What to Do If You Experience a Water Disruption
NOTE – According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.” Moreover, municipal water treatment systems use filtration and disinfection, which should remove or inactive the virus.
Our focus today is on explaining what to do if you experience a water disruption – not water safety in the time of COVID-19.
However, it is important to recognize that some people may be experiencing a water disruption because they have had their water shut off as a result of unpaid bills due to the financial struggles that have occurred as a result of the pandemic. Fortunately, many cities are suspending water shut-offs for residents unable to pay their water bills.
It is stories like these that remind us not to take water for granted – especially as we prepare for disasters. For example, even with municipal water supply systems suspending water shut-offs, it doesn’t mean everyone has access to safe drinking water. As the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) claims, “Millions more of us are at risk as we shelter in place at our homes, because we are served by water systems contaminated with lead, bacteria, or toxic chemicals and unable to comply with basic health guidelines.”
If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us the importance of preparing for disasters. With Americans being told to shelter-in-place and stay home, they are learning the importance of having necessary supplies, such as safe drinking water, for survival. The things Americans are learning from this pandemic will help them should they ever face a water disruption or deal with water contamination.
Potential Causes of Water Disruptions
There are many more potential causes of water disruptions, some of which are more serious than others. However, any type of water disruption is just that, a disruption. By having a better understanding of the potential causes of water disruptions, you can be more prepared should you face one.
Water disruptions are common after natural disasters. For example, if an earthquake breaks a water line, you will face a water disruption. Likewise, hurricanes and flooding can wreak havoc on the municipal water system supply by contaminating the water supply.
The EPA explains, “Natural disasters such as floods, drought, hurricanes, winter storms, and earthquakes can disrupt access to clean drinking water. These events can result in any number of types of water service disruptions including pipe breaks and leaks; power outages; infrastructure failure; reduced water quality; loss of access to facilities and supplies; as well as financial, social, environmental and health consequences.”
Unfortunately, Discover Magazine claims we are anticipating an increased risk of natural disasters this year – right on the heels of COVID-19. Considering this possibility, it is wise to prepare today for a water disruption in the future with the Waterfull Barrel.
When water is contaminated, it is unsafe to drink or use. Unfortunately, there are many ways that water can become contaminated. The CDC suggests that in addition to natural disasters, water emergencies can occur through “man-made disasters (for example, chemical spills into waterways) and outbreaks (for example, infections linked to water exposure after a disaster).” Contaminated water is dangerous. It can transmit diseases and even lead to death.
Generally, the only way you will experience a water outage is if you are late on a payment. However, there may be times when the municipal water supply has a scheduled outage to deal with a potential hazard. These will typically occur during hours when water is used the least (such as the evening hours).
What a Do Not Drink or Do Not Use Order Means
If there is a potential water emergency, health officials will alert the community that is in danger with an advisory. If you receive a Do not use/Do not drink order, it absolutely means you should not drink or use the water. This is because there is a contaminant in the water than cannot be removed by boiling.
The Georgia Department of Public Health explains, “In fact, boiling contaminated water may release more toxins in the water. In this case, an alternative water supply from an approved source must be used for all drinking, food preparation, and sanitation purposes such as cleaning and sanitizing utensils and equipment until further notice.”
What a Boil Water Advisory Means
More often, you will receive a Boil Water Advisory. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, “Boiled Water Advisories are issued when an event has occurred allowing the possibility for the water distribution system to become biologically contaminated. An advisory does not mean that the water is contaminated, but rather that it could be contaminated.” In general, boiling water is the fastest and easiest way to treat water.
What Homeowners Should Do If There is a Water Disruption
First and foremost, if you are under a water advisory, you should follow the guidelines provided by your public health officials. Also, there are a few things you can do around your house to make the water you have stored last longer. For example, use eco-friendly disposable dinnerware to avoid doing dishes and use hand sanitizer.
Why Homeowners Should Always Have a Personal Supply of Safe Water
When you consider everything we’ve discussed, it is easy to see why it is important for homeowners to always have a personal supply of safe water. Our present circumstances have shown us that disasters can happen, and we must be prepared. Whether you are told to shelter-in-place in a community that doesn’t have safe drinking water or face a natural disaster, having enough water for your family will be a lifesaver.
The Red Cross explains, “Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in an emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts (half-gallon) of water each day. People in hot environments, children, nursing mothers, and ill people will require even more. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least one gallon per person, per day.”
The Waterfull Barrel will give you 30-gallons worth of peace of mind. The Waterfull Barrel is designed to sustain a family of four for seven days by providing 1 gallon of water per person per day with two gallons left over.
Never Fear Water Disruptions with the Waterfull Barrel
If a disaster ever happens, you can rest assured that you have drinkable water for you and your family with a Waterfull Barrel.
Disaster News: County Schools Closed Due to Boil Water Advisory (Pre COVID-19)
DIY: How to Make Safe Drinking Water in Case of Emergencies
The fastest and easiest way to make safe drinking water in case of emergencies is to boil it. You simply need to bring the water to a rolling boil to kill microorganisms.
If you do not have a heat source, you can also disinfect the water using unscented concentrated bleach (with 8.25% sodium hypochlorite).
Add 16 drops (approximately 1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water.
Stir in the bleach and then let the bleached water stand for 30 minutes.
You should be able to smell a bleach-like odor. If it doesn’t, then repeat step #1. Let it stand for 15 more minutes.
If you have treated it twice with bleach and it still does not have a bleach-scent, you need to discard it and find another water source.
Waterfull Attends the National Earthquake Conference in San Diego
Waterfull was proud to share the Waterfull Barrel, a new and innovative way of storing water, at one of the premier earthquake risk reduction conferences in the nation. When natural disasters, like earthquakes, cause water disruptions to municipal water supply systems, the Waterfull Barrel continues to provide safe water.
See us featured in this informative National Earthquake Conference highlight video.