Storing water with "Ultra" bleach

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    Washington State
    I just finished putting up 150 gallons of water for emergency storage, adding 8 drops of bleach per gallon. Dumb me--It wasn't until afterward that I realized that I had used "Ultra" Clorox--something which all the literature on water storage specifically says should NOT be used. Supposedly the "ultra" version contains a dangerous ingredient, sodium hydroxide (lye), albeit in amounts that do not require it to appear on the label.

    I went on the Internet and read about "Ultra" Clorox, and the company represents that its "ultra" product is nothing more than a concentrated version of the original one. In particular, it states that the original product and the "ultra" version BOTH contain the same amounts of sodium hydroxide. OK--Which is to be believed? Should I dump all 150 gallons and start all over?
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    My biggest concern would be that you prob used twice as much bleach as needed. But I would not dump it and start over. Lye is caustic in strong enough concentrations, but is not toxic. The chlorine is more toxic. Stored water can taste pretty nasty after a while anyway. It is always a good idea to have a filter that you can pour the water thru for drinking, such as the brita brand or pur brand pitcher filter.

  3. Debbie in MO

    Debbie in MO Active Member

    May 12, 2002
    Don't worry! Bleach is not lye. Lye is Sodium Hydroxide. Bleach is Sodium Hypochlorite. Sodium Hypochlorite is still basic (alkaline) enough to saponify the fats in your skin, which is why your hands feel slimy if you get bleach on them. Pretty nasty. Anyway, to help you understand just how concentrated Ultra bleach is, this is how we make regular bleach out of Ultra bleach at work(I'm a clinical chemist): A liter is 1000 milliliters. (ml.) To make a liter of regular bleach, we take 833ml of Ultra and add 167ml of water. That's it. That should give you an idea of how to adjust the "chlorination" of storage water. Seven drops would do it, but I think you are just fine and well insured by using eight drops. You'd probably want to boil it anyway before using it, and that would evaporate most of the chlorine. Hope this helps!
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    May 9, 2004
    Zone 8a, AZ
    i dont think you will become ill either! but that water sure is gonna taste really bad if you ever need to use it! I store water in 55 gal drums and only add 8 drops of clorox! Please make sure you air out the water for 24 hours before drinking and stir often during the airing to release the bleach into the air and out of the water! good luck with your emergency plans, always good to have one!