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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes how to use household bleach or bleach of other strengths to disinfect water for emergency drinking water use. We also explain how people deal with the risk of Cryptosporidium in drinking water. This article series outlines methods to purify or sanitize drinking water in an emergency following a disaster such as an earthquake, flood, or hurricane.
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Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) Iodine alternatives for disinfectants include chlorine-based products (bleach) and non-iodine-based water filters. Commercial bleach such as laundry bleach purchased at a supermarket contain 3 to 6% sodium hypochlorite. Be sure that bleach to be used to purify drinking water contains only sodium hypochlorite. For example, do not use a bleach-soap mixture.
How much bleach do we need to purify drinking water? It depends on the concentration (strength) of the bleach solution you're using as well as the condition of the water.
If you don't know your store-bought household bleach solution strength, use 10 drops per gallon of water and let the solution stand for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes there is absolutely no chlorine or "bleach" smell in the water, repeat the dose and let the solution stand for another 30 minutes.