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#89834 - 03/29/07 05:50 PM Long-term water storage.
MrDrysdale Offline

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 49
Loc: League City, Texas
Here is a topic I have been concerned about. I live in Galveston County Texas and we have been waiting for a major hurricane for years and after bugging out two years ago for Rita, I have been serious about my preparation to either run again or hunker down and ride a storm out.

This site has been very helpful and I think I am prepared. I have been wondering how long water should be kept before changing out? I am using the 7 gallon Aqua-tainers for some of the water. There are 4 of us in the family and really need much more.

I am a homebrewer ( always plenty of beer for a disaster smile ) and have about twelve 5 gallon stainless cornelius kegs available. They are virtually indestructable and fairly easy to use and carry. My thought is to keep about 6 filled up with water at all times and maybe push CO2 or oxygen through them from time to time to keep them fresh.

Anyone see issues here and any opinions on the safety and how long the water would stay good for consumption???

#89840 - 03/29/07 06:08 PM Re: Long-term water storage.

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852

MrDrysdale..water is cheap..i would empty and refill them
at least once a month..i think the problem with water storage is not the
water but something to put it in..and stainless kegs are a
sure winner..i don't know how easy it is for you do do that
but i make wine and use the basement wash tubs as
a work area..

#89841 - 03/29/07 06:24 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: MrDrysdale]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
I would think that properly treated water would last years. But, I'd probably change it before then. I don't know if I agree with the other reply you have, about monthly changing. I realize TX is probably as water conscious as CA where I grew up.

Having helped my father with home brewing and wine making, I think the kegs would be great, if heavy. Wine tends to go in glass carboys, which aren't as durable, and I wouldn't use oak barrels. The only downside I can see is the stainless kegs are probably 10lbs without water: that's 300lbs you'd have to move if it came to it. Maybe just buying some Arrowhead 5gal bottles would be a good alternative, or finding aluminum kegs?

#89843 - 03/29/07 06:34 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: MrDrysdale]
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
I think it would depend greatly on your climate. Would they be stored indoors? I store Aquatainers outside in a travel trailer. Temps here can range from about -10 F. to 110 F. I refill them in June and again in October, always adding 1 tsp bleach to each 7 gallon container. It has stored very well so far. I'd maybe try rotating at 1 month intervals at first, then gradually lengthening out to 3, or even 6 months depending on your results. I wouldn't bother with aereating (sp?) them if I were you.

#89845 - 03/29/07 07:04 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: norad45]
garland Offline

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 170
Loc: harrisburg, pa
My stepdad used to work for a water company (I can't remember which one, but I'll ask him just so if I quote this in the future I can be accurate) and has a friend who handles water treatment for the county (dauphin, pa). The question he posed this treatment guy was "how long will tap water be storeable".

The response was basically several years. Now he said you'll get a thick sludge on the top or bottom of the water which you will want to separate away but the rest should be safe for drinking.

From what I've read on water purification this comes from fluc or coagulants.. these may be local to our area. From what I've also read it seems like you would want to go the extra mile and disinfect it upon taking it out of long term storage like this.

This is not an end all be all answer, though I thought some of you might find this information interesting.

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#89847 - 03/29/07 07:07 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: norad45]
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
"Have bottles & bleach, will store water.."

I was about to search the forum about that kind of info : how much bleach to add per gallon of water, because I have now a few 5liters bottles at hand (that's 1.32 US gallon bottles).
So, I should use 1/5th of tea spoon.... let's see... crazy
Anyway I don't have tea spoons, only coffee spoons.... or rather dessert spoons...
Not really scientific measurements.. blush

May be I should search the forums (IRC, there have been many threads on that subject) and try to find a measure in drops ?? confused

#89849 - 03/29/07 07:28 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: frenchy]
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
I found this:

“Add 16 drops of bleach, or 1/4 teaspoon, per gallon of water and stir.”


I think I tried 16 drops/gallon at first and when I opened the jug 6 months later the chlorine smell was very strong, so I cut back. You may want to do the same if your water is heavily chlorinated already. For 1.32 US gallons you'd add 21 drops.

Edited by norad45 (03/29/07 07:31 PM)

#89850 - 03/29/07 07:34 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: norad45]
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
Thanks for the info.

Yes, you're right : water from town's public network is already treated and should not need much more bleach to keep it clean for a year.

I store/rotate/use 5liters mineral water bottles for everyday drinking purpose.

I just want to use the empties to store tap water, mainly for nondrinking uses, but just in case I ever have to drink it ...

I guess I will add 1 tsp of bleach to 50cl of water and divide this in 5 x 10cl, to treat five bottles.

+ Anyway I will rotate it once a year.

#89851 - 03/29/07 07:36 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: MrDrysdale]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Stored properly, clean water should remain potable for years and years without any interim treatment. It'll taste flat by then, but that's a taste issue, not a health issue. But just to be safe, you should probably treat the water once you start using it, but you shouldn't have to be overly paranoid about year-old water versus month-old water.

#89852 - 03/29/07 07:43 PM Re: Long-term water storage. [Re: norad45]
MrDrysdale Offline

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 49
Loc: League City, Texas
A Corny keg is fairly lite in weight; I would think around 5 pounds empty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_kegs

Cornys have handles on the top and they are quite managable

I have a ton of glass carboys and generally keep them filled with iodophor and water when not in use. They are way too heavy to move around.

Adding bleach is a problem on stainless; can cause corrosion and pitting of the stell. We generally use iodophor to sanitize the kegs.

Thanks for the feedback.


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