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Water - Everything that you need to know but didn't know to ask

We will cover this most important topic in a fun and informative way. Family friendly and free for all. We ask that you help our group maintain a good relationship with Liberties by ordering your food and/or drink from the bar and making sure that the servers feel our gratitude. 

The following is a basic overview of what we will cover. Please consider printing a copy or two to bring with you so that you may follow along and structure your learning in a way that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

Water Procurement, Purification and Preservation

H20 - the Universal solvent carries many forms of energy from one point in space to another. Potential sources of water for emergency use: Water heaters (should be flushed out from the bottom valve every six months to remove mineral deposits) Swimming pools, puddles, veggie cans, urine and grey water. Fill bathtubs, pots and sinks during pending emergency. Down spout water reclamation and stretched tarps that guide into containers. Transpiration: cover end of tree limb with clear plastic bag (including all leaves). Wrap end tight to limb for air tight seal. Green house effect produces water through roots of tree, leaves sweat water

Municipalities filter water to the minimum specification from the Federal Government. The law allows sewage in the water supply making human/animal fecal matter a major contaminate of our water. Other contaminates are excreted pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, petroleum products and anything else that gets flushed or washed down the storm sewer or sink drain.

-Distillation: Liquid with impurities (urine, grey water, river etc) is heated into a vapor and then condensed back into a liquid. Boiling water for cooking food and sterilizing drinking water is essential. Distilling water is the SAFEST and SIMPLIST route that you can go. Distilling is just capturing steam after the boiled water has released the impurities by shifting into a gaseous state. One way to do this is to secure a tall GLASS inverted overtop of the spout on a tea pot. As the steam condenses, just collect what comes out of the upside down glass. Always use glass or metal for this, never plastic.

-Distillation method 1: Free System - Boil water, capture steam and condense through copper tubing (coiled is preferred) into clean metal or glass container. System needs to be closed using aluminum (no plastic). Copper tube needs to be at very top of container of heated water and at the bottom of receiving vessel. Experiment to make yours using videos on youtube as guides. Make still and use it before emergency and know how to use it. Distillation will remove minerals but water is for hydration not nutrition . H20 is not a significant source of minerals.

-Distillation method 2: Solar Still - Make hole in ground that is twice as wide as it is deep. Place black cloth (t-shirt) on bottom of hole. This step is optional but will increase efficiency if large volumes of water are required Drop in receiving vessel in the center of hole Install grey water supply hose to bottom of hole. Optional if greater quantities are desired Install food grade latex hose into receiving vessel

Pack around receiving vessel with leaves and grass  Cover with 3mil clear cover, make taught and air tight. Note: Cover should be clear and has to be air tight around hole and around the two optional hoses. Hoses must also be plugged when not in use Slip rock on center of clear cover to depress center towards vessel to direct water into vessel.

Multistage Filtration: Note: It is important that the core process of multistage filtration not be amended or serious illness or possibly death could result.

-Step 1: Particulate removal. Remove large particulate through media such as cheese cloth, t-shirt or nylon. This media should be crumpled in order to increase surface area but not to severely restrict water flow. Water needs to be added slowly for correct filter process. Sand or clay is the next layer of particulate media. Sand should have a pre-rinse to remove outer contaminates and finer dust particles. Clay soil will also work.

-Step2: Carbon Filtering, Carbon filtering removes tastes, odors and chemicals. The preferred type of carbon media is bacterio-static Carbon which will resist bacteria growth. Silver impregnated carbon can be purchased online or from water treatment centers. Carbon should also be pre-rinsed in order to remove outer dust. Up to three rinse applications may need to be preformed. Rinsing of the carbon will also remove some of the cloudiness for clearer water. Carbon can also be made in an emergency situation. Thorough charring of hard woods such as Walnut, Cherry, Oak, Maple, etc will provide excellent carbon properties. Wood should not be burnt to an ash though, just blackened. Never use charcoal briquettes from BBQ

-Step 3: Bacteria removal. Chlorine bleach or Iodine can be used in order to kill bacteria as multistage filtration will not remove it. Bleach must have at least 3% sodium hypochlorite. The ratio of bleach is 16 drops or 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Wait time is a minimum of half hour for bleach to kill bacteria. . Chlorine and Iodine are poisons, so use wisely. You can buy condensed chlorinating powder form from any pool supply store NOW and then later add 2 teaspoons of it to one gallon of water, then you have one gallon of bleach. OR Boil the water for 1 - 3 minutes, cooking germs to death. BOILING DOES NOT REMOVE ANYTHING.

Water Storage: Ideally water storage should be calculated at 1 gallon of water per person per day. Numerous options for containers include juice bottles all the way to 55 gallon drums (food grade-HDPE). Re-used juice and soda bottles are ideal and can be easily stored in closets and under furniture. Only food grade plastic should be used. Used drums should be suspect as the previous material in the drum may have left potentially dangerous by- products. If using city tap water no additional Chlorine is required as additional Chlorine has been added to provide clarity to the water. Pre-cleaning the container with a bleach and water combination and thoroughly rinsing is a good idea. In order to preserve freshness all air must be purged from the storage container. This is easily accomplished by filling container so the meniscus (water bonding to water) of the water is above the bottle opening just prior to the overflowing point; tapping container to remove as many air pockets as possible and then by installing plug or cap allowing air to be pushed from container. 15/30/55 gallon storage containers can be sourced inexpensively. Store bought 1 gallon jugs of spring/distilled H20 do not store well over time, cloudy plastic will break down and leak. Stash as much water as you can now. Most importantly, practice these skills now and become proficient in good times so that the experience serves you when times are bad. Share the knowledge, make it family fun.

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  • CJ P.

    This Meetup was very educational & there was something to be learned whether youre a novice or well seasoned prepper

    March 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was my first time coming to this meet up and what a great experience it was. Very informative, not too overwhelming and down to earth. I look forward to keep learning! Thank you!

    February 28, 2014

  • Gloria

    I'm glad I went to this one. I learned about the different types of water and how the water that comes out of the faucet is treated. I also learned how to purify water and even how to get water from trees in an emergency.

    February 26, 2014

  • Nathan L.

    This was my second Survive and Thrive meetup. I thought the material was very useful for someone completely new to prepping such as myself.

    February 24, 2014

  • Eric H

    Very informative meetup. Thanks for confirming my theories that bottled water has no expiration date & that LifeStraw (portable filters) are media hype! lol

    February 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really good information! The practical examples were great. The presentation just needs visual aids to help illustrate facts, figures, apparatus, systems, procedures and methods.

    February 24, 2014

  • Tom

    Down-to-Earth, informative and insightful as usual. Thanks to Fernando and everyone's ideas and suggestions!

    February 24, 2014

  • Joe V.

    I've been browsing the web and youtubes for over a year. This meetup filled-in all the gaps and was invaluable. Fantastic how knowledge is shared among the participants. Especially enjoyed Fernando's spirit and his point that we who attend have a genetic trait for seeing potential dangers and preparing. If any of your friends are dismissive about preparing have them watch this twilight zone episode "The Shelter"

    And don't advertise your stock to the whole neighborhood!

    February 24, 2014

  • Tom

    *Bourbon and Branch

    February 23, 2014

    • Leslie

      Thx, Tom. Very thoughtful.

      February 23, 2014

  • Leslie

    These days it's far too easy to get swallowed up in the sea of information. I look to meet-ups like this as the Rx. This was my second and it was stellar! An expert of Fernando's caliber so generously sharing what he knows?

    Still pinching myself. :-) Always learn from other attendees, as well.

    February 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Pretty good. I'd prefer more of a hands on approach. I won't remember or understand most of what I learned

    February 23, 2014

  • Berdine

    Another very well run and very informative MeetUp by this group. Fernando is very knowledgeable and also has a great way of leading a meeting - being respectful of people's questions and comments while also keeping things moving along. Very valuable information!

    1 · February 23, 2014

  • Eric H

    I live locally, so I'm on my way.

    February 23, 2014

  • Tom

    Hey guys, Liberties is now called Bourbon and the event still going on? None of the staff seems to know anout the event.

    February 23, 2014

  • Mark

    Gotta class for the next couple of weeks

    February 22, 2014

  • W C

    Question (working Sun, can't make this one)
    I have a 55gal drum for h2O. Should I fill it with tap water or reverse osmosis water & add something?

    February 21, 2014


      Go with tap. RO is good but 1. it will leach out more chemicals from the drum than tap, 2. RO water is so much more work and expense. I am no fan of tap water but in an emergency it will do just fine.

      2 · February 21, 2014

    • W C


      February 21, 2014

  • Barb


    February 17, 2014

  • Kirk

    Excited to learn possibly one of the most important survival skills

    February 7, 2014

  • Devin K. L.

    I would strongly suggest looking into Effective Microorganisms and/or Adya Clarity's black mica product as a sensible (and non-toxic) alternative to poisoning yourself with chlorine or bleach.

    I won't be able to make the meetup, but I hope this information benefits the group discussion.

    1 · January 20, 2014

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