Potable water is water that is considered safe to drink. Tap water has usually been treated by the local municipality to make it potable, but there are times when the supply has been contaminated and you must treat water before using it. Non-potable water is untreated water from lakes, rivers, groundwater, natural springs, and untested ground wells.
The CDC states that “In emergency situations, use bottled water if possible; bottled water is the safest choice for drinking and all other uses.” If you do not have access to bottled water, you can use a variety of methods to treat non-potable water so it is safe to drink, as well as to treat your tap water during a water advisory.
Some processes for creating potable water require the use of bleach. Bleach must never be allowed to mix with ammonia or it will form highly dangerous chlorine gas. Be sure to keep these cleaning supplies separate at all times. Store bleach in a locked cabinet to keep it away from children and pets. Always vent the room well after using bleach.
Sometimes situations in which water must be treated are also situations that affect other parts of your life. For instance, if severe weather has compromised your water supply, your gas or electricity might also be out. Pay close attention to what you choose to use to keep your home warm and your family fed. If you are using a camp stove or fire to heat water, do so outdoors to prevent the buildup of dangerous gases indoors. If it’s cold enough to require the use of a space heater, ensure proper ventilation to avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter to help ensure your safety.
Source: The Spruce