How to Make Water Safe During and After a Storm

If the water supply is contaminated, or if you are under a Boil Water Advisory, all water to be used for drinking, hand washing, washing fruits and vegetables, dish washing or cooking, must be purified. The most common methods for purifying water include: boiling, using commercially available purification kits, or using household bleach or iodine.  If performed according to recommended procedures, these methods will adequately remove unwanted infectious bacteria or other biological contaminants from most water.
Boiling Water
  • Water is brought to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute, allow it to cool before putting it into a clean, sanitized, tightly capped container.
  • Water that is cloudy should be boiled between 3-5 minutes
Chlorine Bleach
  • Read the label to be sure that sodium hypochlorite (5.25%) is the only active ingredient, do not use bleach solutions that contain detergents or scents. If the container has a label warning “not for personal use”do not use it!
  • 1/2 gallon of water add 1/8 tsp of chlorine (bleach); 1 gallon of water add 1/4 tsp of chlorine (bleach)
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Allow the bleach – water mixture to stand for 30 minutes.  If the water does not have faint chlorine smell repeat the procedure
  • If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes repeat the procedure
Iodine Tablets
  • 1/2 gallon of water add 4 tablets; 1 gallon of water add 8 tablets
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Allow the iodine and water mixture to stand for 30 minutes
Tincture of Iodine
  • Label concentration of 2.0%
  • 1/2 gallon of water add 1 drop
  • 1 gallon of water add 2 drops
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Allow the iodine and water mixture to stand for 30 minutes
Storing Purified Water
  • Once dispensed into a clean, sanitized and tightly capped container, store it in a cool, dry, dark place
  • Do not store it in direct sunight
  • Once opened use within 2-3 days or re-purify it
  • To improve the taste pour it back and forth between two clean containers several times to aerate it prior to use