Wednesday, 13 April 2016

10:47 – The taxes are finished and in the mail, and Barbara and I are back to work on science kit stuff.

I just ran a bunch of labels for the 2-liter soda bottles we have sitting around in large trash bags. The labels read:

Untreated Well Water – Do not drink unless you first boil, chlorinate, or micro-filter. May be used for cooking if water is brought to a full boil. May be used for toilet flushing at three 2-liter bottles per flush.

At a guess, we might have 300 empty 2-liter bottles sitting around. Filled, those would give us 100 toilet flushes or, alternatively, 540 more liters of drinking water after treating them. (It’s 540 rather than 600 liters, because we’ll fill them to only 1.8 liters in case they freeze.) We drink the well water untreated, of course, but it’s one thing to drink well water fresh from the tap, and another to drink unchlorinated well water that’s been sitting in bottles for weeks, months, or even years. The well water tested coliform-free, but it does contain some bacteria that show up as a blue scum in the shower.

This is yet another example of a prep that costs little or nothing and doesn’t take much time. Everyone should be filling containers with water and storing them. Water outages are actually pretty common, and having lots of stored water can turn what would otherwise be a serious emergency into a minor inconvenience. My goal is to have a three-month supply stored for Barbara, Colin, and me. Nine gallons a day; four gallons each for Barbara and me, and a gallon for Colin. That totals 810 gallons, or about 3,200 liters. Call it 108 cubic feet, or a cubic space about 1.45 meters (4.75 feet) on a side.