Are you developing a DIY long term food storage plan? If so, you might have gathered all the food items and the right tools you need to store long-term to tackle any emergency. However, most preppers forget one crucial thing to store.

And that is clean and hygienic water!

As much as it is important to store the right food items, you must also have enough water stored for your family. If you want to know how to store water in large quantities, be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts.

You must only store clean water that can be used for drinking, cooking, and other household chores, but you also need to have a method that helps you clean the water in large quantities if needed.

Calcium Hypochlorite

Why is household chlorine bleach ineffective for long-term water disinfection?

The most common method to clean and disinfect water is to use household chlorine bleach. Most preppers think of using this because it is readily available, but household chlorine bleach is ineffective when it comes to long-term water disinfection. 

Chlorine bleach loses its potency to disinfect and clean water over time. With a shelf-life of 6 months, chlorine bleach keeps getting weaker as time passes by. Weak chlorine bleach can’t clean and disinfect water effectively. It won’t be able to kill any bacteria or viruses in the water. 

So, what’s the alternative? 

Calcium Hypochlorite is the perfect alternative to household chlorine bleach. Let’s find out why and how to use it to disinfect water effectively.

Use of Calcium Hypochlorite to Disinfect Water

Why is calcium hypochlorite a better alternative?

Calcium hypochlorite, whether powdered or granulated, has a shelf-life of 10 years. Hence, you can use it to disinfect and clean water effectively over the long term. 

Another benefit is that you don’t need to invest too much to buy bulk calcium hypochlorite. Just buy a 1-pound bag, and you can clean up to thousands of liters of water.

How to use calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water?

The best way to use calcium hypochlorite is to make a 5% chlorine stock solution using 68-70% dry calcium hypochlorite. This solution will help you clean a smaller amount of water effectively. 

To know how much calcium hypochlorite you will need to make a 5% chlorine stock solution to clean a certain quantity of water, you can check out Sanitary Control and Surveillance of Field Water Supplies (page 70). This is a publication provided by The Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

However, if you find the above table complicated to understand, here’s a simplified calculation for you. 

Calcium Hypochlorite to Disinfect Water

To make a 5% chlorine stock solution using 68-70% calcium hypochlorite, you need to take 

  • 1 cup of water and add 1½ teaspoon of calcium hypochlorite. 
  • For 1 quart, add 2 tablespoons, 
  • For 2 quarts, add 4 tablespoons, 
  • And for 1 gallon, add 8 tablespoons of calcium hypochlorite, respectively. 

With powdered calcium hypochlorite, you can make a 5% chlorine stock solution when you need it, as per your convenience. 

Once you have the stock solution, you can the recommended amount in water and wait for 30 minutes for its action. For example, 1 quart of clear water, add 2 drops of stock solution. However, if you have 1 quart of cloudy water, add 4 drops of stock solution. Similarly, 

  • For 1 gallon, use 8 drops for clear water. (Double for 1-galloncloudy water)
  • For 5 gallons, ½ teaspoon for clear water.
  • For 10 gallons, 1 teaspoon for clear water. And so on.

How to Store Dry Calcium Hypochlorite?

Calcium hypochlorite must be stored carefully as it is a dangerous chemical and needs proper handling. The chemical is highly corrosive and reactive.

Calcium hypochlorite will react with organic materials, combustive materials, reducing agents, and moisture. It is corrosive and will damage any metallic container made with aluminum and stainless steel. It is also slightly corrosive with glass.

Don’t ingest it! Use gloves, protective goggles, and a mask while using calcium hypochlorite.

To store dry calcium hypochlorite, you can use containers made with non-reactive and non-corrosive materials such as polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, and Teflon.

Bottom Line

Storage and disinfection of water are critical when preparing for emergencies. Using calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water is a better alternative to using household bleach.

Preppers can make fresh batches of 5% stock solution of dry calcium hypochlorite and use it to disinfect water, but you need to make sure you store calcium hypochlorite in non-reactive and non-corrosive containers.

If you want to read more tips, advice, and tricks for long-term food storage and emergency planning, keep reading our Wallaby blogs! Apart from providing the right emergency prepping advice, we also offer a wide variety of high-quality Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

Head to our website now for all of your food storage needs.