Alternative Sources of Water in an Urban Setting

Surely, water is a critical supply you and your household needs to survive. More than food, water is required if you’re going to survive. Many events can cause a sudden disruption of safe drinking water. Since water is a basic necessity to survive, have you thought about how you can obtain safe drinking water when disaster strikes? Where can you obtain safe water sources if it’s exhausted in an emergency, especially if you’re in an urban setting? In this post, explore the potential alternative sources of emergency water.


Where to Buy
5 Gallon Samson Stackers, Blue, 8 Pack (40 Gallons), Emergency Water Storage Kit


Occasionally, the authorities give advanced warning in case of trouble, such as in the event of a hurricane, flooding or tornado. Before these things happen, you can get fresh water supply by filling your buckets, bathtubs, pitchers, pots, pans, and other containers.

Stored water is our best and safest source of water in an emergency. Using bathtub liners like AquaPodKit that can be easily filled by the tub faucet is an easy way to store a fresh supply of drinking water during an emergency. If you have space in your urban home, you can use stackable water storage for storing water in advance.

However, for some people with no more space for storing water and don’t have tubs, doing these things may be impractical. Read more for other alternatives.

Alternatives for Drinking Water and Food

The human body needs around one gallon of water per day in average conditions for hydration. For hygiene, you can skip a bath, but you still need a steady supply of water for keeping yourself clean.

Here are some emergency water sources for your home:

1. Bottled Water

Commercially bottled water is an excellent source of drinking water. It’s clean, portable, and easy to store. It’s best to store your supply of bottled water in a cool, basement storage room because it can last for several years. If you store bottled water in a garage or car, it needs to be frequently rotated because heat may leach into the water, affecting its taste and smell. Be sure to stock bottled water in your pantry so you can have safe drinking water for emergencies.

2. Ice and snow

Depending on your location, you may have water all around you during certain times of the year. If you are in a location where there are snow and ice, you can melt as much water as you need. When the power goes out, you can place the ice in a clean container to salvage the precious water and let it melt. You may use a water filter pitcher or water purification tablets to make sure it’s clean. Perhaps you’ve eaten snow as a kid, but you can’t do this for long, or else your body temperature will drop. Make sure you melt it first before drinking.

3. Shelf-stable beverages

Drinks such as fruit juices, vegetable juices, milk boxes, sports drinks, canned milk, and pouch drinks can provide part of your drinking water requirement. Carbonated beverages and caffeinated drinks don’t meet your drinking water requirements as they dehydrate the body and increase the need for additional drinking water.

4. Canned fruits and veggies

The liquid in canned fruits and vegetables can be used in place of water for cooking to conserve water. You can use canned fruit for making oatmeal or pancake batter. Meanwhile, the vegetable liquid can be added to condensed soups or for boiling noodles.

Alternative Water Sources in Urban Environments

When you’re in the wild, you can harvest water from the ground or from local bodies of water. But if you’re in the city, you can find water in the pipes. Even if the water has been shut off, you can find other sources of water, such as:

1. Household Pipes

We pipe a gazillion gallons of water into our cities every day unless it is used. The water is stored in reservoirs and pipes in almost every house, building, or complex. If the water has been shut off in your city, you can still have a lot of water inside the walls of your house.

To collect water in your pipes, turn on the faucet in your home at the highest level. A small amount of water will still trickle out. Open the tap in the highest part of your home, and gravity will allow the water trapped in the pipes to flow out from the bottom taps.

2. Water heater

Hot water tanks and water heaters are a great source of drinking water for emergencies. Depending on its size, it can contain 20 to 50 gallons of clean drinking water for emergency use. To prevent contamination of water in your home, shut off the main water valve as soon as an event or disaster occurs.

Water heaters have different mechanisms, so it’s best to be familiar with your own. Be sure to practice what you need to know, and make sure you have the right tools for accessing your water in case of emergencies.

3. Toilet flush tank

Though it’s hard to drink water from the flush tank of the toilet, if it’s the last resort, it’s better than nothing. The water in the flush tank can be safe as long as it isn’t treated with chemicals. There may be at least a gallon and a half in each flush tank. For your safety, purify the water before drinking or use it only for hygiene purposes. Don’t ever use the water in the toilet bowl.

Alternative Water Sources Around the Home

Besides the water sources you can get at home, here are some alternative water sources if you’re in the city:

1. Rainwater

If you can collect rainwater, it’s the easiest and safest way to find water, but of course, it has its own drawbacks. First of all, it has to rain before you can gather it. The weather forecast can’t predict when the rain will fall with complete accuracy. But you can save water and money if you capture rainfall. A rain barrel can be a wise investment to simplify the process of catching rain.

However, any rainwater that came into contact with the roof and gutters is already contaminated. If you wish to use it, it can be used as toilet flush water or laundry water in its form. But if you want to make it safe for drinking, you can purify it in your home.

2. Swimming Pool

Where to Buy
Aqua Rain Replacement Ceramic Filters 3 Pack
Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements


If you have a swimming pool, it can be a good source of hygiene water during times of emergency. To use swimming pool water, it must be purified by removing chemicals. It can’t be simply boiled out. Also, it’s not safe to drink. But if you have no other option, distilling water from the pool can make it safe for drinking.

You can use the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter or the Aqua Rain Replacement Ceramic Filters for making pool water safe for drinking. Both water filter systems are effective in removing chemical contaminants like chlorine in the water to make it safe for consumption. But remember that not all filters are able to remove chemicals like salt and chlorine from the water. If you are counting on your swimming pool as a backup source of drinking water in times of crisis, be sure to purchase a filter that is rated to remove chlorine and other contaminants in the water.