There are plenty of warnings not to drink pool water, but would the same advice still apply in an emergency situation? The fact is pool water is not potable and contains many different chemicals, but despite all that, a swimming pool is one of the best things to own during an emergency. The average 20 ft by 40 ft inground swimming pool can provide access to up to 34,000 gallons of water at a time when getting it from the tap or well may not be feasible. Here’s how to prepare to use this valuable resource in a SHTF scenario.
Use Pool Water as Gray Water
Pools contain chlorine to keep them pristine, but when the electricity goes down and the pumps stop running, the automatic filtration and treatment system stops too. That can be a good thing as chlorine dissipates over time into the air. Thus, there is less and less of it. You may even notice algae starting to grow, which is also a beneficial sign that the chlorine is about gone. Then, you can use the water as gray water to do laundry, flush toilets, and take baths. The amount of water you use from the pool can keep your potable water stores from being wasted and used on those activities that do not require the absolute best filtration or water treatment.
To Stay Cool in Hot Situations
One of the most dangerous times for the power to go down is in the heat of summer. Luckily, if you own a pool, you won’t be one of those people who might end up with heat stroke. A pool isn’t just handy for jumping into when the temperatures get too high, but it can also be used for 12V battery-operated evaporative coolers, so you can sleep well at night. You can opt for the DIY option of a swamp coolers which works by cooling very dry areas down by spritzing water on them. However, there are also battery-operated swamp coolers on the market. Evaporative cooling is an ancient technique to keep buildings cool, and if you have an area with brick, you can even spray water on it and let the natural evaporation cool that space down.
You Can Drink It (With Some Cautions)
You probably are very aware what goes into your pool water, when it comes to additives and chemicals. Many pool builders might even be creating salt water pools for the neighbors or treating them with heavy metals, though. Thus, you might not know exactly what is in everyone’s pools, but you do know your own. It will need to be filtered and protected, to try to maintain some of the chlorine to avoid contamination. Cover your pool with a cover at the first indication that you are undergoing a long-term emergency. This will not only keep the sun from breaking down all the chlorine, but it will also keep debris out of the water. Use a swimming pool test kit to check the chlorine levels and once it goes below 4 ppm, it is safe to drink (assuming no other harsh chemicals are in it). You will still want to use a biofilter to remove any potential bacteria and additional chemicals before giving it a swig. If you have access to a solar still, this is the best way to treat pool water before drinking it. Do not drink pool water for more than a few days, just in case you’ve missed something. Also, don’t drink pool water from a different person’s pool because they might not know how it’s been treated and what is in the water. If you decide to build your own pool, you can run a quick search of “pool builders near me“ and ask for information regarding pool water as well as what designs best fit you.
Get Your Own Pool for Emergencies
Having your own pool is the best assurance of what goes into the water prior to an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to rely on the kindness of your neighbors to offer up some of their pool water and then find out it has been harshly treated with too many chemicals or salts to make it drinkable. Instead, treat your pool with chlorine and have a plan to protect it and use it appropriately when the time comes.