Want To Live Off The Grid? How To Treat Wastewater For Reclamation Purposes

Posted on: 21 January 2020

Wastewater treatment for the purpose of reclamation (i.e. purifying wastewater and turning it into potable water) is a complicated process. However, it is a process that survivalists learn how to do, and doomsday preppers have been using and teaching for a long time. If you ever decide that you want to live "off the grid," you will need some wastewater treatment chemical supplies. Here are the chemicals you will need, along with some recommended equipment:


Chlorine purifies and kills microorganisms in the wastewater such that those organisms cannot cause abdominal distress or potentially lethal diseases. Chlorine can be purchased in tablet form, if you want to control the amount and application of the chlorine to the wastewater. If you do adequate research, you can use bleach, which is chlorine in liquid form, but you have to be really careful with the amount you add to the wastewater. 


Ozone smells a lot like chlorine, but its purpose in waste treatment is different. Rather than purify water and kill microorganisms, ozone causes a speeding up of oxidation. Oxidation in water treatment processes manipulates gases, waste odors, and the breakdown of solids in such a way as to remove these contaminants from the water and make it safer for consumption following the chemical purification process with chlorine. 

Sodium Hypochlorite

This compound is used to both purify and oxidize waste. In its liquid form it is very unstable, which is why it is more commonly sold and stored in its solid crystallized form. The crystals are a sickly yellow-green, but they are less likely to explode when properly stored than the liquid product. It is important to use only the very smallest of amounts, and typically it is not to be used simultaneously with chlorine bleach. If you are going to use both hypchlorite and chlorine to oxidize and sanitize your wastewater, be sure to add them at very different times and with enough time in between for the hypochlorite to break down past its half-life before adding the smallest amount of bleach. 

Equipment to Purchase with Your Chemicals

 A composting toilet is an excellent addition to your efforts to treat your own wastewater. The composting toilet separates the solids from the liquids, and you are able to turn the solids into fertilizer and the liquids into treatable wastewater. Be sure you have the means of removing the wastewater safely and without breathing in fumes or touching anything prior to treating the wastewater in a separate holding tank.