5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Water

You cannot afford to make mistakes in your disaster preps; not only will it cost you money and resources, it might also be fatal to you and your family when the crisis strikes.

You already know how important water is for survival: you can survive without food for 3 weeks, but you can only survive without water for 3 days. So when storing water, be careful and make sure to avoid these 5 common mistakes.

Water was stored in metal barrels protected by two 4-mil polyethylene liners (the inner liner held the water, andthe outer liner was a backup), closed with a wire-tie. Each barrel stood 22 inches tall and 16 inches in diameter,and held 17.5 gallons of water. Each barrel was intended to supply 5 people. Empty drums would be used astoilets. Filled barrels were expected to remain water-tight for up to 10+ years. (Source)

Vintage Water Storage: Water was stored in metal barrels protected by two 4-mil polyethylene liners (the inner liner held the water, andthe outer liner was a backup), closed with a wire-tie. Each barrel stood 22 inches tall and 16 inches in diameter,and held 17.5 gallons of water. Each barrel was intended to supply 5 people. Empty drums would be used astoilets. Filled barrels were expected to remain water-tight for up to 10+ years. (Source)

Mistake #1: Not storing enough

People are usually advised to store 1 gallon of water per person per day. But, if you’re going to consider how much water each person use for hygienic purposes, sanitation, for cooking and others, one gallon is definitely not enough.

water-storage

When storing water you should consider that some members of your group or family will consume more water each day like children, pregnant women, nursing moms, ill people, or when you live in an area where the weather is hot. Your pets will also need water so don’t forget to store water for them.

Err on the side of caution and assume that the right amount of water to store per person per day is at least 2 gallons. And always bear in mind that you can never store enough water. You must store as much as you can and rotate your supply regularly in order to keep your supply as fresh and clean as possible and to know how far your supply can really get you. Aside from storing water properly, you also need to know the basics of locating and purifying water in your area, whether in the city or in the wild.

Mistake #2: Not using the right containers

Using the right container in storing water is very important. There are containers that are not safe to use like used juice and milk jugs. When you store water in these containers, you will only encourage the growth of bacteria.

A safer container to use is a 2 liter plastic soda bottle. But, make sure that you sanitize it first before using it. Mix 1 tsp. of bleach and a quart of water, and then pour it into the soda bottle. Shake the bottle, when all sides are already clean rinse the bottle.

You can also use plastic jugs, water boxes, 55-gallon barrels, 5-gallon containers and unconventional water-holding containers like this waterBOB.

waterBOB

The waterBOB is a water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water in virtually any bathtub in the event of an emergency (according to the manufacturer)

 

Mistake #3: Not knowing if the water is safe for storage

Make sure that the water that you’re storing is safe to use and that your water source is also safe. There are some possibilities that your water source has not been treated with chlorine. For example if you’re going to get water in a well, you have to treat it with chlorine before using. Add 2 drops of chlorine to each gallon of water before you store it.

Take note: Use only a non-scented household chlorine bleach. Chlorine can kill any disease-causing bacteria that may have been in the water.

Mistake #4: Not rotating your water supply

The shelf life of water has a limit. Water can taste and smell bad when stored for a long period of time. It can also encourage the growth of algae and bacteria, and if this happens, your stored water will no longer be safe for consumption.

To avoid these kinds of events, you should rotate your supply every 6 months to 1 year. When you treat your water with a commercial water preserver, the shelf life of your supply will be extended to 5 years. Don’t forget to label the containers so that you will not be lost in your rotation.

water

Mistake #5: Not knowing where to store

Store your water supply in a cool, dark place like your basement or closet. Do not store your supply in a hot place or where there is sunlight. Heat and sunlight can shorten the shelf life of your supplies.

Start storing water now and do not wait for a disaster to happen before doing it. You have a very low chance of finding a good source of water during and after a disaster. And if ever you have found a water source it may not be safe for consumption.

Also read: Storing Water for an Emergency: Quick Guideline for Water Storage

2 Comments

  1. Modern Feudal Serf on July 3, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I use 2 litre plastic wine bottles because they are sturdy and easily stored and/or moved if need be. I add about an eighth of a tsp of Sodium Chlorite (NOT ChloriDe!) to each jug to extent the shelf life.

  2. Great Grey on July 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Water doesn’t go bad in long term storage. it just gets contaminated. If you store it right it will be good for years. But the trick making sure it and the container are not contaminated when you fill it and nothing get into it in storage.

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