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View Full Version : E.coli found in Colonial Beach, VA water supply


BryanK
07-22-2014, 14:48
Just as a heads up for anyone in the area visiting from out of town or whoever may live there. We got a notice today stating that E. coli has been found and not to drink or use any of the public water. This sucks, but thanks to you gentleman who have shared your emergency preparedness knowledge, we're gtg for a little while.

http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2014/07/22/e-coli-found-in-colonial-beach-drinking-water/

While on the topic, does anyone know a good way to sterilize said water enough to wash dishes with? Boiling it, then dumping it in the tub is an idea I have, but is there a chemical way to sterilize the water enough for cleaning with? Thanks in advance for any replies.

tonyz
07-22-2014, 15:31
Pool shock.

I searched here quickly but could not find the specific posts (the "be prepared" thread and others probably have great info on mixture but too long for me to read at the moment).

So, FWIW here is one link from outside...hope it helps.

"Add one heaping teaspoon of granular calcium hypochlorite to two gallons of water, or 5 ml. to 7.5 l. of water. This mixture produces a solution similar to bleach.

Use one part of this solution to 100 parts of water to be treated. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking. If the smell of chlorine is too strong, pour the pure water from one container into another several times to allow the chlorine to dissipate.

WARNINGS: Do not breathe the toxic fumes from the pool shock. Store away from anything flammable, including paper, gasoline, oil, oily rags, and paint solvent. Additionally, do not store near any type of ignition sources, such as lawn mowers, generators, etc."

http://thesurvivalmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Using-Pool-Shock-as-a-Water-Purifier.pdf

LarryW
07-22-2014, 16:37
Found this which might help.

http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/drinking_water/pdf/E_coli.pdf

The bleach additive is what I'd heard to counter the bacteria, but it's important to let the bleach-mixture set for a while before using it for washing dishes, etc.

Damn sure a problem, though.

Good luck!

Brush Okie
07-22-2014, 18:40
That is just shitty.

On a serious note don't take e coli lightly and don't even wash your hands in the water. If you need to make a water filter here is a good article/

http://oasisdesign.net/water/treatment/slowsandfilter.htm

anamation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaOOmaGzx0g

BryanK
07-22-2014, 19:38
Thank you all for the replies thus far. However, my desire to self sustain has been overruled by the little misses. Considering our 14 month old, she has reserved a slot at a relatives house to ride it out in. I greatly respect the advice from the folks here at PS.com, but how does that saying go? Happy wife, happy life? :confused: :D

Brush Okie
07-22-2014, 20:10
Thank you all for the replies thus far. However, my desire to self sustain has been overruled by the little misses. Considering our 14 month old, she has reserved a slot at a relatives house to ride it out in. I greatly respect the advice from the folks here at PS.com, but how does that saying go? Happy wife, happy life? :confused: :D

That is actually the best choice.

The Reaper
07-22-2014, 20:16
The pool shock was the correct answer.

Get the kind without algecides, mildecides, brighteners, scents, etc.

Make a stock solution and use it to treat all tap water in the contaminated area before consumption, to include bathing or washing.

Do not use the tub (or trashbags) unless you are out of suitable containers. A five gallon bucket can work well, especially with a lid and a spigot. Probably $5 or less at the big box store.

I saw a great tip the other night.

Someone calculated how much shock was required to make a 1:1600 solution and then poured it into drinking straws before heat sealing the ends of the straw.

In an emergency, you cut the end off the straw and dumped the contents into a 16 ounce bottle of water to make the 1:1600 solution required to purify 200 gallons of water.

The really neat part was that he used an entire bag of shock to fill straws, and had a fistfull of straws to hand out to anyone he met who needed them.

As noted, do not drink the solution, use the recommended amount to purify the water, wait the required time for the chlorine to take effect, clean the threads of the canteen or bottle you plan to drink from with the purified contents, and shake up the container and leave it open for a little while after purifying to let some of the chlorine smell escape.

Watch the calcium chloride, it is very nasty stuff, especially dangerous near ammonia or products containing glycerine.

Iodine can work as well, but not povidone iodine, as I understand it. Bleach will work too, but it must be pure bleach with no additives, brightners, whiteners, etc., and it is only good for six months or so.

Gray water can be captured and used for watering plants, etc.

When you come back home, open the lowest water faucet in your house (normally the outdoor hose bib) and let the water run for a while. Then turn off the water heater breaker and dump the hot water supply as well, or drain it with a hose. They normally use extra chlorine when service is restored, so be aware and I would recommend letting the restored fresh water sit in the pipes for a little while after flushing the lines and before resuming using it again.

If you were on a well, no worries, you would be GTG.

Best of luck.

TR

BryanK
07-23-2014, 10:58
That is actually the best choice.

Indeed :boohoo

The pool shock was the correct answer.

Get the kind without algecides, mildecides, brighteners, scents, etc.

Make a stock solution and use it to treat all tap water in the contaminated area before consumption, to include bathing or washing.

Do not use the tub (or trashbags) unless you are out of suitable containers. A five gallon bucket can work well, especially with a lid and a spigot. Probably $5 or less at the big box store.

I saw a great tip the other night.

Someone calculated how much shock was required to make a 1:1600 solution and then poured it into drinking straws before heat sealing the ends of the straw.

In an emergency, you cut the end off the straw and dumped the contents into a 16 ounce bottle of water to make the 1:1600 solution required to purify 200 gallons of water.

The really neat part was that he used an entire bag of shock to fill straws, and had a fistfull of straws to hand out to anyone he met who needed them.

As noted, do not drink the solution, use the recommended amount to purify the water, wait the required time for the chlorine to take effect, clean the threads of the canteen or bottle you plan to drink from with the purified contents, and shake up the container and leave it open for a little while after purifying to let some of the chlorine smell escape.

Watch the calcium chloride, it is very nasty stuff, especially dangerous near ammonia or products containing glycerine.

Iodine can work as well, but not povidone iodine, as I understand it. Bleach will work too, but it must be pure bleach with no additives, brightners, whiteners, etc., and it is only good for six months or so.

Gray water can be captured and used for watering plants, etc.

When you come back home, open the lowest water faucet in your house (normally the outdoor hose bib) and let the water run for a while. Then turn off the water heater breaker and dump the hot water supply as well, or drain it with a hose. They normally use extra chlorine when service is restored, so be aware and I would recommend letting the restored fresh water sit in the pipes for a little while after flushing the lines and before resuming using it again.

If you were on a well, no worries, you would be GTG.

Best of luck.

TR

I appreciate the assistance TR. This took us a little by surprise, and to be honest, I didn't have a tentative plan prior to the issuance of the boil notice. I have stocked food and drinking water, but the thought of treating water to do the dishes, laundry, bathing, etc. hadn't crossed my mind in prior preparations. Thanks again.

To all,

If this information that's been shared helps any of you, should you find yourselves in a similar situation, then I guess it was worth being a sacrificial lamb :p :D

Stay safe.

FlagDayNCO
07-29-2014, 09:30
Bryan,

A couple of years ago, I was grabbing every orange bucket and trash can I could find, and placing them under the downspouts. Just as Sandy was coming, my wife and I filled as many water storage containers as we could. The thought of requiring water to clean, flush toilets and cooking was beyond what any of our neighbors considered.

Since then, a neighbor installed a rain water collection system next to her home. She actually sells the items as part of her home gardening business, but everything can be done with parts.

Here is a great tutorial on how to set one up; complete with drawings.

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Rainwater-Collection-System

Problem by me is the local water authority found out and filed a complaint. Even though we have our own wells, the water authority was able to use an EPA regulation and PA Act 167 that stipulates no one can alter the surface water run off pattern to a local creek. The water authority is busy negotiating with our association to purchase our wells.

Two sentences here: The public water utilities that service the area are local or county municipal authorities that rely on both groundwater and purchased surface water for supply. This reduction in base flow negatively impacts aquatic life and reduces the ability for streams to filter and assimilate pollutants and treated municipal waste.

I believe the local water authority sees this as a potential revenue loss. If enough homes collect rain water, then their water meters will slow down to a trickle.

So, my collection system is completely masked and out of site from neighbors. Placement of some bushes, fencing and even sections of camo net. I can run a hose from the tap into a basement window, so we don't even have to go outside.

Here we are in 2014 and water as a precious resource is real.

BryanK
07-29-2014, 11:07
Bryan,

A couple of years ago, I was grabbing every orange bucket and trash can I could find, and placing them under the downspouts. Just as Sandy was coming, my wife and I filled as many water storage containers as we could. The thought of requiring water to clean, flush toilets and cooking was beyond what any of our neighbors considered.

Since then, a neighbor installed a rain water collection system next to her home. She actually sells the items as part of her home gardening business, but everything can be done with parts.

Here is a great tutorial on how to set one up; complete with drawings.

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Rainwater-Collection-System

Problem by me is the local water authority found out and filed a complaint. Even though we have our own wells, the water authority was able to use an EPA regulation and PA Act 167 that stipulates no one can alter the surface water run off pattern to a local creek. The water authority is busy negotiating with our association to purchase our wells.

Two sentences here: The public water utilities that service the area are local or county municipal authorities that rely on both groundwater and purchased surface water for supply. This reduction in base flow negatively impacts aquatic life and reduces the ability for streams to filter and assimilate pollutants and treated municipal waste.

I believe the local water authority sees this as a potential revenue loss. If enough homes collect rain water, then their water meters will slow down to a trickle.

So, my collection system is completely masked and out of site from neighbors. Placement of some bushes, fencing and even sections of camo net. I can run a hose from the tap into a basement window, so we don't even have to go outside.

Here we are in 2014 and water as a precious resource is real.

I appreciate the tips! I have recently heard about these EPA/local agencies filing complaints, or instituting removal orders for people with cisterns (above ground and visible). Not that I would build such a contraption, but it is definitely something to consider for future events.

The sad thing is, I live right on the wide part of the Potomac river, and had to pay for a building permit to emplace a non-permanent 8X8 pre-fabbed shed due to "stormwater runoff" as I was told. As if the shingle juice is going to pollute the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

On a brighter note, our boil order has been lifted. I also followed TR's advice to the T to ensure that I flushed out any leftover love. I haven't had the testicular fortitude to drink a glass from the faucet yet, but I'm getting there :D.

That Big Berkey is being ordered as soon as payday gets here :lifter

The Reaper
07-29-2014, 12:08
Bryan,

A couple of years ago, I was grabbing every orange bucket and trash can I could find, and placing them under the downspouts. Just as Sandy was coming, my wife and I filled as many water storage containers as we could. The thought of requiring water to clean, flush toilets and cooking was beyond what any of our neighbors considered.

Since then, a neighbor installed a rain water collection system next to her home. She actually sells the items as part of her home gardening business, but everything can be done with parts.

Here is a great tutorial on how to set one up; complete with drawings.

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Rainwater-Collection-System

Problem by me is the local water authority found out and filed a complaint. Even though we have our own wells, the water authority was able to use an EPA regulation and PA Act 167 that stipulates no one can alter the surface water run off pattern to a local creek. The water authority is busy negotiating with our association to purchase our wells.

Two sentences here: The public water utilities that service the area are local or county municipal authorities that rely on both groundwater and purchased surface water for supply. This reduction in base flow negatively impacts aquatic life and reduces the ability for streams to filter and assimilate pollutants and treated municipal waste.

I believe the local water authority sees this as a potential revenue loss. If enough homes collect rain water, then their water meters will slow down to a trickle.

So, my collection system is completely masked and out of site from neighbors. Placement of some bushes, fencing and even sections of camo net. I can run a hose from the tap into a basement window, so we don't even have to go outside.

Here we are in 2014 and water as a precious resource is real.

You cannot safely use roof run-off to cook or clean without purification. The garbage that floats around in the air and lands on near horizontal surfaces can make you very ill, to say nothing of the bird droppings.

I would use a filter or sock in the downspout or across the opening to the storage. I would also mechanically filter (like the Berkey carbon and ceramic elements) or chemically purify (chlorinate) the water before drinking or cooking with it.

I have the Big Berkey and it is marginally adequate for a family of four. I would recommend upsizing to the next larger size model and can now verify that the current carbon filters are preferred. You will be surprised at how much better even your local tap water will taste.

If you cannot afford the Berkey, you can build a much less attractive and much less expensive model from two five gallon buckets, a spigot, and a couple of the same filters the Berkeys use. Probably less than $100, and the majority of that will be for the filter elements.

Glad to assist.

TR

Brush Okie
07-29-2014, 12:21
To add to Reaper,

There are lots of chemicals in roofing tile so depending on what type of tile etc you are introducing toxins to the water from the tile its self. here is an article

http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/stormwater/PublicationFiles/RooftopRunoff2009.pdf