Managing Water
Many people need even more than the average of one gallon per day. The individual amount needed depends on age, physical activity, physical condition and time of year.
  • Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow.  Under no circumstances should a person drink less than 1 quart (4 cups) of water each day.
  • Drink water that you know is not contaminated first.
    • If necessary, suspicious water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or water from streams or ponds, can be used after it has been treated.
  • If water treatment is not possible, put off drinking suspicious water as long as possible, but do not become dehydrated.
  • Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water.
Safe Water Sources
Safe sources of water:
  • Melted ice cubes
  • Liquids from canned goods such as fruit or vegetables.
  • Water drained from pipes.
  • Water drained from the water heater - To use water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off and open the drain at the bottom of the tank.
Unsafe Water Sources
Unsafe sources of water:
  • Radiators and hot water boilers (home heating systems)
  • Water from the toilet bowl or flush tank
  • Water beds - Fungicides added to the water or chemicals in the vinyl may make water unsafe to use.
  • Swimming pools and spas - Chemicals used to kill germs are too concentrated for safe drinking but can be used for personal hygiene, cleaning and related uses.
Treating Water
Treat all water of uncertain quality before using it for drinking, food washing or preparation, washing dishes, brushing teeth or making ice.

Boiling Water
Boiling is the safest method of treating water. In a large pot or kettle, bring water to a rolling boil for one full minute, some water will evaporate. Cool the water before drinking.

Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between 2 clean containers.

Chlorination use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25% to 6% sodium hypochlorite.
Do not use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners.

Add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water; stir and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor.

If it doesn’t, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still doesn’t smell of chlorine, discard it and find another water source.

While boiling and chlorination will kill most microbes in water, distillation will remove microbes (germs) that resist these methods. Distillation involves boiling water and then collection of only the vapor that condenses. The condensed vapor will not include salt or most other impurities.
  • To distill, fill a pot halfway with water.
  • Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes.
  • The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.