Safe Drinking Water in Hurricane Season
by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated December 30, 2021
This past hurricane season of 2021 ended up being within the three most active seasons on record. With that being said, it fell in line with a 30 year average of occurrences within the Atlantic. It produced 21 storms, alongside 7 hurricanes, with nearly half of said hurricanes reaching category 3 or more according to the Saffir-Simpson scale. From extensive clean-up efforts to major infrastructural damage, hurricanes and tropical storms leave a wake of destruction in their path. When damage does occur, municipal water facilities are prone to the rather harsh effects of storms.
When Is Hurricane Season
In 2021 the Atlantic hurricane season ran between June 1st and November 30th, including areas of the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico. The majority of these hurricanes and storms occurred during peak season from August to October. September, however, resulted in the most active storms of any other active month. In Texas, for example, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017, with Hurricane Irma reaching land on September 10th, 2017.
These kinds of extreme weather are unpredictable, with hurricane formation depending on several factors such as sustained wind. Wind shear, water temperature, and other factors come into play, as they are monitored closely by experts. During the year, these weather experts attempt to predict the occurrence of hurricanes and tropical storms, in an effort to warn citizens and prevent damage.
The Impact Hurricanes Have on Water Supply
Public water supplies are easily contaminated by hurricanes, especially when it’s accompanied by flooding and tidal surge. It is not advisable for citizens to consume contaminated drinking water, especially considering the illnesses that are likely to incur. You should wait for local officials to announce when local water is safe to drink, in order to avoid various ramifications.
Check out this for detailed information Protecting Your Water During Natural Disasters Seasons
These disease-causing organisms and other toxic chemicals are common contamination after a major flooding vent. Record rainfall caused by Hurricane Florence, for example, caused pig waste lagoons to overflow into public water supplies in North Carolina. Lagoons such as these are designed to hold pig waste, which has the potential to leach into municipal water when lagoons are swept by floodwater. Ultimately, pig waste contaminated drinking water, and left citizens to suffer from salmonella, E. Coli, and the like. And, because these types of bacteria are now known to be resistant to various types of antibiotics, it creates a difficult dynamic for healthcare workers attempting to treat residents.
Water Pipe Damages
High winds are another consideration of hurricanes and tropical storms, especially in terms of infrastructural damage and falling trees. Once pipes become damaged or broken, they are prone to leaks which results in contaminated water. This water flows straight into the main water lines, directly into residential homes. There are a great number of health risks associated with damaged water pipes, including dysentery, cholera, hepatitis, and E.coli. Even after a water system has been repaired, it can harbor contamination for years and create costly maintenance fees.
Under-Treated Water and Power Loss
Chances are, your water treatment system is completely reliant on electricity to operate. A hurricane frequently leads to water outages, which means resulting water will not get treated properly when there’s a storm. Although water treatment plants typically operate through the use of backup generators, they may quickly run out of fuel crucial to operation. This is especially true when power goes out for a long period time, and the generator runs out of fuel. When untreated water comes into play your body could be exposed to chemicals, toxins, and other solid debris that’s leached into the public water lines.
Learn more on how to Enjoy Clean Drinking Water During Power Outage
How Do You Treat Contaminated Water after Hurricane?
The act of boiling water may not kill all types of bacteria present in contaminated tap water. For example, a one minute session of boiling water will eliminate E. coli alongside several other kinds of bacteria. You must, however, allow the water to cool before you attempt drinking, or store it for any length of time.
Boiling water has very limited effects on contaminated water. Very few pollutants will persist in boiled water, since they’re only slightly reduced. Washing your hands or doing laundry does not demand boiled water, though. You can even bathe in unboiled tap water, as long as the water doesn’t enter your mouth or eyes. In terms of young children, or individuals with a weak immune system, it’s safer to utilize purified water, instead.
Water Filter System
A water filter system serves as the most efficient method of water treatment after a natural disaster. In the event of a blackout or breakdown of various water transportation facility, that occurs after a disaster, a water filtration system can make all the difference.
Gravity-Fed Water Filter
You can rarely determine the exact amount of damage a storm will leave in its wake before it’s taken place. Generally speaking, people are alerted to hurricanes days or weeks in advance. Even the most relatively mild storms have the potential to wreak havoc, damage your home, or make it difficult to obtain necessary supplies. For this reason it is advised to protect your home through the use of storm bags, alongside a three days supply of food and water.
When the electricity goes out for several days, keeping supplies in stock will really come in handy. Gusty winds and nasty weather may take out your power, but there are steps you can take to ensure a proper supply of water for your loved ones.
Learn more on How Do Gravity-Fed Water Filters Work?
The Waterdrop King Tank gravity-fed water filter system is specifically designed to meet or exceed your indoor and outdoor drinking water requirements. The whole unite is electric-free, providing safe drinking water when you suffer from the power loss, especially during the hurricane season. The Waterdrop King Tank stainless steel gravity water filter is equipped with a 2.25-gallon large capacity. This meets the water needs of a 4-person family, ensuring you and your loved ones can get pure water.
The filter offered an in-depth drawing technique, consumers may expect better overall filter performance. It utilizes natural filter media crafted from coconut shell-activated carbon, for up to a 98% initial fluorine reduction and 98.95% reduction in chlorine.
Waterdrop’s gravity fed system reduces soil, sediment, rust, heavy metals, and other contaminants that influence taste and odor. Coupled with anti-rust capabilities, this system provides a user-friendly design (without joints), for a natural look that compliments your interior décor.
Water Filter Straw
If you are looking to effectively reduce over 99% of contaminants found in raw water, a water filter straw may be an excellent choice. With a 0.1-micron ultrafiltration membrane, the water filter stray is capable of removing rust, organic particulates, bacteria, and other sediments from water.
Thanks to a compact size, the water filter straw works to deliver a large amount of consistent, and safe drinking water. In fact, most models provide up to 100,000 gallons of filtered water from a single unit. Ultimately, the water filter straw is an excellent product to put your trust into, especially in the midst of a disaster. Whether you are looking to filter water indoors or during outdoor adventures, the water filter straw is great for camping, hiking, traveling, emergency preparedness, and much, much more.
When hurricanes leave a tremendous amount of structural damage, or damage to the natural environment, it’s more than just our homes that suffer. From human health to local utilities, there are a variety of items that suffer damage. You can easily avoid the implications of floodwater dumping unwanted materials into your drinking water supply with a few steps. If you are interested in being prepared for nature’s worst, don’t forget to consider the products listed above.