Question about water collection and storage from Red C

MD, thanks for all you do on this site, as you’ve made it a very valuable one, IMHO. I have a question for the Pack, related to water. I’ve been increasing our water storage. We live in a small town & depend on city water. If we lost that, our primary resupply would be rain water. Our area rec’s about 40 inches of rain/year.

I’m curious about what types of water resupply systems (rain, well, creek, lake, etc) other Pack members depend on, & if some pack members have advice for me. We’re in the process of setting up a couple rain barrels. I have some tarps I could use to increase rain catchment in an emergency. We have 3-4 pools & a hot tub within a 2 block radius.

M.D. Replies : Red, I have three farm ponds within a mile of my place. I also have over 100 gallons of tap water stored in two 55 gallon water storage barrels and a 200 gallon rain water catchment and collection system + a 55 gallon rain barrel that catches rain water off the roof of my chicken coop to keep my chickens hydrated.

My two 100 gallon water tanks came from be sure and take a look at what they have to offer.

My 200 gallon water storage / rain catchment system...

My 200 gallon water storage / rain catchment system…

Questions and Answers with The Wolf Pack : Choosing a Water Pump…

I have a question that might be a good one to pose to the pack.

I’ve been looking at 55 gallon water barrel pumps on Amazon and Ebay and reading details and reviews. The price ranges are fairly wide. I want something that will last, and do the job with ease of use. I am no spring chicken and pumping some little plastic thing up & down at a height that is taller than me really puts me off.

I’ve looked at ones that remind me of the old fashioned pumps but am confused as to what kind works for water and not oil/gas.

I really like the idea of the rotary pumps you crank as that would be easiest for me to use as I get older but all of them seem to be only for oil/gas products. Please can you help me with recommendations of brand and type? I’m on a very tight budget also.



How to Carry 200 Gallons of Water or More

Today’s non-fiction writing contest entry, “How to Carry 200 Gallons of Water or More” was written bDonald T

Photo by: Sam Howzit

I would like to start off by letting all of you know that, I too have been lurking for the past two years. I have learned more from this site than I have from all of the others combined. M.D. truly you do have the best forum and a following that others need to be envious of. As for the rest of you, I have the utmost respect for your level of knowledge, compassion, and integrity. Your comments have enriched so many articles, in so many ways. I have learned so much from your comments, and have been forced guided to contemplate my approach to so many issues that I cannot even begin to list them here. I thank all of you for helping me see things in a different light.

What I would like to touch on here today is Water Treatment. I know that for some, it would be hard for me to teach you something new on this subject. But this particular aspect I have not seen addressed anywhere else.

First let’s just say it’s been a bad day in Muddville, and whatever nasty situation you are planning for has unfortunately happened. Now you find yourself and your family in the position of bugging out. There may or may not be some others with you. You may or may not link up with others for that safety in numbers thing. At this time your most pressing problem will be, how will you provide enough drinkable water for your journey? Your journey will have you on the road long enough that it is not possible for you to even attempt to try and carry an adequate amount. Stop and think a moment, how will you approach this problem?

To set the stage here are a few key points so that we are all on the same sheet of music.

A widely accepted way to purify water is to use unscented household Bleach, such as Clorox. Just be sure that it has no scents or additives. Here is the simple formula to use the Bleach.

Water purification – 8 drops (1/8tsp) per gallon/4 liters.  Let stand for 20 minutes, retreat if water does not smell of Chlorine.  Only do this twice (a total of 16 drops). Now this part is important to remember. Bleach does have some problems – it has a limited shelf life (6 months to 2 years depending on who you ask).  It’s also messy and nasty to clean up if spilled.

We understand that the short shelf life of bleach poses a problem when packing a GOOD bag. So that being said another more economical solution is to use “Pool Shock” a common ingredient to make pools safe to swim in. It is available from any pool care store online or in your town depending on your environment.

Make sure that Calcium Hypochlorite is the only active ingredient in the product and at 65% or greater, (Note: You will not be able to find this concentration at Wally-World, you will need to go to a pool supply store) with no added anti-fungal’s, or clarifiers, if not you can seriously endanger you and your family. You mix 1 heaping Teaspoon, about ¼ ounce in to two gallons of water. The mixture will produce a Stock Chlorine Solution of approximately 500 mg/L, since the Calcium Hypochlorite has an available chlorine equal to 65 percent of its weight.

You just made a form of Bleach, and with that you can use this bleach solution to treat water at 1 part per 100 parts water, roughly 2.5 tablespoons per gallon of water. This Stock Solution will also have a shelf life so don’t mix it up until you need it. As for the dry C-H I do not know what the shelf life of this is. All I can say is that in all of my research I have not seen or heard of a limited life span. For me the basic rules apply here, Keep it sealed tight, Keep it in the dark, and Don’t play with temperature fluctuations. This should at the least, last many years. If someone knows the actual life span, please let me know. I would appreciate it greatly.

But then you all knew this, so let’s see if I can walk you down a bit of a different path.

We know that the basic formula of 1 teaspoon of Calcium Hypochlorite will make 2 gallons of a stock solution, which then treats 200 gallons of water. This is a 1:100 ratio. But then my DW asked the show stopping question. “Do you have a 2 gallon and a 200 gallon container”? With a dumbfounded look and a rather sheepish “I’ll get back to you on that” I realized I had a problem to solve. How will I measure out a 1:100 batch of safe water?

Who really, does have these kinds of containers to use this treatment option? And how would we do this if we were out on foot. My best guess is not too many. I set about figuring out how to break down the containers of solution in to manageable amounts. But even using a small readily available container meant that I had to accurately measure out 1 unit of the stock solution and then 100 units of water to accurately make the 1:100 ratios. There had to be a better way!

And then I had my AHA moment. Now follow me on this, and you will see the method to my madness.

If 1tsp. to 2 gallons of water makes a 1:100 stock solution, (this treats 200 gallons of water)

Then that same 1tsp. to only 1 gallon of water makes a 1:200 stock solution, (this still treats 200 gallons of water) only the concentration is doubled.

With me so far?  Good.

Then 1tsp. to ½ gallon of water makes a 1:400 stock solution, (this also treats 200 gallons of water)

Then 1tsp to 1qt. of water makes a 1:800 stock solution, (this treats 200 gallons of water)

And finally 1tsp, to 16oz. (a pop bottle) of water makes a 1:1600 stock solution (this still treats 200 gallons of water).

Remember: The 1tsp of Calcium Hypochlorite treats 200 gallons of water no matter what concentration you decide to make.

OK that was a bit much. I hope you are still with me, because I am going to add in another factor.

This is the second part you need to know. Copy this down it is important. “1oz. of water is made up of 596 drops”.

That 1 oz. of water equaling 596 drops is a key element of this concept. So let’s carry this out a few steps. By the power of deduction (all that Sherlock Holmes holds dear) we also know that 2oz of water = 1,192 drops of water, and 3oz. of water = 1,788 drops. I’m gonna stop here as 3oz. makes my point. Did you notice that 1 drop of the 1:1600 stock solution (1 drop treats 1600 drops) will treat just less than 3oz.? Good. Now let’s move along and jump to16 oz. 16oz. x 596 = 9,536 drops, divide this by 1600 and you can see that it will take 5.96 (go ahead and round it up to 6) drops to treat a 16oz bottle of water.

So if 6 drops treats 16oz., then 12 drops must treat 1qt., and 24 drops will treat 2qts. and 48 drops will treat 1 gallon of water. It took a few minutes for the full impact of this to register on me. 48 Drops treats a gallon. I can count to 48 in my sleep. (Do I get an AHA?)

Now if you are as intuitive as I believe you are, you would have seen all of these little golden gems?

  1. All of these size bottles will be laying everywhere.
  2. Anyone can easily carry 16 oz. of Stock Solution.
  3. You can now mix up a batch of treated water to fill the size of container you have.
  4. If you are on the move you can make enough water for your daily needs. And be able to carry it.
  5. You can carry only the amount you will need for the day. If water is plentiful.
  6. You can afford to share with your fellow travelers. (This will earn you near God Like status.)
  7. You could even mix up and hand out 16oz bottles of stock solution to others.

That one bottle can make many, many more, on an as needed basis. Yes that 16oz bottle of stock solution means you are carrying 200 potential gallons of safe drinking water.

This revelation sure did take a burden off of my shoulders, both physically and mentally. And it works in both bug out and or hunker down scenarios. I see this as a fairly easy way to address all of my water needs, especially when I have to be on the move.

Find yourself a way to package up a few individual Teaspoons of this, and you will be able to carry potentially thousands of gallons of drinkable water, when you needed it.  And all you will need in addition to a few pop bottles is an Eye Dropper.

I have been working on this for a while so it took me a while to come up with this (OK, I got it from someone else). Here is where I need to add in an afterthought. It has to do with fixing up additional packages of 1 tsp. (heaping) of the Calcium Hypochlorite.

Pinch the end of a common plastic straw leaving about an 1/8” (I find that a needle nose pliers works best). With a lighter melt that 1/8” so that it seals up the end. 1 tsp. of the Calcium Hypochlorite will nearly fill the body of the straw. For me using a powder funnel for reloading seems to work pretty good. Now with the pliers just snug up to the C-H, trim off the excess straw leaving 1/8” and melt this end also. WAL-LA.  200 Gallons to go.

Ten of these straws can easily fit into a standard 16oz. COKE bottle. They will just sit there waiting for their moment to shine. Ten straws, that’s 2,000 gallons in your pack. This is not just a good way to store and carry the Calcium Hypochlorite. It also makes it an easy way to dispense a lifesaving commodity. Just think of the good you can do with a handful of these straws.

Oh and one last point. I like to use the regular Coke bottle with the RED cap to hold my stock solution. The red of course signifies Danger. Diet Coke bottles (or any other without a red cap) will hold the water that I can drink.

Additional good information-CDC recommends a fresh 1:10 to 1:100 solution for cleaning up blood spills.
FEMA recommends 8oz of bleach to 5 gallons of water for killing mold and 4 oz. to 5 gallons for disinfecting flood-contaminated articles:
(That’s 125ml / 20liters and 250ml / 20 liters for you metric folks).

Here is the mixing chart again in case you want to print out labels for instruction.

1Tsp. to 2 Gal. of water makes a stock solution that treats 200 Gal., at a 1:100 ratio.            1Tsp. to 1 Gal. of water makes a stock solution that treats 200 Gal., at a 1:200 ratio.           1Tsp. to 1/2 Gal. of water makes a stock solution that treats 200 Gal., at a 1:400 ratio.         1Tsp. to 1 Qt. of water makes a stock solution that treats 200 Gal., at a 1:800 ratio.             1Tsp. to 16 oz. of water makes a stock solution that treats 200 Gal., at a 1:1600 ratio.                 1 oz. = 596 Drops.                                                                                                                          If 1 drop of stock solution (1:1600 ratio) treats 1600 drops, and 1 oz. = 596 drops, then 1 drop of solution treats just under 3 oz. (1788 drops) or 2.68 oz.                                                                 If 16 oz. = 9,536 drops, divide by 1600, then 5.96 (go ahead and round it up to 6) drops will treat a 16oz. pop bottle of water, then 12 drops will treat a Qt., and 24 drops will treat 2 liter’s., and 48 drops will treat a Gal..

For me this is a doable solution to a problem that has been eating at me.

I hope in a small way this helps to add a bit to the collective knowledge. I also hope it starts to pay back some of what I have received from all of you.

Thanks for your time, and as Red Skelton would say “MAY GOD BLESS”.


Prizes for this round (ends August 11 2014) in our non fiction writing contest include…

  1. First place winner will receive –  A $150 gift certificate for Fiocchi Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner, and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads.
  2. Second place winner will receive – 15 Live Fire Original – Emergency Fire Starters courtesy of LPC Survival and a Survival Puck  courtesy of Innovation Industries.
  3. Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules that are listed below first…

Questions & Answers with The Wolf Pack – Rain Water Collection

Question from Red C

MD, thanks for all u do on this site, as you’ve made it a very valuable one, IMHO.

I have a question for the Pack, related to water.  I’ve been increasing our water storage.  We live in a small town & depend on city water.  If we lost that, our primary resupply would be rain water.  Our area rec’s about 40 inches of rain/year.

I’m curious about what types of water resupply systems (rain, well, creek, lake, etc) other Pack members depend on, & if some pack members have advice for me.  We’re in the process of setting up a couple rain barrels.

I have some tarps I could use to increase rain catchment in an emergency.  We have 3-4 pools & a hot tub within a 2 block radius.

M.D. Adds : Red, I have two of these “100 Gallon Rain Harvesting Tanks” from Prepper Water Storage, and a 55 gallon tank that I use to collect water off the roof of my chicken coop, that I use to water the chickens. I also have a farm pond that is about one acre in size and located about 200 yards from my property line, that I can use if needed.

Questions and Answers With The Wolf Pack : Storing Water?

k7453371Question from Mountain Fever

I have a question I’d like to post; I don’t know what day of the week you post questions from members… but my question is: I have (4) 7-gallon water storage containers in my garage; and I hope to change out the water only every 6 months.

Do I need to use any “water preserves” or something else to kill bacteria growth? I found this “Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen Water Preserver” but am not familiar with it; has anyone used it? I also heard of some people using a little bit of bleach or baking soda; but would like advice.

Much Thanks!

Questions and answers with The Wolf Pack : How do I get to my well water after the electric goes out?

Question from Robbin W

I’ve seen where people can write in and get advice from the pack, that is what I need!! My husband works out of town a lot. He takes good care of things and keeps most everything in working order but I have this fear of him being gone when the SHTF or stuck out of town for awhile during a big storm event or any other numerous circumstances that might delay his return when I need him most. He’s very handy, can fix pretty much anything, I am not. I can hand off the correct tools and my mechanical skills end there. My concern is we have a deep well, no access to any other water.

If we lose electricity I do not know how to get that water. We have stored water but not enough for 2 small kids, 21 chickens, 4 rabbits, two dogs and a very large garden. I’ve seen tons of suggestions on line from white pvc type hand pumps to ones that are made from a rubber ball. I need advice on what works for the Wolf Pack or what they plan on depending on.

Ideally I would like to have my regular pump in place and the one I would use with no electricity already hooked up and waiting. We have even thought about hand drilling a shallow well for the livestock/garden and using the stored water for the family but even that will not last forever. Our only other water source was a sweet little stream that ran at the back of our lot but the beavers have moved in and will not leave (not even with multiple people being paid to “remove” them) and they have damned it up and the water is just nasty! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

How to fix a black Berkey filter

Homemade water filter

Video by bctruck

M.D adds: I also detail how to make this type filter in my book “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“.

DIY Multiple Rain Barrel System

Extra information” target=”_blank”>here…

Slow sand water filter system

This guest post by Thomas T. Tinker and entry in our non-fiction writing contest.

Just stirring the pot of ideas for the pack at large and those that have simply missed the possibilities. Thomas T. Tinker

While in a third world country with light arms and air support, I first noticed this style.. type.. of water ‘filter’ systems. Clay boxes and cement pipes, used drums and barrels, pots and 5 gallon buckets. Each had some form of cobbled up hose or pipe out of the top or the side. I got mine out of a ‘Buffalo’ or a 2 liter bottle and I never enjoyed the effects of the third worlds revenge.

Now folks this posting is not unlike the one I did on “TARPS” not too long ago. Short on plans and hoping to instigate a dialogue on the subject. Gawd knows I donwanna spend too much time on this cause it’s a Tuesday and I don’t wanna run into NatGeos Doomsday Preppers. Next to Storage Wars or Snapped…. Who’d wanna miss it!!! THAT LAST LINE WAS FOR THE FEDERALIES READING THE BLOG TODAY… I’M REALLY GOING TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN THE ATTIC WATCHING THE ENTIRE ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ BOXED SET… YEEE HAWW.

I was going to do this a couple of years back but thought I had better put a couple together myself before I started blowing my horn. I started with a simple 5 gallon food grade bucket model I found on YouTube. One bucket and assorted cheap pvc pipe fittings and spigot. 2 bags of pool filter sand. A couple of shovels full of small gravel from the Cities ‘pot hole crew’ truck.. Thank You to the City of Toledo! One yard of coated window screen and one yard of swamp cooler filter.

Made a small two pronged forky looking thing with a pvc T and two 90s. Drilled out the bottoms of the tines with an 8th in drill. Ran a vertical pvc up the inside and 90ed out the side to a spigot just below the series of rings around the bucket.

Laid in the the ‘fork’ in the bottom and glued on the top 90 and spigot out the side. Laid in a cut piece of screen over the fork. Laid in 3 inches of gravel over the screen. Poured in the sand and tamped it down until it was about 4 inches from the top of the bucket. Added an inch or so of gravel and a piece of screen on top of the sand and topped it off with a layer of Swamp cooler filter. Viola! Settled the media down with the garden hose. Swept off the deck and dumped it in a bucket of tap water. Poured same into filter and waited. Go figure… it came out clear and clean enough not to ruin lunch or dinner… or eggs and taters the next morning.

The 5 gallon model is sitting in the back of the garage. Took about two weeks for the bio-active layer to form on the top. Ah… yeah. Last summer I repeated the same receipt with a 30 gallon gray pvc barrel. This time I used two 6 inch round lawn sprinkler heads and garden hose instead of pvc pipe. Screwed the sprinklers on to a hose Y and cut a section of hose to run up the inside of the barrel and through a notch in the lip of the barrel. I added another hose Y with shut off valves to the end of the cut section of hose outside the barrel and two more 2 foot sections of hose on the hose Y. Each of these two run into a hole in a 5 gallon bucket lid. Screen/gravel/sand/screen/gravel/swamp cooler element. Viola! I figure it at about 26ish gallons cause of the hose notch. Again…. Clear.. clean.. water. HOWEVER!

I use this as a pre-filter for my ceramic filter system cuzz I can! I use the 5 gal. buckets loads to feed my ceramic system. In the bottom of my secondary filtered collection bucket I leave a 1 ounce pure silver round. I have not taken the time to have this end product tested. In any nasty event, I would expect the ‘surface’ water to be rather ‘turbid’. When I have my 55 gal. system up, I’m not going to worry as much as I do now about H2O. Until I need it, the components for the 55gal. will rest inside the barrel.

Here are a few sites that will supply the pack with far more detailed plans and nearly an endless variety of filter styles to consider. Slow Sand Water Filters*** (Center for Disease Control) Safe water systems (Bio sand Water Filter)****
AND my favorite…. If you cannot find a design on this page… consider another layer of personal sanitation preps and storage of several regiments of Ciproflozacin (Keflex) 500Mg. tablets. One by mouth every 8 to 12 hours for general bacterial, intestinal issues with bowel upset. Not that I am giving medical advice cuzz that is the last thing I am qualified to do… Just Saying! slow sand water filter systems.*****
These sand filters are truly ‘plug and play’ items. They are used around the world in major and minor supply systems. !OPINION ALERT! A slow sand filter system coupled with a secondary ceramic or media filter system can supply a preppers answer to one, if not the greatest, problems faced… H2o.

Again, if there are any comments, suggestions, sources or simple death threats… I am.. your humble servant: Thomas T. Tinker

This contest will end on February 16 2013  – prizes include:

Well what are you waiting for – email your entries today. But please read the rules that are listed below first… Yes