Information on Bleach
Regular liquid bleach is not stable. It breaks down gradually and becomes just salt water in about 2 years time. It’s still usable at 1 year, but you must use about twice as much. Keep in mind this is only an approximation of the time required for it to lose its potency, as the temperature at which it is stored, plays a big role in the process. The higher the temperature, the quicker it breaks down. Using the dry swimming pool bleach (also known as “shock treatment” or by its chemical name, calcium hypochlorite) will allow for a 10 year shelf life. When using this dry bleach, you can mix your own “fresh” liquid bleach, as needed. You must be sure to use only 65% Calcium Hypochlorite with no anti-fungals or clarifiers added. This product must be stored in an EXTREMELY well ventilated area (Hint: outside).
To make bleach, add ¾ teaspoon of your dry pool bleach (calcium hypochlorite) to 1 gallon of water.
A 5 lb container of dry pool bleach will cost about $15. Needless to say, 5 lbs of this product will last you a very long time.
To treat water that is questionable, add 1 tsp of liquid bleach per gallon of water, mix thoroughly, and let stand for 30 minutes or more. If there is no bleach smell present, repeat the process. If the bleach smell is too strong, allow the water to stand for a much longer period of time, or simply pour the water back and forth between 2 clean containers.
To treat water that is already known to be clean (to prep it for long term storage), add ¼ tsp of bleach per gallon of water, or for the larger 50 to 55 gallon drums, add a total of 3 Tbsp of bleach.