In summer of 2015, the mains water supply of around 300,000 households in Lancashire was contaminated. The contaminant was the cryptosporidium microbial parasite, which causes gastrointestinal illnesses such as sickness and diarrhoea. The parasite entered the water supply in animal faeces seeping in to a reservoir from a nearby farm. A contaminated water supply is a real risk; be ready in case it happens again.
Prepping For A Contaminated Water Supply
You can take several precautions to prep for a contaminated drinking water supply. Store some bottled water, which can be used as a short term source of drinking water. Learn a variety of water purification techniques. Depending on the type of contamination, it may be possible to make the contaminated water safe to drink. Understand water purification methods and obtain equipment needed for them so you can purify a contaminated water supply.
You may be able to obtain water from other sources. Investigate your local area to learn where there are other water sources, for example, springs, streams or rivers. These sources may not be contaminated even if the mains water supply is. You should use a water purification technique on any water collected.
Set up rainwater collection equipment at home so that you have another source of water. Collected rain water can be purified using several water purification techniques.
What To Do When The Water Supply Is Contaminated
Do not drink the contaminated water until you know what the contamination is. Different water purification methods remove different contaminants, so using the wrong one may not make the water safe. Use your bottled water supply initially until you understand the nature of the contamination. Once you have determined what has contaminated your water supply, decide if any water purification methods are suitable. Only drink the water if you are sure the purification method is suitable for the type of contamination.
If you are unable to purify the water from your mains water supply, use a different source of water. You can obtain water from nearby streams or rivers, or use collected rainwater. Make sure you purify these before drinking.