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Bleach or HTH

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Dr.Who View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 16 2009 at 6:30am
Bleach is an important part of a stock because it can be used to purify water, wash, or just to disinfect things.

But newbies might not be aware that it has a shelf life of about 6 months. Plenty long to take you through most sips but what if it has already been on your shelf for a while. Speaking for myself, I wash clothes in super hot water so normally do not use bleach at all.

As a solution I purchased a canister of HTH also known as pool shock. One needs to make sure that there are no added chemicals to the canister and that it contains only HTH.  HTH can be mixed with water to make bleach. Not exactly a bleach with the same chemical composition as what is usually bought in the store but certainly bleach that would kill germs and purify water. Unlike regular bleach this replaces the sodium with calclium so if used in washing cloths it would make your water hard. I boght mine at walmart on sale at the end of pool season. A four dollar canister of HTH can make enough bleach to last me a lifetime - well if I actually used it instead of just keeping it around in case.

I don't have the measurements handy but I wanted to get this thread started anyway as a reminder to myself. Unless someone beats me to it, I will post the directions that were given to me for mixing the bleach and then the directions for adding it to water to purify it in a few days.
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SusanT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SusanT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2009 at 7:43pm
Dr. Who, is there a particular brand that does not have additional chemicals that I should look for? Thanks. Susan
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July View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote July Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2009 at 2:42pm

How to Make Chlorine Bleach from Pool Shock

Straight off the EPA site...

. Make sure that it is the "Calcium Hypochlorite" not the "Sodium". MAKE SURE IT HAS NO OTHER ADDITIVES!!!!!!!!!!!

This 5 lb. bottle makes 640 gallons of "stock chlorine" (eliminates purchasing 640 gallons of bleach). Each of these 640 gallons of stock chlorine disinfects 200 gallons of water. For a total of 128,000 gallons of clean drinking water for the cost of one bottle of "Shock". And think of the space it'll save.

Directions are at http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw000/faq/emerg.html or as follows:

GRANULAR CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE.

Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water. The mixture will produce a "stock chlorine" solution of approximately 500 mg/L, since the calcium hypochlorite has an available cchlorine equal to 70
percent of its weight. (THESE STOCK CHLORINE GALLONS ARE LIKE BLEACH GALLONS)

To disinfect water, add the clorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 0z.) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected. To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the water by allowing the water to stand exposed to the air for a few hours
or by pouring it from one clean container to another several times.

As always if the water is colored or cloudy add more of the solution (EPA says for regular Chlorine Bleach to double the amount of chlorine used).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote July Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2009 at 2:46pm

Better than Bleach: Use Calcium Hypochlorite to Disinfect Water

More Articles Related to Water
Gets past the bleach storage problem

Many ourdoorsmen, survivalists, and households preparing for emergency disasters rely upon common household bleach as a disinfecting agent to make water safe to drink.

Bleach will destroy most (but NOT all!) disease causing organisms (boiling water to make it safe to drink is always the best method).

What is not well known is Calcium Hypochlorite is far better for chemically disinfecting water.

Old Way: Using Bleach to Disinfect Water

I cringe to think how many people have expired bleach in their disaster emergency kits that will be used for treating polluted water.

Those of us who have emergency preparedness stocks of survival food and survival gear often keep a gallon or two of unscented household bleach on hand for making safe drinking water in large quantities. Bleach is often the chemical of choice because it is commonly available and frequently mentioned when discussing the how-to’s of drinking water.

calcium%20hypochlorite%20bleach
calcium hypochlorite - bleach

Typical fresh household chlorine bleach has about 5.35% chlorine content (be sure to read the label). To use household bleach for disinfecting water:

  1. Add two drops of bleach per quart or liter of water.
  2. Stir it well.
  3. Let the mixture stand for a half hour before drinking.

If the water is cloudy with suspended particles:

  • First filter the water as best you can.
  • Double the amount of bleach you add to the water.

Why Using Bleach to Disinfect Contaminated Water is a Problem

A little known problem with long term storage of bleach in your disaster emergency supply cache is that it degrades over time. Consulting a Chlorox bleach representative produced this statement:

“We recommend storing our bleach at room temperatures. It can be stored for about 6 months at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. After this time, bleach will be begin to degrade at a rate of 20% each year until totally degraded to salt and water. Storing at temperatures much higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit could cause the bleach to lose its effectiveness and degrade more rapidly. However, if you require 6% sodium hypochlorite, you should change your supply every 3 months.”

I cringe to think how many people have expired bleach in their disaster emergency kits that will be used for treating polluted water. Even what are considered reliable sources of information such as the EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA will show you how to use bleach to disinfect water but will leave out this exceedingly important piece of information.

This is why I created Survival Topics – to give you the real information you need to survive.

So if bleach is unreliable for long term storage in emergency preparedness kits then what other commonly available chemical methods of disinfecting water are there? As it turns out a better solution is easily available.

Use Calcium Hypochlorite for Disinfect Water

A 1-pound pag of calcium hypochlorite in granular form will treat up to 10,000 gallons of drinking water

Calcium hypochlorite is one of the best chemical disinfectants for water, better than household bleach by far. It destroys a variety of disease causing organisms including bacteria, yeast, fungus, spores, and viruses.

Calcium Hypochlorite is widely available for use as swimming pool chlorine tablets or white powder that is much more stable than chlorine. This is often known as “pool shock”.

How to Disinfect Water Using Calcium Hypochlorite

Using granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water is a two step process.

  1. To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.
  2. To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.
  3. Let the mixture sit for at least one-half hour before drinking.

Be sure to obtain the dry granular calcium hypochlorite since once it is made into a liquid solution it will begin to degrade and eventually become useless as a disinfecting agent. This also means you should make your treated drinking water in small batches, for example enough for a few weeks at a time at most.

Another plus for using calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water for emergency use is that a little goes a very long way. A 1-pound pag of calcium hypochlorite in granular form typically costs only a few $US dollars and can be obtained in any swimming pool supply section of your hardware store or online. This amount will treat up to 10,000 gallons of drinking water, which is enough for a family of four for some six or seven years at a gallon per day per person!

Calcium hypochlorite will store for a long period of time and remain effective as a chemical drinking water treatment. So get rid of the household bleach and buy a can of Calcium hypochlorite for your disaster emergency water disinfection needs. It lasts far longer and treats far more water than the traditional chlorine bleach water disinfection treatment.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wishbone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2009 at 3:34pm
Be sure and cap the mixture well and keep the container out of the sun.
I put 1 lb of  calcium hypochlorite in granular form  into my swimming pool once a week.
I put it in at night, because the sunlight degrades it.
 
If you are taking a little dry bleach out of the bag, reseal the bag and put it into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. And keep that in a dark cool place.
The bag of powder must be kept dry.
 
 
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Dr.Who View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr.Who Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2009 at 5:23pm
Thank you all for your responses and helpful instructions.

BTW, do not store HTH near power steering fluid.
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