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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Filtering Water

Diagram of a housed slow sand filter for water...Image via Wikipedia

The easiest method of filtering water is to buy a quality water filter. Most families, staying put during a disaster (bugging in), will be well served by a Katadyn or Berkey water filters.

I can recommend the Katadyn Drip Ceradyn water filter or the Big Berkey water filter. Both of these filters are  difficult to transport because they are designed for home or camp use. The complete filters are also expensive; you can reduce the cost of a complete filter by just buying the filter elements and constructing a filter out of five-gallon plastic buckets.

Now sooner or later, usually later with a Katadyn's Ceradyn and Berkey's black berkey filter elements, you and your family are going to have to construct a water filter out of available material. I have included two links to a "slow sand filter."

A slow sand filter uses sand, soil, and rocks in a 55-gallon drum to filter water. Make sure you read and print the slow sand filter plans from Surfer Without Borders. The other links should be read, printed, and placed in your survival bible as you see fit.

Surfers Without Borders - Slow Sand Filter Plans

How To Pedia - How to Filter Water with a Sand Filter

World Health Organization - Slow Sand Filtration

World Health Organization - Slow Sand Filtration in PDF format

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Concrete Well Lining

The course of history hasn’t changed much when it comes to our drinking water supplies. We either get it from standing water, such as a pond or cistern, or we get it from a hole in the ground. One thing that has changed is how we make that hole in the ground. Nowadays we usually hire a well drilling company to do the job, but sometimes the situation calls for an old fashioned hand dug well. One key factor in any well is protecting it from contamination, and hand dug wells are especially prone to problems if you do not take steps to prevent problems from occurring. There are many ways to do that today, from using corrugated culvert to precast concrete caissons to line the well. But to some extent you can also pour in place your own concrete well lining.
Here’s a piece from the old days that tells you one way to line your well;

One of the most necessary appointments of the farm is a well to furnish a supply of good, pure drinking water, and a well should be so located and lined that the water will be protected against all possibility of contamination from outside sources.
The old wooden well lining and cover not only permits particles of soil and vegetable matter to drop into the water but soon reaches a state of decay when it becomes a source of danger to life and to limb from contamination and possibility of accidents. The top covering becomes loose, boards are pushed into or dropped down the well and the opening is a serious menace to farm animals and children about the place.
A concrete well lining and platform will overcome and for all time prevent these dangers. The concrete well lining should extend down into the well from 6 to 8 feet or sufficient depth to prevent burrowing of animals and seepage through the upper layers of soil.

In localities where an underground water stratum of undesirable quality is found at greater depth than this, the lining should be extended down far enough to exclude such water. In lining a well with concrete first remove the top cover as well as the old lining down to the desired depth. At that depth a platform must be built to form a stage on which to work. This platform may rest on the old lining or else be supported against the soil within the well. With this platform in place and all of the old lining thoroughly removed, forms for the new lining may be built. These should consist of 1 by 4 inch strips beveled at the edge to permit their being placed around in a circle with tight joints facing the concrete.

One of the accompanying illustrations shows this in the sectional plan of forms. These boards should be braced by 2 by 4′s at sufficient intervals to insure that they will not bulge or give way under the pressure of the fresh concrete. These forms are 4 feet long as shown in the sketch of the vertical section and are so bolted together that they are easily collapsible when necessary to take them down. As a rule only interior forms will be needed if they are braced and blocked sufficient distance from the earth wall when concreting. After the form section has been filled with concrete the forms should be left in place until the concrete has thoroughly hardened. Then they may be removed and a support or platform built for casting the concrete cover slab or if this is not too large to be handled in place by three or four men, it may be cast separately in a form made for that purpose and when it is hardened be moved to its position over the well curb.
A platform not less than 4 inches thick and reinforced with 1/4 inch round rods 8 or 10 inches center to center should be made. An opening must be provided for inserting the pump and another one to serve as a manhole which may be necessary if the well has to be cleaned out at some time.

A tight fitting concrete cover should be made for this manhole, provision being made for it when the cover slab or platform is cast. The edges of the manhole opening should be beveled and the cover for the manhole opening correspondingly beveled to fit into this opening.

Plan of concrete pavement on ground around well lining or curb.
Concrete for a well lining platform should be mixed not leaner than 1:2:4 although a 1:2:3 mixture is preferable. The pebbles or broken stones used should not exceed 1 inch in largest dimension.

Goal Setting to Help Survive When TSHTF

For the new year I don’t like to make resolutions, I like to create goals.  Goals are good for people to have because it’s the plan that gets them from Point A to Point B in life.  Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to set goals and work towards them, so I’m writing this to give a little advice on how to do so and save you hundreds of your hard earned dollars in self help gurus at the same time.
I have personally used these techniques to get out of debt, lose weight, and achieve a stable and happy relationship among others, so I know they work!
Setting Goals
The first thing you have to do is set a goal.  What is it you want to do?  Since this is SHTFblog I’ll show you how to set and achieve some real goals that will help you towards survival.
Be specific when setting goals and write them down.  Instead of saying, “Um yeah, I’d like to have some cans of food in case TSHTF,’’ say “I want to have 100 cans of Spaghettios, 100 cans of vegetables, 200 cans of beans, and 100 cans of tuna fish by July 30 of this year.” 
With the first statement there are no measurable goals – just some desires that I wrote down.  In the second sentence I now have specifics.  I know exactly what I want, how much I want, and when I want it by.  Now I have something to work for and numbers to plan with.
Make your goals achievable.  If I said, ”I’m going to have 20,000 cans of food in my pantry by March,” it’s not likely to happen and I’m setting myself up for failure.  By making your goals possible to reach you’ll stay motivated to keep moving towards them.
Break the goal up into doable chunks.  Don’t try to eat the elephant all at once, you’ll choke on it and pretty soon you’ll give up.  Here’s a better method.  First, figure out how many months between now and your goal date.  In this case I’m going from January to July so that’s seven months.  Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul.
I get paid every two weeks so I’ll say that I’ve got about 14 pay periods between now and my goal date.  Now I take cans wanted and divide 14 into it.  For example:  If I want 100 cans of Spaghettios I divide 14 into 100 and come up with 7.14…  Therefore, I need to buy 7 extra cans of Spaghettios every two weeks when I get paid in order to meet my goal.
So, if I figure it all out it looks like this:
Every two weeks I need to buy:
7 extra cans of Spaghettios 14.5 oz @ .93 cents per can = $6.51
7 extra cans of veggies (Green Giant mixed veggies) 15 oz @ $1.89 per can = $13.23
14 extra cans of beans 16 oz @ 1.89 per can = $26.46
7 extra cans of 5 oz tuna fish @ $1 per can = $7
Total $ = $53.20
(I took all prices from a local Hannford’s website here in Maine in Dec of 2010.  If you’re reading this in 2015 and saying “That was a long time ago and those prices were super cheap - well yeah, they were!)
Now I can see that every time I go shopping I need to have an extra $53.20 with me to achieve my goal.
Act on your goal.  Once you’ve got your written down you have to execute it.  Budget some money out and when you go shopping every two weeks follow your plan and you’ll know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve your goal.
Re-evaluate.  If something happens midway towards your goal re-evaluate.  Electric bill went up and you’ve only got $30 this week?  Buy whatever you can and extend your goal date out a little if you have to.  Celebrate!  You’re making progress right?
Persevere!  Things happen in life and you might not be able to afford an extra $53 every two weeks (or however you set it up), but don’t give up!  Simply buy what you can afford.  At least you have a goal and an idea of how to get there.  Goals can be changed ya know, but have the discipline to keep moving towards it.
Did I mention that sometimes your goals will involve sacrifice?  With discipline, hard work, and perseverance you can do anything you set your mind to.
This year I want to save money, start a garden, add to my pantry, among other things.  I’ll be setting pen to paper soon to iron out the specifics.
What are your prepping (or otherwise) goals for this year?
-Jarhead Survivor
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