Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Storing Water 101

Water. Some people call it Blue Gold. And for a good reason! If there were some sort of emergency and water supplies were disrupted, people would trade actual gold for water. Why? Because a person can only live about 3 days without water. Even less, if they are doing strenuous things. Dehydration can kick in very quickly, so it is SO important to have access to water!

Now...guess what today's topic is. Yup, you guessed it! Milk. Hahah. Just kidding.

Water is a super important part of any sort of survival storage. 

In a disaster, water supplies may be cut off or contaminated. A good rule to follow is to store enough water for everyone in your family to last for at least 3 days.
  • Store one gallon of water per person, per day. Three gallons per person per day will give you enough to drink and for limited cooking and personal hygiene. And don't forget to plan for your pets. Fluff-o will get thirsty, too!
If you store tap water:
  • Tap water from a municipal water system can be safely stored without additional treatment.
  • Store water in food grade plastic containers, such as clean 2-liter soft drink bottles. Heavy duty, reusable plastic water containers are also available at sporting goods stores. Empty milk bottles are not recommended because their lids do not seal well and bottles may develop leaks.
  • Label and store in a cool, dark place.
  • Replace water at least once every six months.
If you buy commercially bottled “spring” or “drinking” water:
  • Keep water in its original container, and don’t re-store a bottle once it’s been opened.
  • Store in a cool, dark place.
  • If bottles are not marked with the manufacturer’s expiration date, label with the date and replace bottles at least once per year.
Treating Water after Disaster:
If you run out of stored drinking water, you can strain and treat water from your water heater or the toilet reservoir tank (except if you use toilet tank cleaners). Swimming pool or spa water should not be consumed but you can use it for flushing toilets or washing.

Treatment Process:
Strain any large particles of dirt by pouring the water through layers of paper towels or clean cloth. Next, purify the water one of two ways:
  • Boil – bring to a rolling boil and maintain for 3-5 minutes. After the water cools, pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add oxygen back; this will improve its taste.
  • Disinfect – If the water is clear, add 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water. If it is cloudy, add 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per gallon. Make sure you are using regular bleach— 5.25% percent sodium hypochlorite— rather than the “ultra” or “color safe” bleaches. Shake or stir, then let stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste and smell is normal.
So, now that you know how to store water, what do you store it in?
There are many ways to store water! We use the big blue storage things  like these:


Or, you can always buy pre-bottled water from the store...these are good if you are going to be traveling around a lot and need something small enough to carry. However, it is more economical to store in a big container, and then just fill your water bottles at home before you go. Those little water bottles can be pricey when you are storing 50 gallons of them! You pay for the plastic.

 Or to be really frugal, you can even save up your 2 litter pop bottles! After you drink all of your pop, Just wash them and fill'em up with water. They are easy to store in random places if space is tight, too. Under beds, sinks, etc. We have them in random places all around our house. How cool is this 2 litter storage!?! Now that is ambitious.

Well, that just about covers it! Hopefully you found this for me, suddenly I really feel like I need a nice cold glass of water! Hahah!


  1. Hi Natalie~

    This is a really good reminder for me to stock up on more water...I like your idea of the five gallon containers. And three days worth seems so much more reasonable than a week. Three days I can find room for! :)

    I hope you have a great rest of your Friday and a fun weekend! :)


  2. Thanks, Jenni! I totally agree with you! Three days is much more approachable!

  3. Great content, but remember most bleach available now is the concentrated variety so the dilution rules change!