If I were to ask how many of you store liquid bleach along with your other prepping supplies, I am certain that a good percentage of you would raise your hands. Liquid bleach is a powerful disinfectant and sanitizer but did you know that there is something better? Something with an almost indefinite shelf life that is inexpensive and takes almost no room to store?
That something is the chemical Calcium Hypochlorite most commonly known as Pool Shock.
I have known about Pool Shock for years but because it is not readily available in my area, I never took the time to search it out so I could stockpile some for my own emergency preps. That has now changed and today I plan to show you how to use Pool Shock the easy way, step by step.
Why Not Bleach?
Before we start, you may be asking “why not use liquid chlorine bleach?”. There are a few problems with liquid household bleach. It takes a lot of room to store bleach plus the usable shelf life is only six months to a year depending on storage conditions.
The folks at Clorox say this:
The active ingredient in liquid bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is very sensitive to high heat and freezing, but under normal home storage conditions, it should still perform well for nine to twelve months.
In addition to limited shelf life, there is another problem. I have had reports from Backdoor Survival readers telling me that in their area, they can only purchase “Clorox Ultra” which is concentrated. When I called Clorox to ask how to use concentrated bleach to purify water, they said that it was not intended to be used in that manner and why would I want to do that anyway. Seriously, their representative actually said that.
Pool Shock – The Boilerplate
When I started doing research for this article, I visited some of the most respected survival and preparedness blogs and forums for background material. After all, pool shock is pool shock and there must be some standards for use, right?
With just one exception, all of the sites I visited included this boilerplate from the EPA:
You can use granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water.
Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately ¼ ounce) for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters (approximately 7 grams) per 7.5 liters of water.
The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight.
To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 ounces) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or (approximately ½ liter to 50 liters of water) to be disinfected.
To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another.
Have your eyes glazed over yet? Mine have. Being an accountant, I like to deal in absolutes so what is this business about “one heaping teaspoon”? Plus, what’s up with the references to “approximately” and “roughly”?
I decided that it was time to do my own testing, and sure enough, each time I measured out a heaping teaspoon, I had different results; they ran the gamut from 1 1/4 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons. This made my head hurt.
Another thing. Over and over I read that you should use pool shock that is a minimum of 78% calcium hypochlorite with the balance being inert ingredients. Fair enough, but there are two problems with this. First, what you find locally maybe 68%, it may be 78%, or it may be something else. Second, the EPA makes no such recommendation or at least none that I could find. They simply say “high-test”.
Read the rest here: https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/how-to-use-pool-shock-to-purify-water/