If boiling water is not an option chemical purification is the next best method. A gallon of store bought bleach containing 6% sodium hypochlorite can purify over 3,000 gallons of water. That is a lot of emergency purified water for such an inexpensive preparation. When using bleach for water purification the general rule is 2 drops of bleach per quart of water if the water is clear, or 4 drops of bleach per quart of water if the water is discolored. If the water is discolored you should remove particles and debris prior to treatment by running the water through a coffee filter, paper towel or other fabric. Once the bleach is added to the water you must close the water container for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes check the water to see if a slight chlorine smell is present. If there is no smell, add 2 additional drops of bleach solution per quart of water and let the water sit for an additional 30 minutes. To make the treated water easier to drink by reducing the chlorine smell allow the water to sit uncovered for several hours. The attached picture shows my emergency gallon of bleach with the following items taped to the container for easy access: coffee filters, medicine dropper and these purification instructions. An old medicine dropper from a kid's medicine bottle works well. Finally, if adding flavored beverage powder to improve the taste of chemically treated water, you must wait the 30 minutes until after the water treatment process is complete.
Ratio of Bleach to Water for Purification (Only use regular bleach, no scented bleaches).
*2 drops of Regular Bleach per quart of water.
*8 drops of Regular Bleach per gallon of water.
*1/2 teaspoon Regular Bleach per five gallons of water. If the water is cloudy, double the above dosages of Bleach.
*To ensure that bleach is at its full strength, rotate or replace your storage bottle prior to the products expiration date.