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#192827 - 01/07/10 11:14 AM Long Term Water Storage
gryps Offline
Aspiring Ant

Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 44
Loc: New Rochelle,NY, USA
Happy New Year/New Decade all!

Anyone have suggestions on best practices for long term water storage (i.e. how to treat the water for storage, when to rotate it, etc.)?

Any experience with additives such as "aerobic stabilized oxygen" in terms of preserving stored water? Do they work, or is it all quackery?
"In the eyes of its mother every beetle is a gazelle."-African proverb.

#192829 - 01/07/10 12:49 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: gryps]
jaywalke Offline

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 172
Loc: Appalachian mountains
I use the blue 7-gallon Reliance water jugs. They are cheap ($9 at Wally World) and fairly tough. The spigot cap is not perfect, but as long as you store them cap-up they are fine. They are not too big to lug around, and no pump is necessary.

I store them in the basement, up off the concrete floor and out of sunlight. They get rotated (in a perfect world) every six months. I just fill them from the garden hose and add a small splash of bleach to each jug, maybe a teaspoon. I make a point of drinking a quart or so of the old stuff every time I rotate it, and so far (5 years?) it has been fresh and tasty with no digestive issues. You can't smell the bleach (or I can't anyway) in such small quantities.

I've found that tying the rotation to other seasonal chores, such as draining the hot water heater in the spring and cleaning the gutters in the fall, helps me remember.

#192830 - 01/07/10 12:56 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: gryps]
kd7fqd Offline

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
This is the site I used to get my tank


EDC: Samsung Galaxy Note 2,DR PSK, Swiss Army Champ, Leatherman Blast
My Blog emergencybobs.wordpress.com

#192838 - 01/07/10 02:32 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: gryps]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
I use a combination of 5, 15, 30 and 55 gallon containers most purchased through Emergency Essentials. I took a couple old pallets and cut them in half, and keep the barrels off the floor. I flush and refill them about every year (at the summer solstice), although I'm thinking of going to 18 or even 24 months with some of them, I haven't noted any appreciable taste or quality issues so far. Looking for leaks as well, none so far. I don't treat with bleach during storage, I do use a bleach solution when the container is empty and I want to rinse it out before refilling: if I use bleach, it would be to treat stored water. I also rotate a small container of bleach every time I refill the water, that stuff also expires and 1 year is about its limit.

My only bright idea on water is to mark the container with the fill date so you may know that its time to refill. Maybe another bright idea: I keep water in more than one place in my household, some in the garage, ~1 week supply in with our food supply, and more in a cool, dark back room, in the event the house collapses (earthquake is our #1 local disaster that might prompt us to drink stored water) I have a shot at digging out at least some of the water. The garage water (most vulnerable to collapse) is actually in a very sturdy metal rolling cage (bought from a surplus store) that should provide some support from a collapsing structure.

#192848 - 01/07/10 03:04 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: Lono]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Lono's post just about covers it for most people IMHO. Including the bit about rotating bleach, too, if that's going to be an important means of purifying water for you. Personally, I buy a fresh bottle every six months instead of Lono's one year schedule.

#192857 - 01/07/10 03:47 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: Arney]
AndrewC Offline

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Boise, ID
I don't have any long-term water storage. I'm in an area with an extremely low risk of natural disaster, and have well-supplied parents within walking distance. One-bedroom apartments aren't conducive to survival planning.

Aerobic stabilized oxygen looks like a scam. Its health claims are definitely false, and I can't find a single reputable site discussing its use for purifying water that isn't also selling it.

For more information on its health claims: http://www.quackwatch.com/04ConsumerEducation/News/vitamino.html

#192859 - 01/07/10 04:00 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: AndrewC]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
Just a little anecdote about water storage. We had occasion to stash a gallon of water (unanticipated surplus) in a very isolated, hot, arid, inaccessible location (archeological site) that we knew we would return to. The water was simply tap water, untreated in any way.

Indeed, a year later we returned to the location. Apprehensive about our stashed water, we cautiously tried it. It was fine. It had been exposed to temps ranging from 0F to 100F, but had been shielded from direct sunlight. The container was a reused Clorox bottle,so it probably did get a bit of clorination. I still change my water at regular intervals, but if I miss a change, I don't sweat it. You can always filter and treat.
Geezer in Chief

#192873 - 01/07/10 05:12 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: hikermor]
thatguyjeff Offline

Registered: 04/22/08
Posts: 41
Is it naive of me to consider my water heater as a 40 gallon reserve water supply?

I do have a couple cases of bottled water too that we rotate etc. But I've always thought that, at a minimum, I have a 40 gallon tank that's there when I need it.

#192883 - 01/07/10 05:44 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: thatguyjeff]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3719
Loc: USA
I have four 5-gallon water bladders filled and ready to go with the emergency gear. If we need to bug out they go in the car with the other stuff. I rotate it about once a year; it's never had any taste issues during that time. The water in my town is particularly good so I don't worry about bacterial contamination as long as the containers stay closed.

We have at least three or four cases of bottled water rotated regularly. I keep a case in each car as well. Finally there's the water heater.

#192902 - 01/07/10 06:52 PM Re: Long Term Water Storage [Re: AndrewC]
Lon Offline

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 115
Loc: middle Tennessee
Originally Posted By: AndrewC
I don't have any long-term water storage. I'm in an area with an extremely low risk of natural disaster, and have well-supplied parents within walking distance. One-bedroom apartments aren't conducive to survival planning.

I don't mean to be preachy, but I would suggest that you store some water too. 5 to 10 gallons tucked away in the bottom of a closet would not take up a lot of space.
A natural disaster is not the only thing that could cause a disruption of your water service, and/or your parents' supply becoming damaged or unavailable.

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