We take water for granted. The moment we need fresh, clean water, we simply turn on the faucet and out flows the liquid. But the truth is, it isn’t that easily available everywhere, and it is certainly not something that we may waste. RV-ers understand this all too well. After all, when you’re living full-time in a bus conversion you bought on sale, you have to make do with a limited supply of water.
Fresh water is hard to come by when you’re traveling through desolate areas, which means you do not have the luxury of wasting water. That’s why you start thinking more conservatively as far as your water budget is concerned. However, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some tricks you can adopt to save more water and make life simpler. One of them involves collecting and storing rainwater. But rainwater gets polluted as soon as it hits the ground. So, your chances of finding clean rainwater while camping are slim to none. Thankfully, converting collected rainwater into safe drinking water is easy.
Purification via Boiling
Boiling is the most effective method of purifying rainwater because it eliminates any waterborne pathogens, thereby preventing diseases.
·Keep the collected rainwater in a tub for a minimum of one hour so that the heavy particles settle out. Take care not to stir up these particles when drawing the water out.Now pour this clean water into a metal pan.
·Light a fire with dry firewood and matches.
·Place the metal pan containing the rainwater on the fire for 10 to 15 minutes, so the water starts boiling.
·Cool the water before you drink it.
·Place clean rainwater in a metal pan following sedimentation.
·In one quart of rainwater, pour four to six drops of liquid chlorine. Control the amount of chlorine you add depending on the size of the pan.
·Let the chlorine disinfect the rainwater. The process usually takes 30 minutes if the water temperature is 70 degrees F or more. If the rainwater is near freezing temperature, give the chlorine at least an hour to work.
When chlorine is unavailable, you can use iodine instead. Adding three to five drops in a quart of water should be enough for purification. If the water is at 70 degrees F, you can expect the process to take at least 20 minutes.
·Follow the usual process of sedimentation to clear the collected rainwater, but this time instead of a metal pan, pour the liquid into a large, clear ziplock bag.
·Now spread at least 2 feet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Make sure the shiny side faces upwards.
·You need to place the ziplock bag flat on top of the foil in a location receiving the maximum amount of direct sunlight.
·For added safety, place more aluminum foil around the laid-out freezer bag until you form a bowl. This reflects extra solar energy towards the bag.
·Leave the bag in the heat for several hours.
·You don’t have to wait for the water to reach its boiling point. All you need to do is ensure that the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. The sun’s ultraviolet rays boost sterilizing effects, which kill all waterborne pathogens.
Once purified, all you need to do is pour the contents into a clean jar or glass to prevent contamination.
According to the United States Geological Survey, an average person uses almost 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. Compare that with the amount of water an RV can hold at any given time – usually between 42 and 50 gallons (Source: outdoorsypro.com) – and you’ll immediately understand there’s a dearth of fresh water. That’s why you should have a backup in the bus conversion you found on sale. And following the methods mentioned before, you should have no trouble tapping rainwater and replenishing your supply of drinking water whenever you need it.