Where Does My Tap Water Come From?

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Tap Water Sources

The sources of your water may seem unimportant and as long as there is no interruption of the flow or quality, it’s not. Many people in highly developed countries have the luxury to ignore the source of infrastructure like city water and other utilities as long as everything is going well. It is only when something breaks down the supply line or lowers the quality of the service, that we notice and often we are at a loss for what to do.

To see why water storage and alternate sources are very important items to prepare, it helps to understand what all is involved to get pressurized, clean water to your home. Most public water systems pump water from reservoirs or nearby river systems. There you find the first issue that can fail. Huge electric pumps are usually required to move large volumes water and the electrical grid can fail at times. The next phase requires treatment. The filtration and sanitizing of potable water on a large scale requires many chemical additives. Coagulants are added to bind dirt particles. Flocculants are used to bind the loose coagulated particles in clarifiers. Finally, disinfectants such as chlorine are added to remove biological contaminants. Almost all of these are delivered by trucks, usually several per day, to filter plants all across the nation. Large scale fuel shortages, which I’ll discuss in another post, can quickly put a major bind on trucks delivering anything. We experienced the throws of a fuel shortage when hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast region where many of the largest petroleum refineries in the nation are. No chemical trucks = no clean water. Add to this the potential problems of delivering water through pipes buried in the ground for decades and you can see that there are several failure points in the system should a major disaster occur.

What can I do if my water if my water is cut off?

Well, besides paying your bill or calling the local utility about the outage, you don’t have a lot of options. We are blessed in the United States to have pretty sound utilities, for the most part. Normal outages for most water customers will generally be repaired in a day or less and almost all being back online in a few days. When the situation is regional, however, you cant run down the street to a friend’s house to take a shower. They don’t have water either! This plays out to some degree in almost every major hurricane that hits the coasts and a backup plan is crucial when you come to terms with the reality that so many daily functions, including nearly all sanitary tasks, rely on having water.

Rain Water Storage.

If you have gutters or downspouts on your home, you have a perfect setup to harvest the rainwater, at least in areas that aren’t deserts. Used food grade totes or drums make excellent choices for rain water storage. simply route a downspout into the container and leave a vent for air and overflow to escape and you can keep on hand plenty of water to flush toilets or even sanitize to drink, if needed. Used drums and totes are commonly available, however, make sure you know the original contents. they are often used for chemicals that leave residue that can cause illness if ingested or plumbing issues if used in drains. To be sure, you can purchase new ones specifically for water storage,

Water Prepared Storage Tank

Prepping Tip !!! (Most residential toilets can be flushed by filling the tank on the back with water before each flush) check out my video:

Pre-emergency Water Storage.

Many disasters will give us enough warning to make plans to evacuate or make adjustments. We board up windows ahead of tropical storms, park cars in garages when they meteorologists predict damaging hail, fill generators with fuel, and take many other preventive measures. Water is one that’s often overlooked. The simple act of filling all of the bathtubs with water before a potential disruption occurs can add a huge amount of comfort for several days if it is needed. however it probably still needs to be sterilized, especially if it has time to sit very long.

One way to provide yourself with a less exposed means of water storage is the AquaPod. It’s a purpose built collapsible bladder that is made to fit in a bathtub and be filled as needed. Take a look here,

AquaPod Kit

As always, having an ample supply of bottled drinking water that you rotate regularly can make these other means extend much longer since you will only be using them for sanitation and washing, so plan accordingly and don’t consider these ideas to be all inclusive and check out my post on survival hydration here: https://nickspreparedness.com/2020/07/19/survival-hydration/

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and make money on qualifying purchases.

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