Water Filtration & Purification: Prepping for Beginners



Being prepped for disaster starts with secure access to crucial essentials. Having a safe, drinkable water supply is essential for beginning and seasoned preppers. On average, most people won’t survive more than 3-4 days without water. In hot climates it can be even less.

This Old Prepper wants to help jump-start your water filtration plan by offering some useful solutions that you can utilize when disasters strike.

These solutions works for water you have found or have stored in a container such as one of our 275-gal IBC Totes.

Water Filtration Products


Clorox’s plain, NON-SCENTED bleach is an important addition to your water purification collection. Be aware that some bargain brands are watered down.

The formula is 8 drops, use standard eyedropper, of bleach per gallon of water. Additional steps are needed before drinking to improve the taste but the water is drinkable once the formula has been thoroughly mixed and left to set for at minimum 10 minutes.

Pool Shock

Pool Shock also known as Hypochlorite powder when dissolved in water is commonly known as bleach, or liquid bleach. It is relatively inexpensive, a 1lb bag can retail for $3-5, and has a longer shelf life than store bought Clorox bleach.

Steps for a stock of chlorine solution

1. Measure 1 teaspoon, roughly one-quarter of an ounce of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite per 2 gallons, or eight liters of water.

2. Add to water and mix until completely dissolved.

3. Use a eyedropper to place 8 drops per gallon of water, stir well, and wait 30 minutes to allow the solution to purify the contaminated water.

You can find some bargains on pool shock in the fall. Follow all safety precautions on any package of pool shock or liquid bleach.


Chlorine will not kill botulism spores nor will it kill cryptosporidium cysts (often found in flood water) but boiling will kill them

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Water Filters

There are a variety of water filters on the market with price ranges to fit all budgets and needs. Many companies offer small personal filters with a straw, medium filters that attach to 2 liter bottles, and large ceramic filters such as a Berkey. Prices can range from $25 dollars for personal filters such as a Sawyer or $250+ for the large Berkey.

Trusted brands to begin research on for your water filtration needs are Sawyer, Berkey, Katadyn, Berkefeld and Doulton. When shopping for a filter, be sure to evaluate how much water you need to filter for your household. Most brands will list how many gallons of water their product can safely filter. For example, the Sawyer Mini Filter is an example of a low cost filter which can safely filter up to 100,000 gallons of water.


There is a BIG difference in purifying water and filtering out particles & chemicals. It is important to filter for viruses and bacteria in addition to a regular filter. Some filters will do both so research carefully so that you do not make yourself sick. It is a good idea to keep Kaopectate or similar medicine in your medicine kit just in case you need it.

Now that we have addressed water purification and ways to purify, here is a list of items you might want to consider having available or access to.

1. 5 gallon buckets & Lids

These items can be used to transport water or create a toilet. Used ones from a bakery are usually about a $1-2.

2. Eye Dropper

Can be used to add bleach to water or medicines to the eyes, nose, or ears.

3. Pans or something durable enough to boil water and cook food items.

4. Funnels

5. Iodine

In a pinch, this will make water drinkable but it will not taste good.

6. Hot Water Shower Bag

7. Food grade plastic buckets & bottles to store drinkable water

8. Shovel for trenching

9. Coffee filters

This will allow you to put your water through a first cleansing

10. A wash basin or tub to wash hands, dishes, etc.

11. Fire starting tools & supplies for boiling water

The information contained in this post should not be percieved as “professional” or inclusive of all possibilities and outcomes for the purification, filtration, or creation of drinkable water. This post should be considered as an idea generator and provoke thoughts on disaster preparedness. It is not intended to provide medical instructions

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