Are You Prepared For Water Contamination?

image source: public domain – Animas River Contamination

Guest article, by ‘NRP’…

Water; the life blood of the world, Ohhh now just wait a minute….

In the past few years we all have heard of the contamination of many major water sources. The Animas River contamination (above) in 2015, The Elk River chemical spill in 2014, Flint, Michigan water crisis NOW, Walkerton, Canada Water Contamination Disaster 2000, North Carolina Drinking Water Contamination 2015.

“More than 5,300 water systems in America are in violation of the EPA’s lead and copper rule” CNN Wed June 29, 2016
“More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data”.

“Since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage”; New York Times.

Just a few examples of the Water you drink, cook with, bath in, and water your garden with…. even wash your Dog with.

Now let’s move to the gist of my rambling; what are you going to do if this water contamination disaster happens in your State, County, City/Town, Neighborhood, or YOUR Home?


What if TSHTF and 99% of your water resources are contaminated, including your well, maybe from the local Oil/Gas Company’s “Fracking” or an earthquake? How about a Grid Down and the water is not being pumped?

As someone who is responsible for yourself, your family, and maybe others, can you assure that the supply of this “life blood” (your water) is “safe”?

Do you have a large house filter like the Big Berkey? How about a whole house filter system? What about when you’re traveling, do you have a portable system such as the Mini Sawyer? How about means and the knowledge to clean and/or replace the filters?

As everyone here knows, 3 days without water and you’re toast, probably more like 2 days. Do you have a few cases of bottled water to last a few weeks till you can get a “system” setup to supply your family?

As Ken has written many articles on how much water we all use, can you meet that number of gallons or even 1/10? Please remember 3 Days is not much time to rectify the situation if you don’t, it took FEMA 5 days to get water to the Super Dome, how long will it take to get water to you?

Just food, or water as the case may be, for thought. Please plan for your own existence.

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In my area there are many homesteads with holding ponds. I have a small pond. Not that I am planning to depend on it – however, it is water. I guess 1000 gallons give or take.

My dad always worried about our water in this area. He installed a reverse osmosis system and I’ve maintained it since I took ownership of the house. Its hooked in next to the kitchen faucet. I could improvise for sure if it needed to be done.

Most people don’t like the taste of the water that this town supplies.

This summer they shut down boating and recreation around Utah lake and a couple more because of a toxic algae contamination. Also told people not to irrigate with the water, including farmers. Municipal water was apparently unaffected, but a lot of people didn’t have water for their yards, farms, etc.

Whenever I’m camping or hiking a considerable distance from a good water source, I utilize a small wire strainer and paper coffee filter to remove solids then boil and/or use a straw filter to ensure its safe to drink. This helps to preserve the life of the filter.

I’m hoping that I’ll have enough safely stored water if we have a short term nuclear event, but that will depend on my distance from where it took place and wind direction. A long term nuclear event like a nuclear power plant meltdown would likely be the cause of me going mobile. Right now Nuclear Power Plants near by are shut down for routine maintenance and I hope they stay down.

Depends, short term, yes, long term, not so much.

Lack of water is more of a concern than contaminated water, our area has become rather dry. If the county spigot stops providing, it will be curtains quite quickly, a definite concern, and with no ground sources anywhere near could be a real cause to have to leave.

I believe my area has the best pure water not included in that report…I ain’t dead yet and can still crow at 5 AM.

I can collect rainwater or snow/ice for water as well as using my water storage that is not contaminated.

If chlorophyll or bacteria fills my well, I add bleach to it, let it soak over night, and flush the system as I have done with the campground wells as part of my job. I know the causes how bacteria leaks in the well, so I will remedy the well platform area raising up the pipe adding concrete around the base to keep contaminants from falling down the well like ants and bugs by eliminating the dirt around it.

Testing your well for contaminants takes a few days for a report. But a lead or radioactive test may be separately done if they are a problem in your area. Those problems take different measures.

My mom had a water treatment system that took up 1/4 of her basement and I helped her clean the goo from her filters. These filters took out most the metal contaminants, but her water still tasted terrible, otherwise it was unsafe to drink without this system. Cost her a lot to have it.

Years ago a train derailed spilling chemicals into a river tributary which fed into a major water reserve. It was so devastating that all fishing from the point of impact to the lake was suspended due to the contamination. It took years before the fishing in that area could recover, but hear is the other part of the story.

That water was delivered to the delta for irrigation and water supplies to the LA basin for drinking etc. They EPA regulators said “do not worry” it will fall to the bottom of the lake and it will not effect your water supplies. OK, but what about the fish that were caught and eaten by those who bought that story line ‘hook line and sinker'(sorry for the pun).

Now the pot farmers with their illegal grows are using chemicals which are contaminating this same area that took so long to recover. Experiencing blue-green algae in one of the major tributaries, which back ups to a known area of growers. Yet the EPA again states it is a natural occurring force with in nature…..OK. Keep smoking that leafy green stuff they give you for free to keep you shut up.

We have the simple water purification, 2 five gallon buckets with filter attached to process our water ‘when & if’ we need to do this. We also have life straws for us and Christmas gifts for the family members. A Berkey is on the list of must haves when the budget can afford it.

Personally we(DH&I)know better, we have lived in this area way to long to be handed this fluff story. Thankful our water source does not to come from this supplier. Yet many new customers were added to this water distribution area within the past few years, they are paying attention. Washing, drink, gardening with this water(yuck) and wondering why they are smelling more of the fluoride in their water.

should have read:

‘they are NOT paying attention’

They’re giving it free!? Seriously though I believe the chemicals are the phosphates in the fertilizers and I do wonder about weed killers (sounds kind of like an oxymoron, weed killer on weed). Personally I’m more worried about local contamination of the water table with all of the people flushing their byproduct from the meth cooking.


It is a chemical that they spray on the leaves to keep the deer from eating their plants the problem is, it is highly toxic to wild life. If the deer consume the leaves with this spray they die of poisoning. If it gets in to the water run off the animals that drink from a water source which is contaminated will also perish from this stuff.

The Fish & Game are having a difficult time, these sites they find are toxic. Wish I could recall the name of the spray but alas I can not, it is a pinkish color like Pepto Bismal(antacid). If anyone finds a container that has this coloring to it out camping or hiking—do NOT touch it.

@ antique collector

Interesting you mentioned Fluoride.

I seriously urge everyone to do a little research on the Fluoride that is now in our water supplies and toothpaste. In my opinion this Chemical Compound is extremely toxic and deadly, even more so that Lead and Arsenic. A very good friend an Organic Chemist for the past 50+ years (Old Guy) actually cringed when I asked him about Fluoride. He went on to explain how and why we now have this toxin in our water supplies.

I also have done research and asked about Chlorine, Ya might have a look-see on this deadly chemical also. Yes in small amounts it’s a rather useful substance, but have you asked yourself why we used to “KILL” everything in water????? Than drink that same chemical induced water?


They found a way to mandate the use of a chemical industrial byproduct. It’s that simple.

While fluoride (used appropriately and in limited amounts) does increase the strength of teeth, studies are now coming out which show that it also decreases bone strength as adults. Increased (and earlier) cases of osteoporosis, broken bones (including the cranium) and more stress fractures.

True about Fluoride being a waste byproduct. We have large phosphate mines here in Florida.
And fluoride is a waste product. Pretty nasty stuff!

I hate chlorinated water. My grandma had it in the twin cities many years ago and it was like drinking from a swimming pool.

When I mentioned chlorination for wells, it has to be all flushed out and re-tested so chlorine is not present. Emergency preparations with chlorine to purify drinking water, it stays in the water. I’d rather boil swamp water and use a filter than drink chlorine water.

On another note, ever wonder why in foreign countries you drink the water and get dysentery while the natives don’t get it?

We already use a filter as the nitrates are too high. I filter 30 to 40 gallons weekly for our daughters family and my wife and I.

The thing that gives me bad thoughts is a major prolonged power outage. All the waste treatment plants stop working but people do not. All their stuff runs down hill then into the nearest stream. Anyone downstream will have a difficult time avoiding the diseases which come with sewage in their drinking water.

Very good point, Hepatitis A is the most common and there is a vaccine against it. There are other diseases out there that are much worse and occasionally Hep A can be very serious.

Here in southern NM it’s alkali- clogging the city water pipes, leaving a crust on evaporation coolers, a film on glassware, etc. Around here we call tap water “water on the rocks”.

Like Youngest of 3, we have a reverse osmosis unit under the kitchen sink in our house too. It has a carbon block filter, 1 micron filter, and coconut shell filter that you must change out regularly.

Nice article, NRP… thank you!

We have enough bottled/contained water to get us through a short-term crisis, but a long-term problem means we would have to relocate for sure. If the water goes bad or stops without warning some of our preps (water bob, 600-gal inflatable pool) will be useless.

We do have small filtration systems, life straws and small filter bottles, along with some water purification tablets and bleach. But everything we have is designed for short-term problems and/or to support us during a bug-out.

Water is a huge concern for us as we continue looking for mountain property. We are not buying any property that does not have some combo of water sources at hand (ie: river/year-round stream, well, natural spring, etc…). And, no matter where we land, we will have a large “family size” filtration system available in case of contamination. Can’t live without water!

There are two main sources of contaminants in water – biological and
chemical. I’m going to assume the Berkey takes out some chemicals and
any 2 bucket system with their filters will do so also.

But what about smaller units? To date you don’t have to worry much
about viruses in water in North America. Most small filters will get
out the nasty stuff short of viruses. But what about chemicals discussed at length above? Very few portable units eliminate chemicals so perhaps the following will be helpful.

The mini-Sawyer is great but doesn’t do chemicals. The following two units are interesting and can be found at Ready Made Resources at this site.

The RAD Eliminator Pro takes out 100% of Radon 222, Uranium, Plutonium
Cesium 137, Strontium and Beta. They also say it takes out “contaminants from our standard filter”. They call it a 2 in 1 filter.

The NDUR’s Portable Filtration Devices (Seychelle) takes out biological
and viruses plus 99.99% of all chemicals and heavy medals including
chromium 6, Chlorine, Lead, Mercury, Cadium, Aluminum and Copper.

Distilling may not take out all chemicals because of unique molecular
weight issues of some chemicals.

A sand filter would do for everything but it has unique requirements.
It has to be build properly and maintained properly. There’s no point
in having one if you are not near water – it has to be used consistently to maintain the live biological layer which filters the really bad stuff. The bad stuff feeds the biological layer. It has to be cleaned consistently. If you can’t do those things then you don’t want a sand filter although it is excellent and is used in third world countries and saves millions of lives.

I hope this helps.

If the water is contaminated chemically… I don’t think a filter is going to do much (depending)… You would have to either use chemicals to fix it or evaporate the water. I’m sure we all know how to desalinate water, and if I had to I probably could providing that I had the means.

On the other hand, if it’s more of a biological issue, then I’m sure a water filter could do the job (as long as it’s a good one) though, you can always resort to boiling it… Generally in Canada, our tap-water is better than the US’ (I constantly drink tap-water), but of course there is the understandable concern of something going wrong in this area. Canada also has a LOT of fresh water, so you wouldn’t need to go far to find some.

If something were to go wrong that were biological, I would most likely boil, if it was chemical, I would desalinate it–provided that I know what’s going on, that is. What I think is much more concerning is knowing whether your water is contaminated (Of course, if the water isn’t identifiably contaminated, people won’t think anything is wrong with it). Of course, in the US, that’s a little less of a problem because you guys are much more suspicious of your water (from what I’ve hear anyways).

Brand new to this site. Love it! I was raised to be prepared for short term emergencies, but have just recently begun to prepare for longer term.

As far as water goes, we have a year-round running creek just a block and a half from the house, several 7 gallon jugs to let any sediment settle before boiling or filtering (have a backpacking filter and extra filter cartridge). Another nice thing about living in a small town high in the Rockies is that there is almost nothing upstream in either direction to contaminate the supply.

I live up in the Sierra’s and have the same thoughts. Most of the water flowing in the rivers and streams is snow melt and seeps through mother nature’s filter called the earth.

@ skibum & poorman

Just remember the old saying, “where does a Bear drop its scat” (yes I cleaned that up) all of those streams and small rivers are eating and pooping grounds for kinds of wildlife. Just because water looks and seems to be “clean” do not assume it to be. Even small critters aka rats, field mice, rabbits, squirrels, so-on live and die in that water also.
Add to that the heavy metals that water is flowing over, ya might consider in this day and age, 95% of all water is contaminated, even that lovely pristine water running out from under the snow melt, that’s laying on top a dead elk. Ya never know for sure.

Just use caution on what water you would drink from said streams.


While I agree we all need to be careful I would take that snow melt water over most of the water from the lower areas. All water should be filtered but that being said I have drank from high mountain streams on many occasions with no problems. As to animal poop and dead bodies the human race survived for an awful long time before we started purifying water in treatment plants and we are talking billions of gallons of water and very few dead animals. as to the poop well just what do most of us use as fertilizer? water seeping through the ground as it goes through dirt,sand and rock is naturally filtered. Not trying to start a fight but I do have a difference of opinion on some of statement people have about safe water.

@ poorman

Not to worry about “starting a fight”, I know that all opinions are welcome here on MSB and myself, if we agree or disagree, the First Amendment is alive and well here…. And I for one enjoy others viewpoints, although I believe we are saying the same thing.

I, like yourself, have enjoyed many of refreshing “drinks” (and a bath at times) from a stream and “snow-melt”, and other than that 3rd eye on my forehead I’m still alive and kicking. And like you I would take water from the High Mountains 10000 times over a gallon from Lake Powel any day of the week. I will also agree humans live long before the Water Treatment Plants, even with 1/2 the expected life-span. Add to that the absolutely wonderful toxins, fertilizer and chemical pollution (see photo) we have developed in the past few decades. I just do not trust any water source that I’m unfamiliar with, even some I am.

My main point of the article is to get people aware of the dangers that “could be” in their water supplies and may not know of them. I will point out there are thousands of Municipal Water supplies that are still contaminated and potentially dangerous/deadly.

Appreciate your comments


As a backpacker, I learned early on to ALWAYS filter (or boil) water from the stream. Giardia is not something I care to experience, especially in a survival situation.

Our well is set back from a river about 200′. It’s 300′ deep, with a static water level of 160′. We’re on a limestone bluff about 70′ above the river, so our water is very limestone filtered going into the well. We’ve had it checked every two years and it’s always come back clean.

In addition to our submersible pump, and two generators, we have a backup pump & piping/control box/pressure switch in storage. And since I believe in wearing a belt with suspenders, we also have a Simple Pump installed with extra down pipe & sucker rod in storage in case the water table drops.

We have no plans to bug out, so we’ve done everything we can think of to make this place livable in a crisis.

First let me say this is a good article for many of us to ponder. What we do in a situation where the water was tainted either by mothers chemistry or man made.

Nice photo of what it looked like, can not believe anyone would want to kayak in that stuff.

@ antique collector

Interesting about that Photo, (it’s not mine BTW, off the Net, public domain) it was taken in the first few days when the EPA reported “There is nothing wrong with the water” I might add it was also BEFORE they got any test results back from the Lab. Two days later they shut down everything to do with the River…. Nice Huh?


When we first built our house and had the well put in, we tested the water and it came back clean. Had it tested a few times in the early years and still had no issues.

Then I heard that there was an old super fund site about 3/4 of a mile from our house, with all kinds of chemicals that had been dumped in the ground about 20 years before we bought the land. So I got a list of the chemicals that they found on the site and had our water tested specifically for those chemicals. The report came back clean.

In the early days when the site was first discovered, the state tested everyone’s well with-in a mile of the site. It seemed that the wells that were affected were pretty much all to the east of the site. So I assume that was the direction of the ground water flow at the time. We happen to live to the southeast of the site.

After that I tested a couple of more times, then set up a 55 gallon fish aquarium using only water from the well. I didn’t use a filter on the tank. Instead I would swap out the water 1/4 tank at a time every couple of weeks. I had read somewhere that aquatic life is very sensitive to changes in the water. Kind of like a canary in the coal mines. Well I had those same 2 fish for about 15 years and they were the healthiest fish around.

Not bragging but people who drink our water says its the best water they have ever tasted. I’m sure that the well being 500′ deep has something to do with that fact. I am also well aware that even our well can become contaminated. So we do have many options for water.

It happened to us! We live in a farming community, and we get our water from a 230-feet deep well. We had our water tested a month ago, and they found e coli and coliform in our water. The contractor had to pump a chlorine solution down the well and it had to set for a couple of days before we could start running the water til there was no smell. The retest came back clear.

On another note, the elk in our area are suffering from a hoof disease, which only happens on the largest timber property in the PNW. It is due to the granulated fertilizer the company drops by helicopter. The company tells guest hunters to cut off, and leave the feet at the harvest site(they don’t want evidence to be used against them, I reckon). I learned this from an employee I know.

After they fertilize the trees, they lock the employees out of the area due to toxicity. We’re afraid to eat the meat. This company would rather all the elk be killed off, due to damage from the bulls using the trees for rubs.

Great articles like this (thank you NRP) make me realize I have many issues survival-wise to overcome, besides a deep pantry and bushcraft/ pioneer type skills. There are only reservoir lakes where I live. Sure there is a small creek nearby, but as someone pointed out it will be contaminated in no time with waste of all sorts. I live in a suburban wasteland.

With no money to buy land outside the city, and needless to say no cash for property in the mountains; I am in a bit of a quandary. Maybe a cistern, or rain collection system? We get little rain fall, so I may need something else if things go bad.

Thanks again, because I need this type info to weigh all of my options (or lack thereof).

You might be surprised at how much water you can collect from even a small amount of rain. I have 55 gal drums at all the downspouts around my house and 1/2 to 1 inch of rain will pretty much fill them. check the site for water collection data or maybe Ken will see this and add the link. Some is always better than none.

Thank you Ken!
I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

Ken,thanks for fixing my post to NRP…

Water is still the biggest issue we’re working on.

I hope we have time to get it right.

Thanks for the reminder NRP.

I just had a big Berkey delivered yesterday. I have an extra filter set for it. I might need more than that one backup though?

I’ve ordered 3 55 gallon water barrels and a stand to store them vertically. I’ve got the supply list to set up a rain catchment system. (Adding another 55 gallons storage capacity). My calculations of my roof surface area and our typical average rainfall I could expect to collect 19k gallons a year, if I captured just 1/4 of the potential water. Of course that would be if I were constantly emptying it, and it never went to overflow.

Once that is all in place, I should be able to handle water for my family, although it could get sketchy if we have a dry spell much longer than 50 days, which is the high end of our dry spell ranges over the past 50 years. That would be atypical, but we did have a 71 day dry spell 30 years ago or so.

This is assuming that one big Berkey can filter enough to more than meet my families needs every day. I bought 4 7gallon aquatainers to store the filtered water so we could keep filtering beyond the immediate need and to transport it back to my chained barrels if needed.

It is most likely I would be providing for a family of 4, but possibly 5, if the SHTF when my mom was here (she stays here 2-3 nights a week.)

I really don’t have the space for more large barrel storage, so I am hoping this system is robust enough to cover our needs. Thoughts?

@ NwbiePrepperGal

It sounds to me like you have thought water through, I also have the Big Berkey water filter, Love It. makes water actually taste like water.

Remembering that not all of the water you use needs to be “filtered” such as Toilet Flushing water and such.

I did have to chuckle at your “Dry Spell” comment, here in NM we get an average of 9” of rain…. A YEAR!! HAHAHAHA so a 3-4 month dry spell is the norm…


But even though not all water needs to be filtered, it will depend on the level and type of contamination. Pouring water down a toilet isn’t going to cause a problem unless your hands come in contact with the water in collecting or transporting. If there’s something contagious in the water it will then be on your skin. Washing hands in contaminated water or bathing in it will also be a consideration if the contamination is chemical in nature. The chemicals will be absorbed by your skin.

Depending on the type of contamination, safety precautions might be just as important in transportation and collection as in filtering.

@Lauren, Good thinking! I “hoard” non-sterile medical exam gloves. Would be good for transporting and handling questionable water. Thanks! Beach’n

@ Lauren

You are absolutely correct. Hence one had better know and take an active part of what’s going on in their “Water World”.


NRP, some time ago I watched a youtube video about a man growing potatoes–he was talking about their incredible drought–they’d only had 10 inches of rain a month!

I was laughing.

@ Lauren

Really, 10 inches of rain a month????? OMG this area would be washed to out to Calif…. HAHAHAHA


Nwbie, are you in an area prone to earthquakes? We live in the Pacific northwest and one of the things we worry about is a quake and tsunami from the Cascadia fault. I have 5 barrels at the two back corners of my house to use to irrigate the garden and flush toilets. One set up holds 3 barrels and the other holds 2. They are on concrete slabs with stands under them made of cinderblocks set on end with 2×8 in boards spanning the blocks. I elevate them high enough to be able to easily place a bucket under the faucet. Two more barrels are set up the same way off of the garden sheds polycarbonate roof for drinking water. I’ve just finished a another 3 barrels from a galvanized roof. My concern with this is that in a severe enough quake I will probably lose the barrels on the stands. I thought about strapping them to the house but if the house might fall down the weight of the barrels could contribute to it. Anyway the last three barrels are arranged in a triangle (like bowling pins) and tied together with 1/2″ nylon rope. I don’t think with such a large footprint that they will fall over. I’ll have to have a dipper and a bucket for access but we can live with that.
A caveat here. I’m using those Greek barrels that are used for shipping pickles or olives. The barrels hold about 50 gallons and they are just about indestructible. I know a lot of you are using them too. Reddish-brown barrel with a large 2 piece screw on black lid.
Key words here just about indestructible. One of mine was filling nicely in our recent rain but wouldn’t go quite to the top. I then found a hairline crack right where the rim joins the barrel. It is still usable as the crack is to small to let any critters in. Make sure you carefully inspect yours when buying both the barrel and the lid as I also had a crack in the lid.

I am in the PDX area, and I do share your concerns about the cascadia subduction zone. I had not really considered the effects that might have on how I strore my barrels. I will have to think about how to earthquake proof my water supplies. Thanks!

I have the means to store 700 gallons, and a big Berkey…. I should order some spare filters. I also have a small pond adjacent from my property, and a major river <2 miles from my house access via the road. Shorter through the woods but water is heavy. Rain is pretty regular around here. Still if I can ever afford it I'm putting in a well with an emergency hand pump.


It’s hard to look at that picture and not get extremely angry. It’s sad how short people’s memories are over these types of disasters.

I remember how bad the water contamination was after Hurricane Sandy. Guy came on TV telling people if the water came in contact with anything it could not be made safe again. Canned goods could not be cleaned and should not be eaten. Makes you wonder how bad the water is after this contaminated water seeped into the ground. Remember when we used to hear about cancer clusters around these disasters years later? Seems no one is paying attention about any of these disasters.

I make sure we have numerous ways to purify water. So important.
One thing I haven’t researched is if distilling water will remove the solvents from contaminated water. Maybe someone has info in regards to that…

@ Bill Jenkins Horse

A word on Distillation of water and Solvents, assuming your talking Petroleum Solvents, the Solvents will “vape” off first, so not distillation of P-S will not work well at all, if Talking Water based solvents, the process should work “ok”.

Problem with Destitution, it takes a LOT of fuel, and a cooling medium for the “coil”. The equipment is not difficult to build and is rather cheap to buy, but again, chemicals are very difficult to remove form water.


PS; I will guarantee you the people of DRO and the Animas River have not forgotten about the EPA/.gov and how they Lied to the people, AGAIN!!!!

NRP, I’m talking about the public at large.Everyone and I mean everyone should of been so pissed over these spills. Not just those who are directly impacted.
The problem is these are NOT isolated instances. It’s happening all over and soon it will be a worldwide emergency.
I wrote a paper in College in the 70’S about wars will be fought over potable water.
My Professor wrote on the cover sheet that the assignment wasn’t for a Science Fiction paper.
Science Fiction has a way of becoming Science Fact…
Thanks again for keeping this in the front of people’s minds.

For those who follow prophecy, Revelations does indicate that a third of the fresh water will be poisoned, and a third of the oceans. Even the “fountains of waters,” i.e., the springs, will be affected.

Thanks NRP for the article.

I have many questions about how you coped with the Animas river spill since you said you were close enough to be affected.(did you use river water to irrigate your garden etc.?)

Most filtering and water treatment was to treat for and remove naturally occurring micro organisms like campylobacter or giardia. I never considered filtering water for petrochemical contamination, inorganic solvents like Benzene, Hydrozine, phosphates from laundry detergent or dissolved heavy metals. For those instances, I would have to go the route of a distillation system.

Distillation method requires a lot of energy/power to continuously filter the water to keep the flow going and it would not prevent the contamination of volatile organic compounds. Does anybody know about filtration of VOC’s from water out there?

@ Califrugee

I am on a local Water Municipality, they have a 4 month reserve supply set up at current demand, additionally I have my own “supplies” that would last from 3-4 months more for myself. Also I do have a rain catchment system (if it ever rains) from a large garage for my Garden. 35 cases of Bottled water and a Big Berkey (plus other small filters), and a “still” hehehe Don’t ask what the Still is for… HAHAHAH I did fill every 55 gallon barrel I could get my hands on (23) with water for the Garden (little over 1000 gallons).

So honestly I figured I had around 6-8 months of water, not counting the Rain Water. I know a lot of people will say that’s “over-kill” but I do live in a state with an average rainfall of 9” per year and had just come out of a 7-Year “Drought” two years ago, one learns to think on this sort of stuff.

So I guess if the water crises had continued FEMA may have had enough time to set up their magic….. Or maybe not.


PS; it was never my intentions to try to filter/purify the contaminated river water. I will admit the River is cleaning up very well, caught a nice 14″ Brown Trout last weekend, it only had 3 tails :-)

We have a Berkey also, for those that may get one remember to activate your extra filters in clean water and DRY VERY WELL before putting up for storage. Theme for my grown boys Christmas this year is water. They will be getting a Solo stove, Water Bob and Life Straws. They have a small a portable Berkey already.
We have been waiting on the well driller for 5 months!

yeah Jim that would work because we know how well big business would police themselves. I am sure that they would have our best interest in mind over making profit. Anyone here from new York state remember what the Hudson river was like 50 years ago due to manufacturing plants in the upstate area?

Didn’t it catch fire?

@ me

Actually the Hudson River had caught fire a few times in history.


I’m reminded of the old joke –
Today the Hudson River caught fire and burned to the ground

Hmmm for short term i have plenty of water,about 200 gal in bottles and containers and about 600 gal in 55 gal drums. 2 lifestraw filters and a life straw 1.0 along with another brand that I don’t remember the name of that can turn 2 5gal buckets into a filter so I can filter about 10,000 to 15,000 gal.I also store enough pool shock ( about 5 lb ) to treat enough water to last a lifetime. While I do have ponds,rivers, creeks and streams close enough to haul water from if need be for drinking depending on which one I would go( 1-3 miles) to hauling enough for a garden could become a problem. Since I can’t afford to buy another property at this time and have no plans to bug out we will have to see what happens and adapt at the time.

Hi all,

Been reading for a few weeks now. I enjoy the thoughts and thoroughness put into this blog.

I came across this a couple days ago:


Very interesting.


Thanks for your reply. I agree that one that lives in a desert region becomes very thrifty with water conservation and resource usage. You answered my question in that it sounds like you have a lot of water in place. Your filtration system sounds reasonable and that is a nice fish.

Several people I hunted with were civil engineers that worked for small cities in CA. so I learned a lot about water systems for towns and cities from those fellows. Some of the older cities in CA (like Santa Barbara) have old water systems that will have fluctuations in water quality because they are old systems and the residents will not vote in a new bond measure to make improvements to their existing water system.

The difference between the haves and the have nots became a home with a state of the art water filtration system.

The East Bay/Delta region of CA has warnings to not consume the fish you catch out of lakes and the delta because the fish meat contains Mercury, PCB’s and other bad stuph. (strictly catch and release) Fish become the indicator species for water quality.