Water. The essential resource needed to sustain life.
It is also one of the first resources to be contaminated after an earthquake.
Because most pipes are rigid structures, tremors in the earth can cause them to crack, leak, shift, or even completely breach. Even the most minor earthquakes can cause damage, especially where the main water and sewer lines connect to your home.
The CDC recommends a two-week supply of water, and that’s just the water needed for drinking.
The average American uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day on things like hygiene, toileting, washing dishes. These needs don’t disappear along with your water supply. Once you have the minimum supply of water needed for your family, consider storing some extra water to be used for hygiene and dish washing.
If you think a few cases of water bottles in your pantry will cut it in an emergency, you might be underestimating just how important clean water is to your quality of life.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In the event that an earthquake strikes before you’re able to stock up on water, we came up with a list of places you can find clean water in your home, even in an emergency.
3 Surprising Places to Find Safe Drinking Water
The Back of the Toilet
If the water in your toilet’s tank is clear and you haven’t treated it with any chemicals, this water is safe to drink! Despite the unusual source, this is actually the same water that comes from your tap.
Your Water Heater
Your water heater, used to heat your tap water, is a potentially large source of clean drinking water. At any given time, there are approximately 20-30 gallons of water stored in there. To access it, you’ll need to turn off the water supply coming into the heater, as well as the power supply if your water heater is electric. This will prevent potential damage to your water heater if the power comes back on and the tank is empty.
Turn on a hot water valve in one of your sinks, ensuring the drain is plugged to save any potential water that comes out. This will prevent a vacuum from forming. Then you can attach a hose to the drain valve, located at the bottom of your water heater. Be sure to have several containers ready to catch the water as it drains out from the hose.
Your Water Pipes
There is usually some water to be found within the water pipes in your home. If the pipes are unbroken, head to the lowest point in your house to drain the water from the pipes, where it will still be safe to drink.
Immediately after an earthquake, fill your tub up with water. It won’t be safe to drink after sitting there for hours, but it will be clean enough to purify and use for hygiene and washing dishes.
Once you have collected your clean water, be sure to examine it. Water that’s discolored, cloudy, has a smell, or has material floating in it is not safe to drink.
If your water is clear, cloudless, and odorless, you should filter it.
Regardless of how clean the water looks, there is always potential bacteria present. It’s important to treat and filter your water so that it is safe enough to drink.
FILTERING YOUR WATER
There are many ways to filter water if you haven't stored enough.
You’re in luck! Getting clean water for your family is becoming easier, as companies create new tools to purify and store your water.
Water purification tablets can purify your water. Simply add 1 tablet into 10 liters of clean and clear water and wait 30 minutes before drinking.
Water filtration bottles like the LifeStraw, can remove up to 99.9% and contaminants found in drinking water. We love LifeStraw because it comes with a filter that can be used in many different ways including as a straw and within the LifeStraw soft water bottles. It can also be adapted to fit plastic water bottles, hydration bladders, and other LifeStraw products.
The WaterBOB is a water containment system. It can hold up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water within a standard-sized bathtub. In the event of the Big One, the water supply could be impacted for months. Your family will need access to as much clean, safe water as they can get.