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What’s in the water that we see covering the eastern half of North Carolina?.  Though hurricane Florence is long gone, the rains it brought and poured on the North Carolina Piedmont are just now making their way through the coastal plain, inundating innumerable towns.  The suffering is not nearly over.

Seeing folks walking, and some even playing in the water is worrisome.  Floodwaters are dangerous, not only because of rapid currents and risks of drowning, but also because of the many things they contain.  Think about it.  In these floodwaters, you’ll find home heating oil, diesel fuel, e-coli, cryptosporidium, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, benzene, etc.  Sewage plants are knocked off line and raw sewage flows out.  In the areas east of I-95 where more hogs are raised and slaughtered than anywhere else in the United States, there are huge lagoons full of hog waste that have been flooded.  Don’t forget about wildlife (dead and alive) in the water such as snakes and floating ant colonies.  Yes, ants as in Fire Ants.  When walking through these waters, you also don’t know what you might step on: broken glass, nails from broken house framing or an uncovered manhole of a storm sewer that could suck you down.  Point being, stay out of the water if you can!

If you don’t have clean drinking water, this is when a good water filter can be a literal life saver.  My family has a Big Berkey countertop water filter that is so effective it can remove food coloring dissolved in water.  We also have the Lifesaver Systems 5 gallon jerry can water filter with pump.  It too removes everything from biological to chemical contaminates.  I have a friend who filtered pond water mixed with cow manure and drank it straight out of the filter with no ill effects!  Seriously.  So while it may be too late for the folks in eastern North and South Carolina, its not too late for you to have your filtration system at the ready.  But you also need a supply of water to filter.  That’s where rain barrels can really come in handy.  We have three.  They’re inexpensive with no moving parts and you can link several together via hose connections.  I highly recommend them.  Next time you find yourself without water, you’ll be prepared, and better yet, you could be in the position to be a life saver yourself for your neighbors.