Denver Water's Kim Unger wants to make sure you are completely, 100 percent prepared for any zombie apocalypse-type event by sharing helpful information just in time for Halloween (zombies are especially active around this time, we've heard).
(OK, so maybe a zombie apocalypse is unlikely, but maybe they're working to prepare you for any emergency where running water is no longer a thing)
We've thrown their information into a handy little quiz to see how you would do BEFORE learning helpful tips about where you can salvage water. Take that here or scroll down to gobble up the information:
There are several places you should check around your home for water (and several processes to clean found water) - here we list them all with information provided by Denver Water!
Sounds gross, but so long as your toilet TANK is clear of chemicals, that water should be good to go. Stay away from the water in your toilet bowl - it's linked to sewer pipes and therefore should be avoided at all costs.
Make sure to boil that water before imbibing it.
Obvious, right? Once the power goes out, all the ice cubes are going to melt and become delicious drinking water! While you're in there, make sure to grab any water in containers, though, and drink that too.
Your rain barrel:
These containers for collecting rainwater are becoming more and more popular, especially in the Rocky Mountain State in and around Denver. If you've got one, collect that water (safely, please! There may be zombies about) and then filter it, boil it, and toss in a little chlorine to distill it.
Your household pipes:
It may not be the first place you'd think to look, but hear us out: water, the most vital of all recourses in an apocalypse, is sitting in droves in your pipes! How else do you think it comes out so fast from the faucet when you turn it on?
Denver Water's Kim Unger suggests you begin at the pipes up top in whatever building you're in and work your way down.
Boil and then chlorinate the water, to be safe, OK?
Your hot water tank:
To be used for clothes washing only! OR! If you are absolutely desperate and you've been hold up for days without water, you can try to distill the water in there and then add electrolyte powder (if you've got any, who knows what's happened since the first outbreak of zombies).
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SALVAGE WATER?
Unger and the folks over at Denver Water has some helpful tips for cleaning water that you can use whenever, wherever:
You might find water with dirt, leaves or who knows what else floating in it. To get rid of unwanted debris, use a filter! Coffee filters are great, but you can use all sorts of things (like towels, shirts, hefty paper towels, etc).
This gets rid of bacteria in the water. Boil it at 212 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes to make sure the bacteria's dead. This is especially important for water that's been sitting - bacteria loves that stuff.
This is the most intensive process. For a full guide, check this FEMA resource (page 12) that teaches you how to distill water. Distillation removes microorganisms that resist boiling, heavy metals, salts and almost all other chemicals.
Basically, the process involves evaporating water and then condensing the steam back into water form.
This will kill microorganisms in your water. I know what you're thinking: chlorine? In my water? Gross! It's actually the opposite.
Make sure to only use bleach that contains 5.25 to 6 percent sodium hypochlorite (it should say somewhere on the container). Don't use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with any added cleaners.
Add just 16 drops per GALLON of water. Let it stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor, according to FEMA.
All information thanks to the Centers for Disease Control, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and our friends at Denver Water, especially Kim Unger for creating the resource and having the idea.
You can read Unger's write up here - please do! They're created an amazing infographic to help you.