Information from OpenWater

Finding Water

There are a few sources of clean water around the house. Some sources provide more water than others, but in a disaster, every source of water is helpful.

The water heater stores the most clean water in the house; about 40-60 gallons. To get the water, first unplug the water heater, or turn it off using the circuit breaker. Attach a hose to the water heater drain valve. After attaching the hose, open any hot water faucet in the house.

The toilet tank can also be an acceptible source of drinking water provided that it has not been treated with any chemicals.

There is some water inside the water pipes of the house. To get the water, open the faucet in the highest part of the house. Then, open the faucet in the lowest part of the house to drain.

Purifying Water

Boiling Water

First, filter the water using a water filter or clean cloth. Once filtered, begin boiling. Allow water to boil for at least one minute. After boiling, let the water air out and swish around in the container before drinking. These steps prevent the water from having a flat taste.

Solar Cooking

Use a clear plastic or glass bottle and fill it up with the clearest water available. Leave the bottles in direct sunlight, preferably on a highly reflective surface for at least six hours. If the weater is cloudy, leave the bottles out for two days.


Use only bleach that contains chlorine. Household bleach contains 5.25%. If it does contain about 5% chlorine, use 2 drops per quart or liter, and 8 drops per gallon. If the bleach contains less than 5% chlorine, use 7-10 drops per liter or quart and 40 per gallon. If the amount of chlorine uses more than 5%, use 1 drop per liter or quart and 4 per gallon. Let the water stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste is normal. If there isn’t a chlorine taste, repeat the dosage and let it sit again for 15 minutes. If the water very strong chlorine taste, let the water air for a few hours or pour between two clean containers several times.


Because iodine can build up in the body over a few days, use this method as a last resort. To purify water using Iodine, check the label of the iodine bottle and make sure it says 2% iodine. Use 8 drops per liter or quart and 28 drops per gallon.

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