Can You Drink Pool Water in an Emergency

In the event of a Natural or Man-Made disaster, the key is to be prepared and has solutions in the event food, or power can’t be provided because of a disaster situation and even water is unavailable for a period of time with no way of accessing it for multiple reasons. What would you’d you do if you had a swimming pool in your backyard? Can you drink in your swimming pool in an emergency?

Yes-With proper treatment most, if not all chemicals, contaminants, chlorine, & bacteria can be removed from your pool’s H2O which is considered wastewater by using Distillation, Carbon, & Micro-Filtration, or a combination of the 3 to make your swimming pool a reliable emergency potable H2O source.

Coping during an Emergency situation can feel helpless for people who are directly involved but there are ways to prepare for any type of disaster starting with a preparedness plan that includes safe drinking water.

Can You Drink Pool Water in an Emergency


Water will save your life but only if it’s clean. There are a lot of bad things that could be lurking in your swimming pool water that chlorine and the best well-balanced chemistry can’t get rid of.  Well balanced and maintained your pool’s water is clean and healthy enough for swimming purposes, yes, but for drinking large amounts in place of treated tap water from your community distributer, No!

According to the CDC Center for Disease Control;

Fecal matter isn’t the only thing you’re swimming pool water with when you take a dip in the pool. There’s a lot of pee in it, too. Public pools contain about 20 gallons of urine, while a smaller residential pool likely contains about two gallons. That equates to a very small percentage, but it’s enough to cause some worry. Bacteria and parasites can be resistant to Chlorine.

“Urine, sweat and body oils react with the chlorine in pool water to create strong-smelling chemical compounds that are dangerous in large amounts,” said Dr. Clark. “In most cases these compounds haven’t been found in large amounts, but it’s still unhealthy.

What happens in an emergency situation where for a time water was unavailable? What would happen if our Country’s Utility Grid was closed down or the computer system that controlled it was hacked and sabotaged?  That could never happen you say.

It already has. Right before the Super Bowl and in that area of Florida a Water Treatment Plant was cyber-attacked by unknown criminals. Lack of water is a very real danger not just in the Southwest regions of the United States. 



With Global Warming Drought and Water Scarcity becoming more and more serious in this country and all over the world less drinking water is available to our growing population. Add some bad people who want to make a point on a world stage shutting down a Reservoir or Water system used for drinking water for a mass-populated region is not out of the realm of reality for a situation to develop. Water Security is real and used as a weapon.

The question is what would you do? Especially if you have 15-30000 gallons of pool water source in your backyard that looks like you could drink it down with no problems. That would be Water Security if only you could use it. You could store cases of Bottled Water or harvest rainwater or drink your swimming pool.

Would drinking pool water be a safe water source in an emergency? Water is necessary for a preparedness plan and needed for survival. Can drinking pool water be made safe to drink? Drinking swimming pool water could give you the time you need. 

Pool Water Safe to Drink Emergency Water Sources-Swimming Pools


Harvest smaller size containers and treat them individually. Pool water starts as Potable water from the garden hose but once you add some people, chemicals, toxins from products like suntan lotion, and some environmental elements from wind and rain that clean the earth and sky of collected contaminants from sources of pollution like factories and car exhaust the water in your pool, becomes wastewater. You can in time of survival remove levels of chemicals like chlorine and drink pool water.  

Pool water can be added to a survival plan that will be used for drinking water. Pool water can drinking water. You can take chlorine and other chemicals distillation boil and filter pool water.

The best way to make pool water safe and to drink especially your swimming pool water in your backyard is by Carbon Filtration, Microfiltration, and/or Distillation. Take a look at this Distiller available through Amazon produces 8 gallons of Distilled Water per/day called Durastill 30H4 8 Gallon Countertop Distiller

You can drink water from a pool if you are out of drinking water that will save your life. It’s important to realize that you won’t try to treat the water in the whole pool to be able to drink which is impossible but rather collect water from the pool as you would water from a river or a lake. Boil filter and distill the pool water. Treat the amount you pull and treat that amount then store it for drinking water. The best methods for using pool water for drinking water in emergencies are:


  • Distillation process
  • Microfiltration (Water Filters)
  • Carbon Filtration (Water Filters)
  • Combinations of the 3 methods


Using a portable water filter like a LifeStraw or Gravity filter is one of the easiest ways to purify water from natural sources. While they may be powerful against pathogens and bacteria, using water filters to try and filter out all of the chemical contaminants that are found in pools in large amounts will prove fruitless because that’s not what they were designed to do.

It’s best to stay away from using a membrane filter to purify swimming pool water as even though it might filter out the initial bad stuff, it will stay within the membrane itself and potentially contaminate any subsequent water filtering.

Probably the best and safest method of water purification to use on a swimming pool is distilling which removes all contaminants by separating them from the water. Creating your own still will require a way to boil the pool water and a second container to catch the water vapor as it condenses again.

The bad stuff remains in the original container and the good water is in the new container. There are kits to make Solar Stills that use the sun to create the energy necessary to evaporate the pool water and separate contaminates.

How to Make Saltwater Pools Safe to Drink Water Source


Safe drinking water through reverse osmosis desalinization is simple in concept: squeeze saltwater through a semi-permeable membrane fine enough to remove the salt, other minerals, and contaminants. Unfortunately, that membrane must be so fine that the filtering process requires enormous pressure (typically 800 psi) to push the fresh water through. And developing that pressure uses a lot of energy.

The Katadyn Filter delivers 1.5 gallons of safe drinking water per hour, and it’s the only water maker that converts to manual operation in the event of a power failure. It operates quietly and is designed for low maintenance making water in an emergency safe to drink and its portable usage is carried into places around the world where clean water doesn’t exist. These tools are expensive and very valuable in places where the only water is saltwater. You can find  the Katadyn Power 40 E Watermaker Desalinator on our Recommended page for MyWaterEarth&Sky 

So if your swimming pool is a Salt Water pool the salt can be removed in 2 ways a Desalinate or Micro-Filtration water filter like the one above which can be used for seawater survival or a Distillation Filter Unit that can remove the salt by boiling and collecting condensation leaving the salt behind if you are planning on drinking it.

  • On average, seawater in the world’s oceans has a salinity of about 3.5%  This means that every kilogram (roughly one liter by volume) of seawater has approximately 35 grams (1.2 oz.) of dissolved salts. Ocean water contains about are about 35 parts per thousand. This means that in every liter of water, there are 35 grams of salt, or about 3.5 percent of the weight of seawater comes from salts. The salt level of a Salt generated pool is much lower.
  • The pool salt level should be around 4,000 ppm (parts per million) for new pools. If you operate a Salt Generator Pool then you can test the water to find the existing chlorine level. The optimal operating range for salt in your pool is 2,700-3,400 ppm (parts per million)
  • Test it after you treat the salt pool and before you start drinking it.



Emergency Water Source-Drink Pool Water


Emergency Water Sources for drinking should be part of any preparedness plan for a country, state, and private residence in any local town or city. Many people use rainwater collection or store bottled water away in the case of an unforeseen disaster. Can you drink pool water in the case of survival?

If you have a huge amount of swimming pool water in an emergency in your backyard could be a good thing.  If you drink from a chlorine swimming pool or a well on your property that also needs to be tested to see if it can be used for safe drinking and a plan developed if something were to happen and a survival situation occurs.

In these uncertain days, a disaster could also be a result of foul play or a weather event. You need to make a survival plan that includes how you can utilize that pool water with a filter, bleach, boil or add/remove chemicals. Should the pool water have levels of algae and pool chemicals like chlorine or contaminants be safe for drinking?

Water supplies and water distribution systems represent potential targets for terrorist activity in the United States because of the critical need for water in every sector of our industrialized society. Even short-term disruption of water service will significantly impact a community, and intentional contamination of a municipal water system as part of a terrorist attack will lead to serious medical, and public health, and will cause economic consequences.

It’s been well-known for quite some time that some water systems in the world are vulnerable to many different types of threats. Some are environmental and some could be intentional contamination either by Bio-Warfare Biotoxins or what has happened in Florida where the computer software was hacked into that controlled the operation of a water treatment plant was hacked possibly from another country.

The deliberate contamination of the wells, reservoirs, and other water sources of civilian populations has been employed as a method of attack by opposing military forces throughout the history of war.

Many armies have resorted to using this method of biowarfare, including the Romans who contaminated the drinking water of their enemies with diseased cadavers and animal carcasses With enhanced technology and modern scientific advances, the mechanisms of biowarfare agent dispersal have expanded considerably.

Preparedness is key and swimming pool water can be made safe to drink, for any kind of disruption from our Power or Utility Grid from any kind of disaster that starts at home. A plan of Action can guard against a threat to your family’s health. Safe drinking water, food, power, and medical supplies with drinking water being #1 in a disaster. Whether the disaster is a natural or planned event.


JimGalloway Author/Editor



References: USGS Water Resources

EPA-Drinking Water 

ThoughtCo-How Salty is the Ocean

Annual Review-Preparing for the Potential Threat to U.S. Water Supplies and Public Health


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