How long can I store drinking water?
Where does my water come from?
How much water is lost to a dripping faucet?
What makes water hard?
If substantial amounts of either calcium or magnesium, both nontoxic minerals, are present in drinking water, the water is said to be hard. Hard water does not dissolve soap readily, so making lather for washing and cleaning is difficult. Conversely, water containing little calcium or magnesium is called soft water.
Bottled Water Information
A study by the American Water Works Association revealed that 50% of bottled water manufacturers get their water from the same sources as municipal water departments. With over 700 different brands of bottled water in the United States, it is hard to keep track of exactly what you are paying for and what you are drinking. Americans pay more than $8 billion each year for bottled water that costs up to 1,000 times more than tap water. Not until recently, through the reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act, has bottled water been required to be monitored and tested in the same rigorous manner that tap water has been subject to for years. If you do purchase a lot of bottled water, please be aware of how long you store it. When bottled water is stored over long periods of time, the water quality can deteriorate and bacteria can grow. If you have ever wondered how safe your bottled water is, you can find out. Contact your bottled water company and ask to see their water quality report. For good measure, compare the quality of your bottled water with the water quality report provided by the District. You may be surprised at what you see.
Emergency Water Purification
Purify all drinking water suspected of bacterial contamination by one of the following methods:
- Use commercial purification tablets, available at camping or drug stores. Generally, these are iodine-based tablets that are effective against bacterial pathogens and Giardia. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions.
- Boil water vigorously for three minutes to inactivate all major waterborne bacterial pathogens and protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
- Add liquid chlorine bleach at a rate of 8 drops per gallon to clear water or 16 drops per gallon to cloudy water. After adding, allow water to stand one hour before drinking.