Why Store Water
Natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes may pollute or disrupt
water supplies. Water is more essential in sustaining life than food so
it is wise to store at least a two-week supply. The recommended quantity
for this time period is 14 gallons per person. To protect the quality of
the water it must be pure to start with, and stored in containers that
will protect both flavor and purity.
Water for storage should be treated to prevent build up of bacteria and/or
algae. This can be accomplished by adding:
Household bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite). 8 drops per gallon or
½ teaspoon per 5 gallons. Let stand for 30 minutes before
Good water storage containers will be airtight, resistant to breakage,
heavy enough to hold the water, and have a lining that won’t rust or affect
the flavor of the water. The following containers meet these criteria:
Clear Plastic Pop or Juice Bottles: These containers are made
of food grade plastic. Clean and sanitize the bottles prior to use.
Water Beds: A double water bed holds about 200 gallons of
water. Do not use for drinking or cooking. This water contains an algicide,
but can be used for washing or sanitation.
Water Heater: It is important to close the inlet valve immediately
after the water supply is disrupted.
Heavy Plastic or Fiberglass Drums: Heavy plastic or fiberglass
drums. These containers must be food grade, and be cleaned and sanitized
prior to use.
Mylar Bags in a Box: These normally hold 4-5 gallons and have
the advantage of stacking well.
Bleach Bottles: Bleach bottles are not good for storing water
for drinking or cooking, but are good for storing water for other uses.
Store water containers away from light.
It is best to store water in areas where leakage, should it occur, will
not cause damage.
Stored water will taste better if it is aerated prior to drinking.
To aerate water, pour it back and forth between two containers for several
minutes. This will help to add air back into the water and dissipate chlorine.