How to Purify Water Using Pool Shock


Pool Shock for Water Purification
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2 is one and one is none.  I need another means of water purification other than my ceramic water filter. I wanted something that stored indefinitely, was cheap, and most importantly kills all the bad junk in the water.

There are many preparedness blogs that discuss using hypochlorite to make bleach.  This one I wade through the differences between sodium and calcium hypochlorites.  I also give dosing amounts.

I found the sources below and decided on this method of using Pool Shock for Water Purification

Many campers use bleach for water purification.  However, bleach degrades over time.  It only has an effective shelf life of 6 months to a year.

Dry High Test Hypochlorite (HTH) has no shelf life, and its cheap.  A one pound bag (that will purify about 10,000 gallons of water) is about $5.00.

I spent a little more ($24.00) and bought a five pound jug (which is a LIFETIME) supply because it can be resealed.

I will tell you though that this is not a perfect solution, this stuff is a powerful corrosive and if you don’t store this properly you WILL have problems.

  • If it gets wet it can off-gas chlorine.
  • It can corrode metals
  • If certain petroleum products mix with the HTH it can spontaneously ignite in a way you do NOT want to see.

Granular Calcium Hypochlorite

Only use HTH Pool Shock that does not have any algicides or fungicides. Ingredients should reads CALCIUM hypochlorite and inert ingredients. Use a brand with at least 73% Hypochlorite.

For this video I used Poolife Turboshock, but feel free to use any brand you wish as long as it fits the perimeters above.

Before you begin mixing any chemicals in any way, please follow basic safety precautions. Make sure you do this in a ventilated area. Have plenty of water to dilute any mistakes. Wear eye protection for splashes. Lastly always mix the powder into the water NOT the other way around.

Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (HTH) (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water.

The mixture will produce a chlorine solution of approximately 500 mg/L (0.0667632356 oz per US gallon), since the calcium hypochlorite has an available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight.

To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 oz.) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected.

To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the water by pouring it back and forth into containers to add air.
Chlorine Bleach

Common household bleach (unscented) contains a chlorine compound that will disinfect water. The procedure to be followed is usually written on the label. When the necessary procedure is not given, find the percentage of available chlorine on the label and use the information in the following tabulation as a guide.

Available Chlorine Drops per Quart of Clear Water

  • 1% needs 10 Drops
  • 4-6% needs 2 Drops
  • 7-10% needs 1 Drops

(If strength is unknown, add ten drops per quart of water. Double amount of chlorine for cloudy or colored water)

The treated water should be mixed thoroughly and allowed to stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor; if not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes.

FEMA and the Red Cross have guidelines on how much clorine to put in water for drinking, this makes the chlorine not the purified water.  DO NOT DRINK THIS MIX.  Put it in the water you will drink.



8 thoughts on “How to Purify Water Using Pool Shock”

  1. Hey Guys, I need your help on the poolife turbo shock treatment. I just purchased the 5lb tub and active ingredients are: 78% calcium Hypochlorite and 22% other ingredients. It does NOT SAY inert ingredient. I’m afraid of the wording “Other”. Can anyone weigh in on this. Thanks GAprepper

    • I had that problem myself, luckily no one called the cops on me as I lurked around pool stores muttering about inert ingredients… Does the bottle say it contains fungicides or algicides – because those will mess you up…

  2. While it’s true that Chlorine and it’s derivatives have excellent disinfectant qualities, you should be aware of potential risks. See this link “Chlorine – A Special Problem for Drinking Water” ( ) Used as an adjunct to solids filtration and toxic absorption (hardwood charcoal) it easy an easy anti-pathogen. It’s just not very safe to store or use properly. To much concentration in your drinking water kills the “good bugs” in your gut also. You would be wise to maintain and/or strengthen your built-in immunities as much as possible. What about heat (solar or flame) as an anti-pathogen control?

    • Your right, Chlorine does have drawbacks, but as a redundancy its a good thing to know. My first project in water purification was a ceramic filter, then some chlorine based ones. I have plans for a biosand filter, DIY ceramic, and UV water purifier projects later on in the year. The problem is that I gain more ideas before I document my earlier ones, and since one leads to the other, I want to show the path and not just the destination.

      Thanks for the comment.

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