Is the Chlorine in your pool safe to drink in an emergency?
The California drought has reached it’s peak with one of the hottest summers on the horizon. While water is in short supply Californians are increasing their consumption and preparing for the
heat by filling up their pools. However, many Californians are looking at their home and community pools as more than just a retreat from the heat, but also a potential emergency water supply.
With this in mind, experts are investigating the question: Is pool water really safe to drink? While pool water can be used in an emergency situation, according to Dave Foucar of life tank “it needs to be purified and treated before using it for drinking or first aid issues.”
So though pool water can be used in an emergency if treated, it is better to keep water on hand in bottles, or ideally in a tank system such as Lifetank.
Pool water is exposed to bacteria through outside air as well as human and animal carriers such as urine and fecal matter. Despite this, pool water may seem like a good source of drinking water because it is continuously treated with chlorine. However, according to a Stanford University study, chlorine treatment of pools doesn’t effectively kill all the bacteria.
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Regardless of ongoing treatment, pool water must be boiled and strained through a clean cloth before it can be safely consumed. In times of emergency this can pose a problem as cut gas lines or loss of access to proper heating facilities could render this treatment impossible.
Another issue with pool water is the potential for over treatment. Though chlorine tabs are used to purify bottled water in emergency situations, the dosage is relatively controlled. Pool water treatment is more difficult to control and often contains a level of chlorine that is unsafe for consumption. Too much chlorine can cause stomach, nose, eye and throat issues before it eventually leads to anemia.
These conditions could be life threatening in an emergency where medical attention may not be available. Because of this a pool testing kit must be kept on hand to ensure that the chlorine levels are below 5 PPM before drinking. If there is too much chlorine, it can only be decreased through time, chemical additives or the addition of fresh water. All three are unlikely to be available in an emergency.
Due to these complications pool water should be considered a last resort rather than a primary emergency water storage system. It is much safer to keep water on hand through bottles, or most effectively a tank system such as Lifetank. Unlike pool or bottled water, Lifetank’s reservoir is continually renewed through everyday water use. Lifetank is able to achieve this through it’s direct hose in, hose out integration into the homes existing plumbing system.
Through this integration, water is pulled from the bottom of the tank to the home while being replenished into the top of the tank from the main water source. This maintains 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 linkable 80 and 120 gallon tanks. So, although with proper treatment pool water can be utilized in an emergency, it is much safer and easier to depend on a water storage system such as Lifetank.
For more information about LifeTank, click here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News