and not a drop to drink. Or something like that, as the saying goes. What do you do if you are in an emergency, and you don't know if the water available is good for consumption?
My first choice would be to boil it, but what if, for whatever reason, (temperature outside, no/ low on fuel sources, etc.) I don't want to boil it? One option is to use bleach, but do you know the bleach/water ratio for safe drinking water? The directions for using Clorox bleach to purify water can be found on the Clorox website here. They can also be found in my emergency notebook, seeing as how they are the newest addition.
Wendy, over at iPrepared, has many posts on water storage, two of which can be found here, and here, where bleach is also mentioned. (The information about water storage on her site is even more extensive than these links, so I recommend that you look thoroughly at her water storage posts...) She recommends storing 28 gallons/person. Having water in storage is important, and will tide you over in the short term, even if the emergency you're facing turns out to be one of long-term duration. Using bleach is one alternative for purifying water if/when your water storage runs out, and I need to research other water-purifying alternatives, because somehow I just can't see a gallon of bleach making an appearance in our 72-hour kits if there are any other options. Yeah, still so much to learn....and when I figure more out, I'll probably post about it.
Also, this reminds me that bleach is a good addition to emergency supplies for other reasons, too--cleanliness is essential if you want to minimize the chances of illness in an emergency--illness that can come from many causes. You might want to check out the Clorox website for other uses and dilution information--it is highly likely that such information will find a home in my notebook as well. (Insert usual disclaimer that no one I know works for Clorox, and I am supplying this information as a starting point for doing whatever other research you think necessary in your situation.... :)
Please get some water in storage for you and/or the people for whom you would be/feel responsible for in an emergency situation. If you have it in storage, you don't have to worry about what is coming out of the tap, at least not initially. As noted, I need to do more research on water purification methods, because you can live longer without food than you can without water...