Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Making clean water

Building on yesterdays lesson on how to wash clothes in a bucket, I decided that the grandkids and I should talk about clean water.  While we have water stored for drinking - in bottles, large thermoses, the trailer, and the water heater, most of our stored water (mainly in any of the four stock tanks - ok, 3 for the animals and one that's their "swimming pool") is not potable.  We'd have to purify the water to use it for drinking.  What if we don't have chlorine or other purifying tablets?  Could we still be able to drink the water without getting sick?  What if we needed to use the pond across the road? 

For the kids this lesson is about getting a couple of glasses of dirty water and making it clean enough to drink.  But for me, I started thinking about the neighbors pond itself.  It is spring fed yet I've never noticed where the spring is.  This weekend we will walk across the road to the pond, a short 1/2 mile walk, and I will see if  I can figure out where the water is coming from.  If the spring isn't at the surface, I can use a thermometer and take temperature readings in the water.  All things being equal, which of course they aren't, the standing water near where the spring water is coming in will be much cooler than the rest of the water in the pond.  After all, if my stock tank hit 90 degrees but the hose was pushing 60 degree water in on one side, that part of the tank would be cooler.  Theoretically, the water near the spring would be cleaner than the rest of the pond water.  Less filtering should be needed.

Using The Prepper's Pocket Guide as guidance, the kids are going to get to filter the water.  Remember, I said that I was going to use some of the suggestions in Bernie's book, so here're tips 22, 23, and 28.  The book is written well enough that the grandkids can pretty much follow the directions without too much help from me.  First step will be to filter the big stuff like leaves out of the water.  Using a coffee filter for this step will go too slow, so we will use an old tube sock stretched over our 1/2 gallon canning jar.  Hang the sock in the jar, stretch the top over the edge of the jar and screw on the ring to hold it in place.  Pour water into the sock to remove leaves and bugs.  The second step will be to use a two-liter bottle as a filtering funnel.  They will take the water they just poured into their canning jar and pour it slowly into this funnel filter.  This filter will have a combination of cotton, charcoal, sand, and gravel each layered upon the other.  On top of this will be a coffee filter.  The water will flow through all and go into another canning jar.  Once the filtered water is in the jar they will screw on a lid and we will bring our filtered water home.  We will put the water through a third step.  In this step we will either lay the jars on a bed of aluminum foil in the bright sun or perhaps put the jars into our solar oven.  After about six hours the water should be well purified. 

Today we talked about water purification.  What did you talk about with your family concerning preparation? 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is such an important concept. We can purchase quality water filters (and we should if at all possible), but ultimately, knowing how to make water safe may well be what keeps you and yours alive....