|Truth or Myth in Water Storage
We can only live without water for a few days.
½ gallon Drink, ½ gallon Food Preparation & Sanitation
Need More Water in High Altitude or Dry Climates
Need More for children, elderly, sick, nursing mothers, those who are physically exerting themselves
The longer the emergency, more water per day will be needed, for things like laundry, care of the sick, washing, sanitation.
A Minimum of 1 Gallon of Water per Person per Day is recommended.
Store at least enough water for a Minimum of 1 Week
Recommended to store for 1 Month or More
Enemies of Water Storage
What are the best Water Storage Containers to use?
There are many options for Containers, some better than others.
Use Tight fitting Lids to prevent loss of water and to prevent pests,
other organisms & debris from contaminating your water.
Commercial Water Storage Containers are recommended
Food Grade Plastic
Blue Color to prevent light from getting to the water
Heavy Duty plastic, will not split, leak or collapse.
Okay if they freeze - just leave some head space.
Pre-used Containers - Recommended for NON-Drinking water use only.
Do Not use containers which held chemicals
Retains smell and taste of previous contents
Is Semi-permeable and will absorb tastes or odors stored close by
Do Not store near other chemicals or vapors
Do not store directly on concrete - place 2x4 wood underneath to give air from concrete.
Be aware of Possible breakage
Do not store water in glass if a possibility of freezing
Often leaves metallic taste to water
Possibility of rust
How is the best way to fill my Water Containers?
Use a Drinking Water White Food Grade Hose - Not a garden hose
Not necessary to “Re-Treat” Municipal Water
Treat Well or Other Ground Water Before Storing
Fill to Just Overflowing to remove as much contaminants as possible
What should I do with my stored barrels?
Keep it Cool & Dark
Vary Container Sizes - store some that are small enough to carry when full.
Do Not Store Directly on the Concrete
Consider difficulty to Empty & Refill
Check Yearly - Rotate water yearly if desire fresh tasting water.
If you don't get it rotated, it will still be safe to drink if you had a clean barrel, clean water, and sealed it. It just won't taste as good.
Where should I Store my Barrels?
Store in Multiple Locations
Indoors in a Basement
Food Storage Room
Beware of proximity to possible chemical contaminants
Cover with a heavy tarp
Rotate more often
Don’t fill to the top
What Other sources of Water are Safe to Use?
Pipes – shut off outside water source if you suspect lines may be or become contaminated – don’t turn back on until told safe by authorities
Tank behind toilet – not the bowl
Canned fruits and vegetables
Pools, Hot tubs & Waterbeds – Use this water for hygiene and sanitation.
Water Treatment – A 3 Part Process
Strain water through a cloth, coffee filter, dust mask, or t-shirt, to remove the large particles.
Allow particles to settle to the bottom or collect at the top to be skimmed off
Purpose is to extend the life of your filter.
Filters remove chemicals, sediments, protozoa, bacteria, heavy metals
Filters do not remove viruses
Activated Carbon in a filter absorbs chemicals and dissolved minerals like chlorine that can cause odor or bad taste
The smaller the micron level, the better the filter.
Susceptible to heat, light and moisture
5 year shelf life in unopened bottle, 1 year in opened bottle
Do not use longer than a few weeks straight – short term emergency use only
Do not use if pregnant, have an allergy to iodine or have a thyroid problem
Kills Viruses and any bacteria still in the water.
Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach)
One year shelf life
Use pure bleach, not the scented or colored
8 drops bleach per gallon of water if clear
16 drops bleach per gallon if water is cloudy
Wait 30 min before use
Dry chlorine has a longer shelf life. Talk to manufacturer about proper use.
Must be tested for safe level of chlorine before use
Must wait 24 hours before testing
Iodine and chlorine free.
A significantly stronger oxidant than iodine, with greater pathogen killing power.
Often used to improve the taste of water by neutralizing unpleasant flavors.
A rolling boil for 5 minutes will kill all organisms in the water
Distilling is more involved, but does a better job than boiling alone.