Letter Re: Cost-Effective Emergency Water Treatment

Hello Sir,
I’m an avid SurvivalBlog reader. I noticed that in your latest book (“How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”) you mention avoiding any type of pool shock containing ingredients other than “Calcium Hypochlorite” . While searching around for calcium hypochlorite I couldn’t find it at my usual shopping locations and started searching around about “Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione” and “Trichloro-s-triazinetrione” as they seemed to be available in abundance in my area.

My local Sam’s Club had the following types of “Pool Shock”:

1.) Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione hydrated 99%
Available chlorine 55.5%
50 pound bucket of granules = $105.48

2.) Same as above labeled “quick dis shock”
A box containing 24 one pound pouches = $57.34

3.) Also present were 3″ chlorinating tablets (Trichloro-s-triazinetrione 99%) But I have found no data about their safe use.
Available chlorine 90%
40 pound container = $91.87

While asking around about the possible use of these chemicals for water treatment, I was given this link that contains directions regarding the use of dichloro-s-triazinetrione for drinking water treatment. Dichloro-s-triazinetrione, in it’s 99% pure granular form, will purify a 55 gallon drum of water with only a 1/4 teaspoon of product. Provided that the water to be treated was somewhat pre-filtered, that equals up to 4 million gallons of treated water from one 50 pound bucket!

I was leery to accept that dichloro-s-triazinetrione was a suitable chemical for treatment of drinking water at first, but I have since discovered that the new style of water purification tablets sold by CampingSurvival.com also use dichloro-s-triazinetrione as their listed active ingredient.

Hopefully you or maybe some of your readers with knowledge about sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione could add to or further clarify this chemicals ability to be safely used for drinking water treatment. The ability to purify millions of gallons of water out of a 50 pound bucket is too good of an opportunity to pass up if it is indeed feasible! Granted, the bucket price is $105.48 (that may be pretty steep for some folk), but it would sure allow for a healthy margin for charity use!

Your brother in Christ, – Chris in West Virginia

JWR Replies: I’ll defer to the knowledge of someone with a chemistry degree, on that question.