The drought in California has reached its apex with a heat wave right around the corner. While the water supply is low, consumption is higher than ever as California’s are fighting to remain hydrated and filling up their pools.
However, Californians are seeing their home and community pool as a potential emergency storage system as well as an escape from the heat. With the threat of an emergency water shortage looming, experts are investigating the question: Is pool water really safe to drink?
While pool water can be utilized in an emergency, Dave Foucar of Lifetank suggests that “it needs to be purified and treated before using it for drinking or first aid issues.”
Because pool water is not potable without treatment, it is a safer bet to keep fresh water stored either in bottles, or more effectively in a maintenance free tank system such as a Lifetank.
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Pool water is always at risk of bacterial contamination through exposure to air as well as human and animal carriers such as urine and fecal matter. Despite this, it may seem like a safe source of drinking water since it is treated with chlorine. However, according to a study performed by Stanford University, chlorine treatment of pools doesn’t kill all of the bacteria present.
Even with treatment, pool water must be boiled and strained through a clean cloth before it can be consumed safely. This can pose a problem in times of emergency as disconnected gas lines or loss of access to cooking facilities could render this treatment impossible.
Over treatment is another issue with drinking pool water. Though chlorine is also used to purify stagnant bottled water in an emergency, the amount used is relatively controlled. The amount of chlorine used to treat pools is more difficult to manage. Because of this pool water often contains a level of chlorine that makes it unsafe to drink.
Too much chlorine can cause nose, eye, stomach and throat issues before it often leads to anemia. In an emergency where medical attention may not be accessible, these conditions could even become life threatening. To avoid this, a pool testing kit must be kept on hand to make sure the chlorine levels are below 5 PPM. If the chlorine levels are too high, they can only be lowered through the addition of fresh water, chemical neutralizers or time. All three of these are unlikely to be available in an emergency.
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Because of these complications, pool water is a last resort instead of a primary water storage system. It is much safer to keep fresh water in bottles, or more ideally in a tank system such as Lifetank. Lifetank’s water reservoir differs from pool and bottled water in that it’s stores are continually renewed through everyday water use.
Lifetank achieves this through it’s direct integration into the existing home plumbing systems using a simple hose in, house out system.
Utilizing this integration, water is replenished through the top of the tank from the existing water source and pulled into the home through the bottom of the tank. This causes a flow that eliminates the need for treatment, boiling and maintenance.
Lifetank is also able to easily store as much water as needed in it’s link-able 80 and 120 gallon tanks. Because Lifetank keeps water on hand without the need for treatment, it is a much safer, easier and more dependable emergency water storage system than the pool.
For more information about LifeTank, click here.
Source: Santa Clarita News