Article courtesy of Debjani Arora | February 13, 2015 | | Shared as educational material
A good thing about water is that, unlike food, it doesn’t go stale over time. Hence you can store as much as you need or as less as you want for your drinking, cooking and hygiene purposes. However, how you store and use it could lead to contamination which can ruin your health in many ways. Waterborne diseases can claim lives at its severity and torment you till the time you suffer from it. To save yourself and your family from the ill-effects of consuming contaminated water, you need to know the right way to store and use this universal drink. So, here is your life-saving guide to storing water the right way.
Before you start storing drinking water, it is imperative that you know how much water you need to last yourself and your family for at least a day. This will give you a fair idea how much water you need to save for whatever number of days you are planning to save it for. Follow these steps to store drinking water without contaminating it:
1. On an average an adult would need 3.8 litres of potable drinking water. So if you have a family of four, for instance, your daily consumption of drinking water would account to 15.4 litres or little more than that. So if you are planning to store water for three days it would amount to approximately 45.6 litres of water. Here are 10 ways to help your drink more water throughout the day.
2. Once you know the amount of water you need to store be ready with the containers which can hold the amount you are about to store. ‘It is ideal to store large amounts of water in copper vessels or steel containers. They don’t contaminate the water and you can be sure that your water would be safe for long term use,’ says Dr Bhavi Mody, Vrudhi Wellness and Homeopathy centre, Mumbai. Here are few reasons why you should drink water from copper vessels.
3. Another better way is to store drinking water in bottles that could be easily used. However, opt for bottles that are made up of food grade plastics or steel. ‘Steel and glass bottles are ideal for storing water for regular use. Avoid using regular plastic bottles as toxins could sweep in from them into your water and contaminate it,’ says Dr Bhavi.
4. In case you need to use plastic bottles be sure that the bottles are BPA free and are made especially for storage purposes in the long run.
5. To store water in the bottles fill them directly from the faucet without using any especial hose or pipe. However, the water from the faucet should have to pass a filtration process to end up in the bottle for direct use. Here are few ways in which water can help you enhance your beauty as well.
6. If you are to store water in drums and gallons use a clean pipe to connect it to the faucet. Take care to keep the lid covered even when the pipe is inserted into the drum to avoid contamination through the air.
7. While filling large vessels or containers make sure that you fill them to the brim before closing the lid so that there are no air bubbles inside.
8. Make it a point to keep the containers away from light or near places where there is too much use of pesticides and heat. Here are reasons why having lemon and warm water can do wonders for your health.
The right way to filter your water
9. Whether you are looking to store water for a long or short duration, keep in mind the right way of filtration will ensure that your stored water is free of contaminants and is clean. Ideally, there are three ways in which you can filter your water – boiling, using a water purifier or liquid bleaching process.
10. Boiling water is the most primitive way of purifying and filtering. Pour water in a clean container and bring it to boil for 15 minutes at least. Then put off the flame and allow it to cool. Using a clean cotton cloth, pour the boiled water into the container where you want to store it and close the lid to avoid contamination.
11. Most modern day houses are equipped with a water purification system that would ensure that what you get to store clean water without much fuss. ‘All you need to do is make sure that you change the candle of your purifier biannually else it could lead to contamination,’ says Dr Bhavi.
12. Although, it is a rarity these days that one might opt liquid bleaching to purify water, if you choose to do it select a liquid purifier that is meant for water purification and is devoid of fragrance and scents. With liquid purifiers the equation is that you need four drops for one litre of water. Stir the water after you add the drops and leave it for 15 minutes. When you drink it there should be a mild smell of the purifier coming off it. If it isn’t then your water isn’t purified correctly. In that case you need to repeat the process again.
How to clean the storage utensils
13. It is imperative that you clean the storage utensils or bottles thoroughly before you start to store water. Avoid scrubbing the insides of the copper or steel utensils with harsh detergents. Instead use a mild soap solution.
14. Fill the utensils a little with the soapy solution and splash it around the insides, scrub it gently and leave it for five to 10 minutes. Next, wash it with clean filtered water. Keep one vessel of clean filtered water aside for cleaning purposes.
15. For bottles, do it in the same manner and use a bottle cleaner to clean the insides. Wash them thoroughly before storing water. Don’t forget to clean the lid of the bottles too, inside out.
16. Remember you also need to clean the pipe or the hose that you use to store water from the tap into the gallon or drums. Run little of the mild soapy solution into the pipe and close both its end. Make a complete circle of it tying both ends together and allow the solution to run through the entire pipe. Next untie the ends and attach one end to the tap and allow water to pass through it till you see clean water flowing through the other end of the pipe.
How to use drinking water correctly
17. If you are using water stored in bottle make sure to close the cap every time after you pour out water. In case you prefer to sip directly from bottles, keep one aside for personal use for hygiene purposes and to avoid cross contamination.
18. While fetching water from a gallon or drum, make sure that you don’t dip your fingers directly into it. There are specialised long handled cups available to help you do the same. However, make sure to wash it inside out before you dip it into the gallon or drum. To make things simpler, try buying drums that come with a tap attached to avoid contamination.
19. In case you store water in a matka or mud-pot, like it was done in olden days, ensure that you empty the container fully before you start to store. This will ensure that there aren’t any contaminants at the end of the vessel.
20. Avoid using water that had been kept in the open for a long time.