Emergency Hauling, Storing and Disinfecting of
Areas of Illinois can experience conditions that require the purchasing and
hauling of drinking water by home owners, farmers, institutions and small
private subdivisions whose own water supplies are not adequate. The following
information on emergency water supply and treatment is intended for use by
owners of such supplies until these temporary water shortages are over.
Sources of Potable Water
Water should be obtained from a municipal water supply. When this is not
possible, many food industries, such as milk and beverage plants, have the
necessary equipment (i.e., pasteurizers and bottlers) for handling water. In
certain emergencies where water from such facilities is not in adequate supply,
unprocessed water from private supplies may be used if a sanitary survey and
sampling indicate a supply is free from contamination. A residual type
disinfectant should be added regardless of source (see Disinfection of Water).
Water Transport Vehicles
Water must only be transported in tank trucks or wagons constructed and used
for that purpose. In emergencies when such vehicles are in short supply, water
may be hauled in vehicles normally used for transporting milk or beverages.
When milk or beverage transport trucks are used, they should be thoroughly
washed and disinfected on the inside (see Disinfection of Equipment). Many
milk, beverage and similar type processing plants have automatic tank truck
cleaning and disinfection equipment approved by the Illinois Department of
Water Storage Facilities
Water storage facilities such as reservoirs or storage tanks are necessary
during an emergency. Pressure tanks can be used for storage as long as any
potentially contaminated water is drained. The air valves should be opened
during the disinfection process to allow contact of all internal areas of the
tank with the disinfectant. A properly constructed reservoir that has been
cleaned and disinfected is best (see Disinfection of Equipment), but any type
of tank or container that can be thoroughly cleaned, properly disinfected and
tightly covered may be used. Tanks or containers previously used to store oil,
gasoline, pesticides or any other potentially toxic substances must not be
Disinfection of Water
The most reliable method for purifying water is to vigorously boil the water
for five minutes. This will kill any disease-causing bacteria present in the
water. When boiling is not practical, chemical disinfection should be used.
Chlorine and iodine are the most commonly used chemical disinfectants.
Liquid chlorine (bleach) is recommended for use in small individual systems
when disinfection is necessary. Chlorine may be obtained in powder or liquid
form from drug stores or supermarkets. Whichever form of chlorine is used, make
sure it is from a source that is fresh. The powder form [calcium hypochlorite
is 65 percent available chlorine and the liquid form [sodium hypochlorite
(bleach)] is usually 5.25 percent available chlorine. When using the powder,
mix by adding the powder to a quart of water. Allow the solution to settle and
use the clear liquid, without shaking (See table below). This stock solution
loses strength and should be made up fresh at least once a week.
Emergency Disinfection of Water
| Available Chlorine
|*Quantity of stock solution to treat
|| 8 drops
|| 1 ⅔ cups (13 oz.)
||2 heaping tablespoons
(1 oz.) in quart of water
| 20 drops
|*Double amount for turbid
or colored water.
After adding the stock solution to the water volume being treated, stir it
thoroughly and let the treated water stand for 30 minutes before using.
Common household iodine from the medicine chest or first aid kit also may be
used to disinfect water. Add 10 drops of 2 percent tincture of iodine to each
gallon of water, mix well and let stand for at least 30 minutes before using.
Commercially prepared chlorine and iodine tablets containing the necessary
dosage for drinking water disinfection may be obtained at any drug store. They
should be used in accordance with label instructions.
Disinfection of Equipment
Equipment used for storing or transporting potable water must be thoroughly
cleaned and disinfected prior to use. Cleaning should be done to remove any
dirt, scale, and other loose materials. Disinfection of equipment or tanks
should be done by one of the following methods:
- Add 20 ounces of 65 percent calcium hypochlorite to each 1,000 gallons of
- Add 2 gallons of 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite (bleach) to each 1,000
gallons of water; or
- Add 2 pints of 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite (bleach) to each 100
gallons of water.
This will result in a solution that has about 100 mg/L chlorine. Let it
stand a minimum of 12 hours, then drain through the distribution system, if
possible. A residual chlorine test should show a distinct residual in the water
drained out of the tank; if not, the disinfection process should be repeated.
The complete contents of the tank should be drained to a safe location such as
a sanitary sewer, the water should be dechlorinated if a large volume has to be
drained to a storm sewer or waterway.
When using emergency water sources, the level of residual chlorine in the
water for consumption should be between 0.5 and 4 parts per million, after the
treatment described in this bulletin. Inexpensive color comparator test kits
can be purchased from most large department stores and swimming pool supply
companies. Testing for residual chlorine should be performed several times per
day for large volume uses and at least twice per day for small volumes.
If you have any questions, please contact your local health department or
the nearest Illinois Department of Public Health regional office.
| ROCKFORD REGION
4302 N. Main St.
Rockford, IL 61103-1209
|| MARION REGION
2309 W. Main St., Suite 106
Marion, IL 62959-1195
5415 N. University St.
Peoria, IL 61614-4784
#22 Kettle River Drive
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
2125 S. First St.
Champaign, IL 61820-7944
WEST CHICAGO REGION
245 W. Roosevelt Road, Building 5
West Chicago, IL 6018-4803
Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health, 525
W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761, 217-782-5830, TTY (hearing impaired
use only) 800-547-0466. Questions may be directed to your local health
department, to one of the Illinois Department of Public Healths regional
offices or to the Departments central office in Springfield.