Advice to those using clorox for
water sterilization: Clorox (5 to 6 % sodium
hypochlorite) has a shelf life of approximately 1 year
from date of manufacture. To be on the safe side, it
should not be kept past 6 months to be effective for
purification purposes, counting some months on the
grocery store shelf before purchased by us.
A better method of water purification would be using a
chlorinating concentrate manufactured for spas and hot
tubs. The best one contains Sodium
dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate . . . . 99%, and 1%
inert ingredients, and is available from some pool and
spa supply stores. I have recently also found this
formulation at a local Home Depot center.
-only 1/4 teaspoon is used to treat a 55 gallon drum of
-the shelf life of a container of this concentrate is
15 to 25 years + (if kept dry and not stored hot)
-you can buy it and forget about it. My experience with
Clorox is that it is usually getting old and may be
ineffective for treating water adequately when we need
Instructions for use:
Add 1/4 teaspoon of the chlorinating concentrate to
your 50 or 55 gal. drum. Place the cap on the container
and close it, and allow it to sit for 24 hours. After
24 hours, remove the lid and test for the presence of
free chlorine in the water. This can be done by
smelling (careful), or by using test strips for free
chlorine, available at many stores (Wal-mart or pool
and spa stores or other stores). These test strips cost
about $10.00 for 50 strips. If the chlorine can be
detected after 24 hours, then the water has been
purified. At that point, remove the lid from the water
container and allow it to sit open for another 24
hours. The free chlorine will come out of the water,
and the water is then fit for drinking. If no chlorine
is present after the first 24 hours with the container
closed, repeat the process, as organic matter
(bacteria, cysts, etc.) are still present. Until free
chlorine can be detected after 24 hours, there are
probably organisms still present.
The cost for the chlorinating concentrate is about
$16.00 to $17.00 for 2 lbs. This is enough to treat
enough water for you, your relatives and your neighbors
for some time. Home Depot had a smaller container, less
than 1 lb. for under $7.00, with the same formulation.
Don't remove the lid on the concentrate and sniff it.
It is powerful stuff!
Store your water containers on wooden palates or boards
above your cement floors, and away from gasoline or
other volitle substances, to avoid those interesting
flavors in your drinking water. It is best to change
out your water at least once a year, but twice a year
may be best.
Remember, we can only live for about 3 days without
water. A 55 gal. drum or water for each member of your
family would be advised. That would get you through the
first part of an emergency, then you can forage for
water and purify it as needed.
Sincerely, G. H. Brown