As you know, without water, there can be no life and no survival. We can survive 3 days without water at best, much less in hot conditions. How long do you think you will survive without water in an underground bunker? Not for long, that’s certain.
One of the most important techniques you will need to learn to prepare for life in an underground bunker is to purify water. Survival means knowing how to purify water for drinking.
Purifying water for drinking is not so simple. Just because the water looks clean doesn’t mean you can drink it – it may not be pure. Even clean water contains deadly bacteria and microorganisms, which can cause a painful death after someone drinks it.
Here are some of the myths surrounding water that survivalists have to be wary of.
1. Running water is always safe to drink – No, it is not. The running water may have come from a polluted source or something may have been done to pollute it by the time it reaches your location. So purify the water before drinking it.
2. Eating snow allows you to rehydrate safely – No, snow leads to dehydration as your body will need to produce extra heat to melt the snow. It can cause hypothermia as well. If the snow has been on the ground for quite some time, it may have been polluted.
3. Drinking salt water is safe as long as you drink in small amounts – No! It leads to further dehydration and death. Salt water is dangerous, it is better not to drink any water at all.
4. The water that you get in natural depressions is okay to drink – No, it’s not. It should be treated properly before you drink it.
5. Drinking urine prevents dehydration – Don’t listen to those who say that – there are more waste materials than water in urine, so when you drink urine, you are basically putting waste products back into your body. It is dangerous.
6. Barrel Cacti is a good source of water – Some cacti do hold water, but their insides are fibrous and very tough and the water contained in them is not really much. It could also be bitter and acidic, which could cause vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. So it’s not worth the trouble.
Next, let’s talk about how to purify water. Here are a few water filtration techniques that you should use.
Bio-Filters: Bio-filters are easy to make and eliminate 99% of the bacteria inside water. Filtering water through bio-filters involves passing water through a porous bucket which has a three-layer gravel on top, with sand in the middle and charcoal at the bottom. Each layer of the bio-filter removes impurities as much as possible.
Water Filters: Mechanical filters eliminate microorganisms and soil particles that pollute the water and make it cloudy. They can filter the water up to 2 microns and provide 100% protection against bacteria. Some water filters can filter the water up to 0.2 microns and offer protection against viruses. Back-flushable water filters are the best, as they allow the clean water to run backward under pressure and filter out millions of gallons needing to be replaced.
Chlorination: Chlorine can be purchased from most grocery stores and is one of the most common techniques used to purify water in swimming pools and much bigger water systems. Chlorine kills the bacteria and keeps the water clean. Just a couple of drops of chlorine can purify several gallons of water.
Distillation: Distillation gives you the purest water, but it is not easy and involves a complex process. It involves the use of an enclosed vessel to first heat the water, which then captures the steam that comes off it. You should then allow the steam to cool and condense it back into the water. The water you get this way is as pure as it gets.
Boiling: Boiling water is the easiest and the most traditional way to purify water. The only problem is that boiling requires fuel and in a post-apocalyptic world when you are in your underground bunker, fuel may be at a premium. The water has to be heated and boiled for 5 minutes and then cooled before you can use it.
Iodine: Iodine works in the same manner as chlorine. 20 drops of iodine can purify a gallon of water. It is the most preferred method of water purification in third world countries such as India.
Hope you find the information given here useful. You will find much more detailed information on water filtration and everything about building underground bunkers in John Hartman’s Family Bunker Plans, which you can buy for just $47.