Water test: First 2 days impressions

1st day results of the test. I tried hard to not do a few things like washing dishes leaving a few overnight  Like normally filling up the dish washer over a couple of days before washing.

So the morning wash up wash bit difficult. I used a wash basin instead of the tub and heating my water on the stove. Having a big Stock pot (20 Quart ) did make heating water easy.  I would recommend having a 2 quart pitcher if you are using 5 gallon camp jugs. It helps moving the water and is easier to control than the 5 gallon camp jugs. I filled these insulated jugs (3 gallons) tonight for use tomorrow but I’m counting it as today’s use.

I filled to insulated drink jugs for the days hot water and they kept the water warm through 9.5 hours. More than warm enough for washing dishes tonight.

The dish tubs do a good job flushing the toilet and I’m only using 1 of my 2 toilets.

With doing dishes and trying not to ration on water use today I used just about 8 gallons all by myself plus. I’ll be switching to paper plates and Styrofoam cups Tuesday so I won’t need to do dishes. I’m sure the total use will go down Tuesday.

I think this gives a good idea on water use if you were taken unaware of a water outage. I think most folks would use extra water the first day for cleanup. Everything took more effort and time though by tonight I did get better at anticipating hot water needs and adding the additional time.

Day 2:

Dropped all water use down to 1.5 gallons or so. Figure 10 gallons total for first 2 days of a without warning water outage. Morning washup went much better using the insulated jugs filled Monday night. Flushing to toilet twice a day and using leftover rinse and wash water though I need to up the water amount a bit to get a good flush.

Dog need a wash up but not a full bath. I have some no-water bath wipes for dogs and cat but I needed some water to clean off some of the icky stuff. So my animals are fully participating in the water challenge!

In the kitchen things are going easier than I had first anticipated. I am doing my normal cooking from the fridge and pantry but if you are planing to use freeze dried or dehydrated foods that will effect how much water you will need. I’m into dry beans, rice and made from scratch food. I’m using a lot of canned goods so I don’t need to rehydrate my food before cooking. Just a FYI if you are big into the dehydrated food to account for additional water storage may be needed.  Extra cutting boards to prevent cross contamination, I use 2 flexible plastic type cutting board as well as a wooden cutting board and the plastic ones have helped having more than a single board for food prep. They are easy to sanitize using a spray bottle with a bleach solution and fit in my dish tubs much better than the big cutting board. I am glad I had picked several of them up 2 for a dollar at the local dollar store. I think a roll of parchment paper might work for keeping your baking pans clean too. I’m trying to be frugal with how much water I have to use for cleaning up as it is becoming a big part of my water budget even with reusing rinse water.

I’ll be posting but I think the next 3 days will be more like day 2 rather than day one. I have no big plans for clothes washing but I know if this test went a full seven days I would need water for laundry, a good bath or shower to stay clean once a week.  A daily “spit bath” is okay but even in the Army we tried to make sure folks got a full shower once every seven days.

One gallon of water is not enough! I think you should plan for at least three gallons per day of water. It doesn’t need to stored “potable” water but it must be clean enough for washing up and flushing for sanitation. This test has not included rain water as it is a little cold for storing via rain barrels. I could go down to a creek and using a 5 gallon bucket with lid get water for things beside cooking and drinking. I think I could at least extend my drinking water storage, but even with all I have done I think going without tap water is going to be darned tough for longer than 14 days which is what is recommended.

I will be getting at least 1 more barrel for storage and I will be adding more rain barrels. I underestimated how much water I use for cleaning. If you get any warning that your water may be disrupted fill every container you have, the tub, garbage cans, buckets and pools. You won’t use this water for drinking and cooking but you will use it!

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