Drinking Swimming Pool Water in an Emergency


Is it safe to drink pool water

You may well be shocked to learn how numerous residential swimming pools there are. Just for entertaining, open up Google Earth and zoom into your neighborhood and see how numerous pools are about you. City dwellers in all probability will not see numerous, but numerous components of suburbia are dotted with pools.

I initially wrote this short article way back throughout the early days of this weblog. It has generally been a well known hit on web searches for this basic query. So I believed I would update it to an extent.

According to the National Swimming Pool Foundation there are roughly 10 million Swimming Pools in the United States.

There are about six million in-ground pools and four million above-ground pools primarily based on percentages found in a pool advertising and marketing report.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics there are about 105 million households in the United States. So, on typical, there is 1 swimming pool for just about every 10 households in America.

The statistics listed above are roughly 10 years old as of this update. Having said that I’m confident that it is nevertheless quite close now.

The typical size in-ground swimming pool holds about 20,000 gallons of water. The typical size above-ground swimming pool holds about 10,000 gallons of water.

How Substantially Water In Swimming Pools?


That is roughly 160 billion gallons of water stored in swimming pools across America – the equivalent of 1,500 gallons of water for just about every household in America. To place it in point of view, that is theoretically sufficient water to sustain every household with four gallons of water per day for a year.

The notion of relying upon swimming pool water for a backup supply has flaws and caveats. City dwellers will not obtain numerous residential pools nearby. Swimming pools are much more concentrated in geographical regions with a hotter climate. They are much more frequently located in regions exactly where people today can afford the luxury. In addition, 1 can’t assume that all swimming pools have been treated such that it is secure to drink pool water…

Buts, as you can see there is very a resource of water accessible in numerous places. Adequate to ‘get by’ throughout a disaster that brings down the municipal water provide, or energy grid shutting down every little thing such as all effectively-pumps.

Are Drinking Pool Water Dangers Overblown?

Drinking swimming pool water can (potentially) be secure in an emergency, but not especially advisable in basic.

That stated, most swimming pools are maintained and treated effectively for it to be technically secure to drink. Years ago I had a in-ground swimming pool exactly where I utilised to reside. I maintained it completely and it could have been utilised as a backup if required. Here’s what 1 commenter right here had to say:

The dangers of drinking pool water are frequently blown out of proportion. I’ve owned and maintained an in-ground pool for 40+ years, and am a facility engineer specializing in ultra-pure water production for the semiconductor sector.

4 years ago I purchased my present residence, with an in-ground 12,000 gallon pool, which I filled at that time and have had no troubles with. I sustain the chlorine content material at ~three ppm, the very same as my municipal water provide. I sustain the pH at 7.four, slightly beneath my tap water which is 7.eight. A massive cartridge filter requires care of the rest.

I’ve seldom if ever required shock, have not added stabilizer, salt, or biocide. The only point that would give me some pause is the elevated mineral content material, considering the fact that water evaporates regularly and leaves the dissolved minerals behind.

Personally, I would not hesitate to drink this water “as is” in an emergency, and honestly I have accomplished so inadvertently much more instances than I can try to remember with no ill effects.

Of course, lack of every day circulation will trigger pretty fast degradation with out some sort of action on the owner’s component. This would contain continued chlorination as required, with manual agitation. Also, placing on the cover would be smart.

Making use of a thing like a Lifestraw, the related Sawyer item, or even improved a Berkey water purifier (which can take away viruses, plus bacteria and protozoa) would add a further layer of protection.

~Ron S.

Provided the decision and based on the length of time a certain emergency may well manifest, committed potable water storage would be the preferred option. Nonetheless, in a pinch, I most absolutely would not create off the reservoir in the backyard…

Drinking Pool Water | Cautions

If you know what’s in your personal pool water, then you know. But if you are considering about your neighbor’s pool water, you do not know.

Some issues in that water may well not be great for you if there’s “too much” of it.

As well a lot chlorine. You can conveniently test this with chlorine test strips.
(advisable test strips on amzn)

Bromide in the water. This is an option that some use for sanitizing pools.

Cyanuric acid. It is a chlorine stabilizing agent often utilised by pool owners.

Salt water pools. Some pools have a salt chlorination method which converts salt to chlorine. It is not advisable to drink salt water.

Algae. The water will quickly turn green if not treated effectively.

Drinking Pool Water in Emergency | Suggestions

If you are going to look at drinking pool water in an emergency, look at the following:

Pool Cover | Tarp

Hot and Sunny situations will degrade chlorine levels rapidly. A pool that sits idle with out chlorine replenishment or filtration will commence to develop organic algae.

The degradation method will be minimized by covering the water, blocking the sunlight. Some pool owners currently have covers. But if you do not, attempt making use of a large tarp throughout the occasion. A cover will assistance preserve sunlight from breaking down the current chlorine in the water.

Provide of Chlorine &amp Test Kit

The chlorine in swimming pools will break down pretty rapidly when exposed to the Ultraviolet UV rays from the sun. Commonly, the chlorine level of a effectively maintained pool is kept at about three ppm (components per million).

Verify this, and other levels, with a multi-functional swimming pool test kit.

Retain a provide of chlorine. I generally liked the tablets in a floater dispenser.

Water Purifier Filter

It is also a terrific notion to filter the water with a high quality drinking water filter. This will take away bacteria and organic pathogens, and will make it taste improved.

One particular of the highest high quality drinking water filters I have located, is the Berkey water filter method. I’ve utilised the Berkey for more than a decade. All of our every day drinking water goes by way of it. If you are ever taking into consideration 1, I extremely suggest making use of this certain USA distributor, The Berkey Guy.

If the swimming pool is becoming utilised as an emergency water supply throughout a disaster, and the water is becoming green with algae, this filter will take away it, along with bacteria and virus.

Pool Water Might Be Reasonably Secure, But…

In summary, it may well be affordable to use pool water as a drinking supply if it was (is) effectively maintained, effectively and safely treated, and for added protection – filtered by way of a high quality drinking water filter.

Note that unless the pool is your personal, you will not know what an individual else may well have place in their pool apart from chlorine. I’m absolutely not advising that all swimming pools are secure to drink from. Even though when you feel about it, how numerous people today finish up inadvertently drinking gulps of water from a pool – and surviving just fine… When’s the final time you heard of an individual keeling more than sick since they drank water from their swimming pool? That is what I believed – in all probability not…

The “But”

With all of that stated, I suggest that pool water be utilized for “gray water” utilizes. Sanitation, flushing toilets with out electrical energy, cleaning, and so on.. throughout an emergency.

It is improved to have a exclusive strategy and technique for secure drinking water and water storage that you know will not have other chemical substances in it apart from secure levels of chlorine.

Continue reading: How To Make Drinking Water Secure With Bleach

Water Management Immediately after SHTF | What You Want To Do

Drinking Water For Lengthy Term Storage


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