Emergency Drinking Water Sources Are Hiding In Your Own Home
Let’s talk about the sources of emergency water that are hiding in your own home. This will be broken down into two sections.
When You Know You Will Be Running Out of Water
When you know that you will be losing water soon, for whatever reason, you need to act fast. It may be rather obvious, but you need to immediately fill your bathtub, your sinks, your pots and pans, any and all containers in your home that will hold water.
If you are on city water, then you should shut off your water main. This will prevent contaminated water from coming back into your house and contaminating the water in your water heater. If you don’t know where the water main is for your home, you can just go to the water heater and shut off the cold and hot water valves to/from your water heater. The building code in the U.S. requires a valve on the cold water supply to the water heater. However, your water heater may have shutoff valves on both the cold and hot water lines to/from the water heater. Shut one or both off.
When You Find Out You Have No Water
If you find out your water supply has been shut off, there are emergency sources of water hiding in your home.
The bathtub is an obvious source of water, but it will only be filled when you are getting ready to take a bath. Bathtubs hold around 50 gallons of water, and that’s substantial. Let’s look at other sources.
The water heater is a great source of emergency drinking water. All water heaters have a drain valve at the bottom. If the main water goes off, you can turn the pilot off on the water heater, and that will prevent the water from heating. Then open the valve on the bottom of the tank and drain water as you need it. 40 gallons is a common size of water heater, so most homes will have this amount of water available to them. Where else can we look?
The toilet is another source of emergency water. But not the toilet bowl. I’m talking about the tank. You can take a cup and scoop the water out. I would boil the toilet tank water just to be safe. Remember, if you have one of those toilet bowl cleaner dispensers in your tank, then you are out of luck on this one.
If you live in a multilevel house, with or without a basement, you can go to the lowest level in the house and drain the water system from that point. If the water won’t drain. Just go to the highest point in the house and open a faucet. Just remember to shut the faucet when you are done. You don’t want your house to get flooded from the top down when the water supply comes back on.
Some of your food storage items already have water in them. I’m not talking about Mountain House Freeze Dried Food, or dehydrated food items, or buckets of staples. I’m talking about how some store-bought canned goods such as tuna, vegetables, and the like are packed in water.
What about the water in the aquarium? I don’t think so.
If it happens to be raining when the water goes off, you can always collect rainwater and use that.
Next time the water is shut off to your home, use these tips as a starting point, and go from there.