Using a SaltWater pool as a water source

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,436
0
Damascus, MD
#1
On another forum we were discussing those 25 year buckets of freeze dried food that you get for emergencies. I was thinking of getting a 3 month supply for 5 people "just in case". The question came up as to what to use to re-constitute them when ready to eat. I have this 30k gallon reservoir in my backyard that I could boil to purify once my chlorine ran out. However, it is a saltwater pool. I could not find a real definitive answer as to how much salt in water is dangerous to drink. It looked like most placed I found said water should be under 1ppt but like I said, nothing really definitive. I think those "life straws" will filter out salt. And there is always evaporation methods. But if my plan was to use the pool water for emergency I would need to find a better method to remove the salt. But I still want to know what is the max salt level that is safe to drink? Anyone know?
 

Dave31410

Active member
Feb 27, 2018
41
0
Savannah, GA
#2
I think you are asking 2 questions. I think it would be OK for reconstituting dehydrated food, because a little extra salt would not hurt and may help. Drinking water is different. The pool would be too salty for that.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,344
10
Tucson, AZ
#3
Municipal drinking water typically has a chloride (Cl-) concentration of less than 250ppm. That is the EPA Secondary Drinking Water Standard MCL (maximum contaminant level). Any higher than that and you can experience taste and health effects. My local water utility keeps chloride levels around 50ppm.

Those drinking straws typically will not filter out much chloride unless they are designed to do so. Those straws usually are designed to handle biological/pathogenic contamination as well as some organic and inorganic chemicals. The only way to remove salt is either through reverse osmosis or distillation. There are hand-operated RO filters (like using a bicycle pump) that can produce limited quantities of filtered water. It would have to be installed with a high TDS RO membrane and you would have to make sure any water in it is not chlorinated or else the active chlorine will destroy the membrane. Also, scale-up is an issue with RO filters and so you’d need some acid on hand to periodically clean the filter. Distillation can work if you have a fuel source available. There are also many online, DIY solar stills that you build that are capable of producing a few quarts of clean water per day.

You could also consider installing a Zero-Mass HydroPanel - Zero Mass Water - Perfecting Your Water

I’d seriously consider installing a Zero-Mass system if I had the cash to burn....
 
#4
Short term, I don't think the "salt water" would be an issue. Most people add salt to their food when cooking. Also, those MRE's or freeze dried foods already have a high salt content as it is.
I'd be more worried about consuming the other chemicals in the pool water, aka CYA, borates. Very short term, I think I'd take the risk of drinking instead of dying of dehydration, but long term those chemicals can't be good for you. RO would remove those chems. I'm not sure if distillation would work or not. For the cost of bottled water, you could and should store up a few cases and catch rain water when available. Assuming the air isn't full of bad stuff, hence the reason for the 3 month supply in your bunker...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,344
10
Tucson, AZ
#5
Remember, when living in your bunker, you should store up your urine so as to have renewable source of gunpowder. Also, extra tin foil is needed because the foil hats get dinged up pretty easily thus you’ll want to have several ready-made so as to ensure full protection from the “mind control beams” :rambo:
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,436
0
Damascus, MD
#7
Remember, when living in your bunker, you should store up your urine so as to have renewable source of gunpowder. Also, extra tin foil is needed because the foil hats get dinged up pretty easily thus you’ll want to have several ready-made so as to ensure full protection from the “mind control beams” :rambo:
lol - I'll put that on the list!

It isn't likely it will ever come to having to look at my pool as a potable water source and if it did I would guess I have much bigger problems. I have a 35 gallon RO reservoir for my fish tank that would be a much better source anyway. I'm just hoping if it ever gets to this point and services are cut that at least it is warm enough for my solar cover to heat the pool so I can go swimming!
 

kairus00

Well-known member
Oct 28, 2017
48
1
Florida
#9
In that type of situation I would use the pool water for bathing and flushing toilets. Keep drinking water on hand, but make sure to rotate it out regularly. Down here in South Florida our stores can run out of drinking water days before a hurricane hits.