Prepare 2015 – July Homework

Water is critical to survival. It is important to understand how to disinfect water in the event your water source is contaminated. Calcium hypochlorite is a great way to disinfect water because it has a 10 year plus shelf life as compared with liquid bleach which has a 6 month shelf life. It can also be used to create a stock solution to disinfect surfaces in addition to killing nasty bugs in your water and costs less than $10. July’s goal is to purchase a one-pound bag, store it properly, and teach your family how to use it in the event of an emergency.

Spend $20 – Purchase one pound of 68-72 percent calcium hypochlorite for emergency water disinfection from a pool supply store or from It is best to store it in the original bag inside of a glass jar with a plastic lid. Calcium hypochlorite will react with metal so only use glass or plastic. Use the remainder of the money to purchase commercially packaged water bottles.

15 minutes – Spend a few minutes to teach family members how to use calcium hypochlorite for water disinfection. Check the status of your water storage. Do you have enough water stored? Two gallons per person per day for at least two weeks.

It would be a good idea to store the one pound bag of calcium hypochlorite inside of a glass jar with a plastic lid. I have taped the directions on the outside of our bottle to make sure we remember how to use it during an emergency. These tables can be found in our book The Provident Prepper – A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies or in a free printable PDF included in this post.

Storage of Calcium Hypochlorite

Forgotten how to use calcium hypochlorite for water disinfection? Here is a printable PDF that you could place with your bag to remind everyone how to use it during an emergency.

Calcium Hypochlorite Instructions

You can purchase dry calcium hypochlorite at a local pool store or click here to purchase it from Plastic lids are available in packages of a dozen wherever canning supplies are sold. I would have preferred to store our calcium hypochlorite in a wide mouth jar but I only had standard plastic lids. An old glass mayo jar and a handy plastic lid means that it is stored safely without impacting my budget.

Remember that calcium hypochlorite reacts with metal so I would not recommend using a metal lid. A glass jar is preferable because it will is not permeable. In the event of an earthquake the jar may break, but the dry chemical will still be safely contained in the original bag.

I do not recommend storing large quantities. One pound will disinfect up to 10,000 gallons of water. One or two is really all that you might need.