1 min read

Make Water Safe During an Emergency

Make Water Safe During an Emergency

Cleaning and Sanitizing a Water Storage Container Before Use

Before filling with safe water, use these steps to clean and sanitize water storage containers:

  1. Wash the storage container and rinse completely with water.
  2. Sanitize the container with a solution made by mixing 1 teaspoon of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water. Use bleach that contains 5%–9% sodium hypochlorite.
  3. Cover the container tightly and shake it well. Make sure the sanitizing bleach solution touches all inside surfaces of the container.
  4. Wait at least 30 seconds and then pour the sanitizing solution out of the container.
  5. Let the empty sanitized container air-dry before use OR rinse the empty container with safe water (water that has been treated).
  6. Pour clean water into the sanitized container and cover with a tight lid.

Disinfecting Drinking Water With Bleach

Follow the instructions on the bleach label for disinfecting drinking water.

  1. If the label doesn’t have instructions for disinfecting drinking water, check the “active ingredient” on the label to find the sodium hypochlorite percentage. Then use the information in the tables below as a guide. Add the appropriate amount of bleach using a medicine dropper, teaspoon, or metric measure (milliliters).
  2. Stir the mixture well.
  3. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you drink it.
  4. Store the disinfected water in clean, sanitized containers with tight covers.
Chart for the United States

Reference:  EPA