Hidden Water Sources

Overview


If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use water in your hot-water tank, in your plumbing, and in ice cubes. As a last resort, you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl), but purify it first.

Water Beds


Water beds hold up to 400 gallons, but some water beds contain toxic chemicals that are not fully removed by many purifiers. If you designate a water bed in your home as an emergency resource, drain it yearly and refill it with fresh water containing two ounces of bleach per 120 gallons.

Pipes or Hot-Water Tanks


To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the highest faucet in your house and draining the water from the lowest one.

To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty.

Incoming Water Valve


Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You'll need to shut if off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines.