The first thing you want to do when it comes down to your water supply is to figure out your water sources. For example, we have town water and we live near a fresh water reservoir, but it’s at the bottom of a steep hill. It will be extremely difficult to gather water and carry it up the hill. But it can be done in small batches.
Next, you want to determine how much water you have on hand right now. The first place to look is your hot water heater capacity. Go online to see how to access water from your hot water heater in an emergency. Here’s a general sequence:
- turn off the electricity or gas to your hot water heater
- close the supply valve to the tank to preserve the quality of the tank water
- locate the valve at the bottom of the tank
- turn on the hot water at your kitchen sink to allow air flow
- attach a short hose or place a pan under the hot water tank valve
- open the valve
If there’s sediment don’t throw the water away. Simply strain it. And always boil the water to purify it.
Also consider that there’s a few gallons of water stuck in the pipes in your house. You can access this before you empty the hot water tank by simply collecting it in a container in your sink. Another source is the water in the tank behind your toilet assuming there’s no toilet cleaner.
That’s the water you already have. Next up, figuring out water storage.
Originally posted October 6, 2017.