by servantheart, Editor at Large
These can be purchased online from Amazon.com as well as at many more local sources, including military surplus stores.
This is a heavy-duty large plastic “liner” that you roll out in a bathtub and fill with water from the faucet. It will hold 100 gallons of water. At 8.3 lbs. per gallon, that is about 830 pounds of weight in your bathtub. If you have a newer tub, especially plastic or fiberglass, make sure it can hold the weight, or you may just lose your tub. As the DH likes to point out, however, in a true “IHTF” scenario, will you really CARE if you lose a bathtub to water storage? That’s something you would have to decide, of course.
You get the water out via a hand-pump device, a “siphon pump”; you unscrew a cap and place the pump when you want to take water out, and replace the cap when you are finished removing water, until the next time.
The hand pump is a simple device. It has an opaque plastic hose attached. You are supposed to place a water containment unit (pitcher, whatever you want to put the water in) BELOW the level of the hand pump. That could get tough as the water reduces in the tub, just being honest about it. So, maybe a raised “holder” of some sort would be good, so long as it can hold the weight? I have no idea what that would be: maybe some water bottles that have been filled with municipal water after spring water had been consumed (one gallon) and turned on their sides? Empty the Water BOB first, then the gallons under it? What ideas do YOU have?
Another way to deal with the Water BOB, without putting your tub at risk, is to place them out of doors. You will still need a sturdy support system. How about FREE (there’s my favorite 4-letter word again!) solid wood (such as oak) shipping pallets? Our neighborhood home improvement store will give them to you, if you ask; they will even let you sort through and take the ones you want. If you could build this out of doors and place it on concrete blocks, better still! Remember: it needs to be higher than what you run the water into from the siphon/hose (it is gravity fed, obviously).
Wherever you decide to use your water Bob, it will be imperative to keep sun off it, so that you do not get algae growth; indoors, close any window treatments to prevent sun from coming in, and cover with a blanket or towels. Outdoors, use plywood sheeting to keep sun off and you may still want to cover it with a blanket or towels, for added protection.
You’ll also want this hidden from site so as not to blow OpSec – VERY IMPORTANT. You do not want your throat slit for water, it has been done for less (and we’re not even “there” yet!).
One thing I found interesting is that the instructions that come with it tell you to “kill it” after the first use. To quote: When fresh water is no longer needed, slit the side of the liner and drain the remaining water. The bladder should be disposed of and recycled. End quote. What a terrible waste, IMHO!
So I called the company today (1-800-966-8044) for sales and inquired as to “why”. The answer was about what I expected: “because it’s impossible to get all the water out and it can be contaminated”. Translation? Covering our butts so when someone claims they got sick from repeated use, we can say, “we told you to use it once!”.
Will I use it once and throw it in the landfill? Absolutely not! I will empty it, as best I can, and then I will hang it, upside down (with openings at bottom) on my “solar dryer” (clothesline) so that it can drain – for as long as it takes.
As I told the lady I spoke with at WaterBOB, the truth is, you will need to treat the water the FIRST time you fill this thing, in all likelihood. I would anyway, just because we have fluoride-laced, nano-particle drug municipal water at the city property, where we are most likely to be in a short-term event. When you are storing 100 lbs. of water in a single container, it will take time to use it all up, and it may need treatment, no matter your feelings about the source.
These are available from Amazon.com at just over $20.00 with FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25.00.
Even with its challenges, I like the WaterBOB as an addition to our emergency water plans.