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Emergency Drinking water

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  1. Emergency Drinking water Bruce Macler USEPA

  2. What do FOLKs use water for? • Drinking and cooking • Sanitation and cleaning • Landscape and garden irrigation • Washing cars and other toys • Fire suppression

  3. After the shaking stops… • It is expected that a major Hayward Fault earthquake will cause 1000’s of water distribution system line breaks • Napa EQ caused about 180 breaks • Most EBMUD water storage tanks have cut off values • Distribution system will slowly drain out • Water service will be lost to many areas for days to weeks, or longer

  4. What do you use water for during an emergency? • Drinking and cooking • Sanitation and cleaning • Landscape and garden irrigation • Washing cars and other toys • Fire suppression

  5. What can you expect from your water utility? • EBMUD’s (and any other water utility’s) first priority is to get water into the system for fire suppression • Not necessarily potable • Provision of drinking water is the responsibility of local government • If not enough bottled water in Lamorinda, then the cities ask the County and State for supplies • Then FEMA steps in • It can take a while

  6. Emergency household water needs • Drinking and cooking water: 1 gallon per person per day • Has to be microbiologically stable • Sanitation water: as available, 1 or more gallons per day • The cleaner, the better, but doesn’t need to be perfect • 7 to 10 day supply • Don’t forget your pets and animals

  7. And where do you get this water? • Bottled and stored • Water heater • Swimming pools and hot tubs • Lakes, streams and other sources

  8. Bottled and stored • Prepackaged bottled water doesn’t go bad! • Ignore the expiration dates • Can clean and refill plastic milk and beverage containers • Add 1/8 teaspoon (~8 drops) unscented household chlorine bleach per gallon, then cap or seal container • 5-gallon containers are convenient • Big barrels (50-60 gallons) are heavy and hard to move

  9. You want me to drink pool water? • There isn’t anything toxic to you in it, at least in the short run • The chlorine levels need to be adequate, though • Disinfection is the key to success • Pools and spas are great sources of sanitation water • Keep a bucket or two around

  10. Using other sources: lake cascade, creeks, rainwater, etc • Filter murky or colored water through clean cloth or coffee filter • Or let it settle overnight • Then, boil for one minute • Or, add unscented household chlorine bleach (1/8 teaspoon per gallon), shake, let sit 30 minutes • FYI, household bleach is about 5% chlorine • Iodine tablets, UV light pens, backpacking filters work, too • Follow directions

  11. Emergency supplies • 5-gallon buckets with handles • Bottle of unscented household chlorine bleach • Change this out every year or two • Measuring spoons • Coffee filters or clean cloth • Refillable water bottles

  12. Typhoon soudelor • Saipan hit by Category 3 typhoon August 1, 2015 • Took out all power and all water • Only bottled water available for several weeks • Sanitation problems • Hospital, shelters and bottling companies first to get generators, water • Community water system restored well-by-well, tank-by-tank • Non-potable, but OK for sanitation