30 Sep 2014

Water Well Owners – How to Prepare Your Emergency Water Supply

Well Maintenance Comments Off on Water Well Owners – How to Prepare Your Emergency Water Supply

Our friends who rely on public water supplies are often at the mercy of their local officials, should a water emergency occur. From boil water advisories to full-blown chemical spills, main breaks and other widespread issues, problems that affect municipal water supplies often create a panic among residents. People rush across town to grocery stores, gas stations, and other retailers to buy up all the bottled water in sight. We’ve even seen cases where unscrupulous entrepreneurs sell bottled water at incredibly marked-up prices on places like Craigslist, just to take advantage of the crisis.


All this leads us to the main point of this article: C&J Well Company wants to know if you store water for long-term emergencies.


Whether it’s a big storm or natural disaster, a major power outage, or even one of those zombie apocalypses popular on television right now, having a safe and reliable source of water is always a smart idea. Even a day or two without water is potentially dangerous. So here are some questions you should ask yourself and steps you can take to be ready, just in case. Remember the old phrase, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”


How much water do I need?


How much water you need depends on many factors, like number of family members at home, where you live, health conditions, whether you have pets, etc. The general rule is one gallon of water per person, per day.


How much water should I have?


Here is where things get a bit trickier. It’s not unheard of for a major storm to knock out power for a couple days. Remember the Elk River chemical spill in Charleston, WV, earlier this year? Polluted water affected many thousands of local residents for a week or longer. When it comes to you and your family, decide just how prepared you want to be. The federal government suggests having a three-day water supply at home, but you may want to plan for more.


How should I store it all?


Let’s say you are a family of four with a golden retriever at home, and you want to store a week’s worth of emergency water. Estimating a gallon per person per day, and half a gallon per pooch per day, that’s about 32 gallons. One gallon of water weighs about 8.35 lbs. so to prepare for a week you’ll need about 267 lbs. of water. That’s a lot of liquid!


Here are some storage devices to consider:


  • Consumer bottled water. You can buy bottled water by the case at just about any grocery store, discount retailer, and hardware store.
  • 1, 5, 7+ gallon jugs. Water comes in larger containers for a wide variety of applications. Store-bought jugs and commercial water coolers are just a few.
  • Your own refilled bottles. Empty 2-liter soda bottles make great water storage when properly cleaned. Avoid storing water in milk or juice containers.
  • Water barrels. For serious planners or folks with large water needs, consider investing in 55-gallon water barrels. You can find many options online.
  • Bathtub. Yes, you read that correctly. In an emergency, you can fill up your bathtub with tap water if it’s still safe to drink. An average tub can hold 100 gallons or more.


C&J Well Company has a couple other reminders for long-term water storage. Consider store-bought water treatment products. Regular bleach can also be used. Either way, know exactly how to use the purification process you choose. Remember that water does go bad, so keep track of expiration dates on bottles, and rotate out your supplies once a year.


Homeowners with private water wells have a unique advantage in emergency situations that result in a power outage.  As long as the water has not been polluted, you have an alternative to storing an emergency water supply.  A generator can supply power to the well pump, which can then continue to deliver water to your home.  And that same generator can provide power to other appliances affected by a power outage.


But no matter what kind of water source you rely on, C&J Well Company encourages you to have a long-term plan. Contact us for more information today.