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How long can you survive without water?

Proper hydration is essential to your survival. Your body needs to consume a significant amount of water each day to function properly. This is because you constantly excrete water through sweat and urination, so your body needs to replenish the lost fluids. You cannot live long without consuming a healthy amount of water. It is only possible to survive without water for a matter of days. You may be susceptible to the effects of dehydration even sooner, depending on certain factors such as age, body size, physical exertion, temperature, etc.

Is my tap water always safe to drink?

It is considered generally safe if it comes from a public water system in the United States, such as one run and maintained by a municipality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to monitor all public water systems and sets enforceable health standards regarding the contaminants in drinking water.

Why do I need an emergency source of water?

Following a disaster, clean drinking water may not be available, or your regular water source could become contaminated. Prepare yourself for an emergency by creating and storing a supply of water that will meet your family’s needs.

How much water should be stored for an emergency?

Store at least one gallon of water per person per day …… for drinking and sanitation. A normally active person needs about three-quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. However, individual needs vary depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate where:

Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.

A medical emergency might require additional water.

If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.

What are the principal methods to make surface water suitable for drinking?

Principal methods to treat potentially contaminated water to make it suitable for drinking include boiling, chlorination, filtration, ultraviolet radiation, and distillation. Each method has its pros and cons with chlorination and filtration being the most practicable in an emergency situation.  

What common biologic contaminants found in water can cause illness or death in humans?

Potential harmful biological (living) contaminants in water include protozoa (i.e., giardia and cryptosporidium), bacteria (i.e. e coli, cholera, salmonella, typhus, cyanobacteria), and viruses (i.e., norovirus, rotavirus).       

What common chemical contaminants found in water can cause illness or death in humans?

Synthetic and volatile organic chemicals can come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems. Pesticides and herbicides come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

If the water is clear, is it safe to drink?

The short answer is no. Microscopic impurities like bacteria, viruses, and parasites that contaminate water cannot be smelled, tasted, or even seen. Hence even if your water is clear, it does not mean it is safe to drink.

Why is filtration the most common portable method of treating surface water to make it safe for drinking?

Filtration is effective for removing the widest variety of waterborne contaminants (both biological and chemical) to make the water suitable for drinking. Portable filtration systems can be configured to be small in size, lightweight, and adaptable to differing surface water conditions. When filtration alone is not adequate to remove the most harmful biologic contaminants, it can be combined with other treatment methods. 

If I have stored water, why do I need a portable water treatment system?

A stored water supply works perfectly for a short-term interruption of the municipal water supply due to contamination or localized disaster. This assumes the interruption lasts only for a few days to a couple of weeks. If the outage lasts longer than that, serious health risks quickly arise due to the lack of availability of clean water. Storing enough water for a longer-lasting emergency quickly become a guessing game that is expensive as to storage container cost, space to store the containers, and maintenance to treat and rotate the water. It is not practical for the average household to store enough water for a credible longer-term interruption of the water supply. The Greeshow is a low-cost insurance policy that is affordable, small storage footprint is easy to use, is scalable to small or large families or groups, and is reliable in the removal of common harmful biologic and chemical contaminants.  

Can any surface water be made a suitable source for drinking water?

Theoretically, the answer is “yes”’; however, some water sources may require a more treatment process than filtration alone. Water that contains heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, etc. will require special filters to remove those contaminants. Water that is cloudily caused by excessive silt, algae, or other organic matter may require pretreatment to remove the larger particles to prevent early fouling of a finishing (small pore size) filter. Water that has a strong chemical smell may require multiple treatment methods to completely remove the contaminant.  

What are the advantages of using the Greeshow versus other popular portable filtration systems?

Other commercially available portable water filtration systems fall into two main categories: gravity-fed and manual pump systems. Greeshow is a dual-stage, pumped system that is powered by a small 3.7-volt rechargeable battery (think portable drill vs screwdriver). The principal advantages Greeshow offers are throughput and capacity. Greeshow effortlessly delivers up to 10 times the amount of drinking water per hour vs comparable manual pumped or gravity fed systems. Greeshow uses large, industry-standard filters which greatly expands the volume of water able to be treated before filter cleaning or filter changeout.

How do filtration and chlorination complement each other?

Filtration will remove biological contaminants down to 0.2 microns which includes pathogenic bacteria and protozoa (i.e. giardia and cryptosporidium). Some biologic contaminants (viruses, prions) are smaller than that and filtration may not remove all of this class of contaminants. Chlorination up to 4 ppm is very effective in killing these contaminants. Chlorination by itself is not effective to kill protozoa cysts (giardia, cryptosporidium) yet the combination of the two is very effective against these biological contaminants. 

How do I remove chlorine from the water?

Chlorine can be reduced by running the water through a filter with activated charcoal. The carbon works by adsorption, the molecular bonding of the chlorine ions to the surface of the charcoal. 

How long can I run the Greeshow on a battery before it needs recharging?

PortaWell can operate for approximately 2.5 hours on a 3.7-volt 2800Amp Hour battery before needing recharging. This will provide 20 gallons of clean water suitable for drinking.  

I am very interested in purchasing a Greeshow's product. But I do have some questions regarding the ability to filtrate chemicals. I noticed on the website it is able to filtrate VOCs. My concern is with urban areas where VOCs, raw sewage, and other pollutants become an issue with water. Is this system able to filtrate those types of instances (I realize it may be tough to state definitively due to the many variables in the scenario)?

As you stated there are many different scenarios, but it is always best to start with the best water source possible. I would always avoid water sources with raw sewage or industrial pollutants. 

Greeshow offers the flexibility of choosing different combinations of filters for different situations; however, it is up to the user to become knowledgeable about its use.