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Use of Pool Shock, Calcium Hypochlorite for Water Purification

We all store liquid bleach along with our other prepping supplies.  Liquid bleach is a powerful disinfectant and sanitizer and it has been used to purify water as well. But did you know that there is something better?  Something with an almost indefinite shelf life that is inexpensive and takes almost no room to store?

That something is the chemical Calcium Hypochlorite more commonly known as Pool Shock. Now, don't be "shocked" by the thought of water purification via swimming pool chemicals. We'll show you how to do it safely. A 1-pound bag 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.

Before we start, you may be asking “why not use liquid bleach?”.  There are a few problems with liquid bleach.  It takes a lot of room to store bleach plus the usable shelf life is only six month to a year depending on storage conditions.

The folks at Clorox say this:

The active ingredient in liquid bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is very sensitive to high heat and freezing, but under normal home storage conditions, it should still perform well for nine to twelve months.

We have stored bleach for a longer period of time but you will see that the water in the bottle dehydrates leaving behind a salt mix. In addition to a limited shelf life, there is another problem. Many website have provided preppers a bleach/water mix that is based upon the old store bought bleach ratios. All liquid bleach is sold in a more concentrated level now, which could make it toxic.

 

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If you ask the EPA how to purify water using Calcium Hypochlorite, here is what you get:

You can use granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water.

Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ¼ ounce) for each two gallons of water.

The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight.

To disinfect water, add the chlorine 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 ounces) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or (approximately ½ liter to 50 liters of water) to be disinfected.

To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another.

Ugh.

 

 

How to Disinfect Water Using Calcium Hypochlorite

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

  • To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (73%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.

  • To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.

  • 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 bag 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.

Here is the best source for buying Calcium Hypochlorite:

 

 

 

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