.
Extend the unanchored end of the tubing up, over, and beyond the lip of the hole.
Place the plastic sheet over the hole, covering its edges with soil to hold it in place.
Place a rock in the centre of the plastic sheet.
Lower the plastic sheet into the hole until it is about 40 centimetres below ground level. It now forms an inverted cone with the rock at its apex. Make sure that the cone's apex is directly over your container. Also make sure the plastic cone does not touch the sides of the hole because the earth will absorb the condensed water.
Put more soil on the edges of the plastic to hold it securely in place and to prevent the loss of moisture.
Plug the tube when not in use so that the moisture will not evaporate.You can drink water without disturbing the still by using the tube as a straw. You may want to use plants in the hole as a moisture source. If so, dig out additional soil from the sides of the hole to form a slope on which to place the plants.
Then proceed as above. If polluted water is your only moisture source, dig a small trough outside the hole about 25 centimetres from the still's lip the trough about 25 centimetres deep and 8 centimetres wide. Pour the polluted water in the trough.
Be sure you do not spill any polluted water around the rim of the hole where the plastic sheet touches the soil. The trough holds the polluted water and the soil filters it as the still draws it. The water then condenses on the plastic and drains into the container.
This process works extremely well when your only water source is salt water. Note: This can only be done as a last resort in absence of other water sources.
Water Purification
Rainwater collected in clean containers or in plants is usually safe for drinking. However, purify water from lakes, ponds, swamps, springs, or streams, especially the water near human settlements or in the tropics.
When possible, purify all water you got from vegetation or from the ground by using iodine or chlorine, or by boiling.
Purify water by:
Using water purification tablets.
Placing 5 drops of 2 per cent tincture of iodine in a canteen full of clear water. If the canteen is full of cloudy or cold water, use 10 drops. (Let the canteen of water stand for 30 minutes before drinking.)
Boiling water for 1 minute at sea level, adding 1 minute for each additional 300 meters above sea level, or boil for 10 minutes no matter where you are.
By drinking no potable water you may contract diseases or swallow organisms that can harm you. Examples of such diseases or organisms are:
Dysentery. Severe, prolonged diarrhoea with bloody stools, fever, and weakness.
Cholera and typhoid. You may be susceptible to these diseases regardless of inoculations.
Flukes. Stagnant, polluted water--especially in tropical areas--often contains blood flukes. If you swallow flukes, they will bore into the bloodstream, live as parasites, and cause disease.
Leeches. If you swallow a leech, it can hook onto the throat passage or inside the nose. It will suck blood, create a wound, and move to another area. Each bleeding wound may become infected.
Water Filtration Devices
If the water you find is also muddy, stagnant, and foul smelling, you can clear the water:
By placing it in a container and letting it stand for 12 hours.
By pouring it through a filtering system.
Note: These procedures only clear the water and make it more palatable. You will have to purify it.
To make a filtering system, place several centimetres or layers of filtering material such as sand, crushed rock, charcoal, or cloth in bamboo, a hollow log, or an article of clothing.
Remove the odour from water by adding charcoal from your fire. Let the water stand for 45 minutes before drinking it.
What not to Drink:
Alcoholic beverages: dehydrate the body and cloud judgment.
Urine: contains harmful body wastes and is 2 per cent salt.
Blood: is salty and considered a food, therefore requires additional body fluids to digest, and may transmit disease.
Seawater: is about 4 per cent salt. It takes about 2 litres of body fluids to rid the body of waste from 1 litre of seawater, therefore by drinking seawater you deplete your body's water supply, which can cause death.

The Importance of Water
If you’re faced with a survival situation one of the things you’re going to have to do is to find water. 

Your body loses around 2 to 3 litres of water every day through sweating and urination and this can be even greater if the weather’s hot and/or you’re using a lot of physical energy.

Therefore, in order to prevent dehydration, it’s important to find water to replace these lost fluids quickly.

Observing Nature

If you’re fortunate, you may be near a lake, river, stream or pond where you’re only concern will then be purifying the water but if you’re in arid terrain where there is no immediate evidence that flowing water is nearby, there are a number of resources that you can still tap into – it’s just a case of knowing where to look.

Low areas and valleys are natural places into which water will drain. Therefore, if you’re situated in an elevated area, you need to descend to have the best chance of finding water.

Look out for rock crevices as you go as rain will often collect in them. Muddy or damp ground is also a good indicator as are any areas of noticeably different green vegetation or a group of trees that seem ‘out of place’ with the rest of the landscape.

Have you seen any animals in the area? If not, what about animal tracks? If you’re able to spot some tracks which all tend to travel in the same direction, this could be a sign that the animal has headed for a place to drink.

Flocks of birds gathering in the same place and even a swarm of insects often means that there is water close by.

Rainwater, Dew and Condensation

Even if you’ve followed the observations above and still haven’t come across water, there are other things you can do to collect it. If it rains, many people have been able to survive simply by harvesting rainwater.

You can collect it from your tent by lowering the tent and having some kind of container in which to catch the raindrops which have landed on it - even a plastic bag will do.
Even if it’s sunny, there will still be dew to collect first thing in the morning. The easiest way to harvest dew is to get a cloth or an old T-shirt and simply drag it through the grass until the cloth is soaked with dew. Then, simply wring it out either directly into your mouth or into a container.
You can even use condensation as a useful source of drinkable water. Both trees and plants draw moisture from the ground and the best way of utilising this is to tie a plastic bag to a branch which is facing the sun and tie a knot in the bag at the top over the branch. Evaporation from the leaves will then result in condensation forming in the bag which you can then use to drink.
Solar Still
Building a solar still harnesses the sun’s energy to provide water and is still a device that is used by many tribes’ people today. Basically, they can be built using a sheet of strong plastic, a cup or some other kind of container and a piece of plastic tubing.
You should set up your still in the lowest, dampest area you can find then beginning digging a hole until you hit damp soil.
Then, place your cup in the middle of the hole and place one end of the plastic tubing in the cup. Next you need to cover the hole with the plastic sheet ensuring that you have access to the other end of the tube outside the confines of your still and you can use the earth you have dug up to act as weight on top of the plastic sheet so that no air can escape.
As the soil is heated by the sun, the moisture evaporates and condenses on the plastic which then drips down to the lowest portion of the plastic then into your cup.
You can then drink from the cup by sucking on the tube which means you don’t have to disassemble your still first which can then be used again.
The Importance of Water Purification
Wherever possible, opt for flowing water as opposed to using water collected from stagnant pools as it’s less likely to contain as many impurities. However, it’s important that you purify ALL water that’s been collected.

Even if you come across a stream that looks crystal clear, you can’t be sure that a dead animal isn't lying further upstream, so you should purify all water that you take from the environment.

However, don’t collect water that has scum floating on it or where it’s surrounded by dead vegetation. Clear, fast flowing water should always be your chosen option where possible and if the water bubbles or seems to be a strange colour or gives off an unpleasant odour, only use it as a last resort.

Remember that, in a survival situation, water takes on far more importance than food and until you’re sure you have enough water resources available, you should try to conserve as much energy as you can.

So, when out searching for water, try to do it early in the morning or late in the day when it will be cooler and you’re less likely to lose as much fluid through perspiring.



Rain Water Collection
Whether you are planning ahead for future droughts or just want to lower your water bill, saving rainwater makes sense. 

Rainwater is pure compared to ground water because it does not contain the chemicals or minerals typically found in soil. Rain-collection systems vary in expense. Choose a system that meets your needs without exceeding your budget.

Collecting free rain water is also a preppers right and he would be silly to ignore it.

The easiest way to collect rainwater is to leave an open bucket or container outside. Covering the container on dry days will prevent evaporation and insect contamination. 

To collect more rainwater, connect a container to your gutter's downspout.

The large area of your roof will collect the rain. Your home's gutters will funnel the water into the container. A simple system such as this might supply enough water for a typical home's outdoor watering needs.

More advanced systems collect more water, but are more expensive. Depending on your situation, you might need to invest in a quality pump to remove the water from your container. 

For example, if your storage container is lower than the area where you plan to use the water, a pump will allow you to transport the water uphill.

You might need to filter the rainwater you collect. Simple filtration involves keeping out large debris and contaminants, such as leaves and insects. For example, if you collect water via your home's gutters, install wire-mesh gutter screens to block leaves and sticks.

Clear the debris regularly to ensure proper water flow. If you plan to drink the rainwater you collect, you must filter it first. 

Use a quality filtration system that removes dangerous contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, especially if you store the rainwater for long periods.

Retail hardware stores sell plastic containers suitable for storing water. During winter months, don't allow the barrels to fill past the 3/4 mark. This leaves the water room to expand if it freezes.

Domestic rainwater collection offers certain economic and environmental benefits: The water collected is free to use and saves on energy that might otherwise be used to treat and pump water from a municipal source. 

Installation of a rainwater collection system requires some initial expense, the extent of which depends in part on how you plan to use the water.

Rooftops are the primary source of rainwater collection, as the process involved is fairly straightforward and inexpensive. As the rainwater lands on the top of a building, it drips into gutters that are affixed to the edges of the roof.

The water is then funnelled through a downspout and into a large barrel fitted with a screen on top in order to prevent debris from entering. As an added benefit, the screen also prevents mosquitoes from breeding in the water.

The barrels used to hold rainwater are also known as cisterns and generally hold between 200 and 1,000 gallons of water. Some collection systems use a single barrel, while others use two or more barrels joined together by hose and connected to a single spigot.

The ideal location for a cistern is on solid, level ground with enough distance from the home to accommodate the discharge of overflow water.

There are a number of ways to use rainwater, with gardening being one of the more common. In some areas, collected water is used directly in irrigation. Additionally, homeowners can design gardens to take advantage of runoff by situating them in a depressed area with a soil that drains well, alternative uses of rainwater include car washing, laundry and showering.

Rainwater is naturally low in mineral content, which means that no additional "softening" is generally required. In many cases, collected water is used as is; however, indoor use demands special treatment in order to eliminate risks posed by contaminants.

For toilet flushing and laundering purposes, simple pressure filters may be sufficient. Where rainwater is to be used for cooking or drinking, additional treatment is often necessary, as drinking untreated rainwater brings the risk of contracting diseases such as listeria.

The type of roofing material used can affect the quality of the rainwater collected. For example, wood shingles are sometimes treated with herbicides in order to prevent rot and mould, which may render collected water unsuitable for gardening and drinking.

Similarly, roofs containing copper or zinc materials may also leach contaminants into the water.


Another method to reduce water is using greywater.

The term greywater is used to describe all household wastewater, excluding toilet waste. It includes water collected from the shower, bath, basin, laundry tub, washing machine and dishwasher.
Greywater is usually sent directly to sewer, however many people now divert their greywater to a greywater reuse system, or collect it for reusing on the garden. 

Untreated greywater should not be stored for more than 24 hours.



The Lack of Water
With sweat pouring down your face, your swollen tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth and a regular sledgehammer-thump in your head you stagger towards the dark water, fall to your knees and gulp mouthfuls of the wonderfully cool liquid.

Melodramatic maybe, and certainly not something common in the British hills, but I've felt like that on a few occasions when I've neglected to drink enough and cursed not diverting to a nearby water source because, at the time, it seemed too far. And I've experienced this in the Yorkshire dales as well as in Corfu.

While consuming enough liquid in hot, dry weather might seem obvious drinking regularly is important even in damp, humid weather. 

Dehydration is unlikely to kill anyone in Britain, except perhaps in a heat wave, but well before it endangers your health dehydration can dull your mind, spoiling your enjoyment making it hard to think straight.

Not a good idea if there's any difficult navigation to do. The best way to avoid becoming dehydrated is to drink often whether you feel thirsty or not. A good indicator is the colour and amount of your urine. It should be clear and copious. The yellower it is, the more you need to drink.

How much liquid you need depends in part on how hot and dry the weather is your energy output and, for backpackers, the type of food carried.

In cool, damp conditions I can get by with little to drink during the day, though I don't recommend doing this. 

However I have also drunk and needed - a litre an hour on very hot days in shade less places. In camp at least four litres are needed for drinks and to rehydrate dried food. That doesn't include water for pot or personal washing either.

On day walks most people of course carry water or other drinks with them. In case this isn't enough it's still advisable to know where water sources are on your route. In the hills this usually requires little thought, as there are plenty of streams and pools in most areas. However rocky ridges can be dry for long distances.

There is of course the question of whether water is safe to drink. Clarity is not necessarily an indication of purity as we know. However, water in the hills, away from habitations, farmland and grazing stock, is generally okay. In lowland areas I'd avoid drinking from streams and pools. 

There's too much likelihood of them containing industrial, agricultural or domestic waste. Finding water from a tap or buying drinks isn't a problem in most places of course. Water can be filtered and purified of course

Water containers used to be simple items. There were small rigid bottles for use while walking and large compressible bags for use in camp.

Now, in addition to these, we have small soft containers that take minimal room in the pack when empty and hydration systems with long tubes, on which we can suck while we walk ensuring an effortless drink whenever we want. 

There are also water containers in the form of bum bags and even small rucksacks for times when water is all that has to be carried.

However even on a day walk a water container is needed. When little water needs to be carried, half litre bottles are adequate, but I prefer the litre size. 

Empty soft drinks or mineral water bottles can be used but these don't usually last very long and often have lids that leak after not much use. For regular use higher quality bottles are better as they are very durable and shouldn't spring leaks.

Outdoor stores stock many different sorts of water containers, some of which aren't actually very good. In particular the lids often leak. Before buying an unfamiliar brand I'd fill it with water and shake it to see what happens. 

Bottles with push-pull spouts seem particularly prone to leakage. Even a slight leak can result in a lot of liquid escaping into your rucksack over a period of several hours, so a bottle with a properly sealed top is well worth having.

There are also many large collapsible, roll-up or foldaway containers for use in camp. Again, many have a tendency to leak, though this isn't that important if you're not going to carry water in them in the pack. 

Of more significance is the weight and bulk. Some don't actually compress that much and are made from thick heavy material.

To save weight some backpackers don't bother carrying an extra water container for camp use. However, if you make do in camp with a water bottle plus your cook pots, you will spend a lot of time fetching water - fine in sunny weather but not so nice when it's wet and stormy. 

At the same time constant trips to fetch water can lead to path scars being created. Collecting all the water needed for camp at one time is both convenient and has less impact on the area.


Treating Water
I want to hammer home to you the importance of always, always, always (did I say “always”?) treating any water before you use it for anything you will ingest into your body. 

In short, before you use water for any purpose that ends up in your body including drinking water, oral hygiene such as rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth, cleaning of vegetables and other foods cleaning of cooking and eating utensils or even showering. 

The water must first be de-contaminated so that all water borne pathogens are destroyed or rendered inert. Otherwise you may become very sick indeed.

Your best chance of survival and staying healthy depends upon proper treatment of ALL sources of water. 

One of the most basic concepts you must completely understand in order to stay healthy in wilderness survival situations is that all sources of water are suspect.

Urban dwellers that we tend to be, we are usually accustomed to simply turning on the tap and drinking the water that comes from it.

It is important to note that tap water usually comes from protected sources and has been treated  to destroy disease causing organisms. 

This water is also frequently tested in order to insure it meets the required  standards. In more rural areas tap water often comes from wells and springs where natural processes have purified the water.

Because we usually obtain our water so easily from the tap, the mind-set to always consider water from untested sources as contaminated can be difficult to fully accept.

Old habits die hard and many people will be tempted to ignore my advice and drink any outdoor water source that appears to be fresh and clean. 

But I want you to drop any preconceived notion you may have on this subject and trust this information completely when it comes to treating your water. 

It could very well save your life.

Too many times to count people have told me that a certain stream or lake is safe to drink because it is clear, cold, and natural. 
I have some important information that could very well prevent you from becoming very sick:

That crystal clear mountain stream may seem clean enough to the eye, but invisible microorganisms are thriving in its waters by the millions.

Most of the tiny living things in water are harmless to humans, but all too often there are types that can make you very sick should you ingest them.

Many disease organisms contaminate water sources due to improper disposal of human wastes including faeces. Another common natural source of water contamination comes from the local wildlife that often defecates in or near the water.

Birds and mammals that live in or near water think nothing of releasing their bodily wastes into it. 

But worse, many ignorant humans will improperly dispose of urine, faeces, and kitchen wastes close to communal water supplies. No matter how remote you feel you are, I guarantee someone has been there before you. 

They may be swimming, washing up, or even have deposited a steaming pile of faeces just upstream minutes before you filled your water container.

Humans are veritable poop machines and wherever they have been you can be assured there is plenty of faeces laying about. Historically, wastes and human faecal contamination of water supplies has resulted in large epidemics of cholera and other diseases that have ended the lives of millions. 

Do not let the actions of dumb people take you down: treat all water before you ingest it.

Water can contain a range of nasty organisms you would do well to avoid. 

These include bacteria such as
 Giardia
Escherichiacoli (E. Coli)
Salmonella
Protozoa, which also often come from human an animal faeces:
Microsporidia including
Cryptosporidium
Toxoplasma gondii
Amoebae
Ciliates
flagellates,
apicomplexans
And lets not forget helminth zoonoses such as:
 Nematodes
 Ascarids
Pinworms
Hookworms
strongylids
angiostrongylids
capillarids
guineaworms
liverflukes
tapeworms
So much for crystal clear mountain streams being safe to drink from Eh! Buy a Purificup at www.purificup.co.uk


Water Purification
Now that I have convinced you to consider all sources of water as contaminated until treated, I would like to suggest the best way to make water safe to drink. Once again I am sure to be stirring up a hornet’s nest of dissent on this subject but I stand by what I write as proven beyond doubt. Try to release any preconceived notions you may have as you read what follows.

The miracle of modern advertising would have you believe that the portable water filters on the market today will remove nearly all pathogens and disease causing organisms from water. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, studies have conclusively shown water filters vary a great deal in the types and amount of organisms they are able to filter. And that is when the water filters are functioning properly and users correctly operate and maintain them. A tall order indeed, especially in the field during adverse conditions.

Would you drink water from a filter that is removing only 85% of water borne disease organisms? Chances are the water filter you use isn’t even doing that well.

Various chemicals used to treat water also lack the ability to destroy 100% of disease causing organisms in water.

The manufacturers of chemicals and water filters don’t want you to know what the best way to make water safe to drink really is. That’s because it’s simple,inexpensive to operate, and they cannot sell it.

The fact is, the best way to make water safe for consumption will destroy or render inert 100% of disease causing organisms. What’s more, this process is readily available and nearly fool proof. It has been successfully used for centuries and remains hands down the best method of all: boiling.
The age old question has always been “how Long Does the Water Need to Boil”?

Well here is my answer, water does do not even have to reach the boiling point (about 212° F or 100° C at sea level) to be rendered safe to drink; Once the water temperature reaches 185° F (85° C) nearly all disease causing organisms have been destroyed.
And the only reason you typically get water up to the boiling point is you probably do not have a “thermometer” handy to measure the water temperature and I would suggest that boiling is “proof positive” the water is hot enough to make it safe to drink.

You can also throw out the myth that you must boil water longer at higher elevations. The boiling point of water even on Mount Everest is still high enough to destroy all disease causing organisms even before the water has started to boil.

So to finish you must  consider water from any source as contaminated with disease causing organisms.
By far the best way to treat water is by boiling it.
You only have to bring the water to a boil. Don’t waste fuel; there is no need to boil water for 10-minutes, 5-minutes, or even 1-minute. Once it is boiling all disease causing organisms have been destroyed or rendered inert some time earlier.

10 comments:

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  2. Hi aquasafesolutions,
    Thank you for reading my blog and for listening to my show I appreciate your support and your comments.

    I will start posting more, I have been to lazy lol, but being honest I do have a lot on.

    Please keep reading and as they say please "Watch this space"

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