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Water storage question

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by brokenarrow, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. brokenarrow

    brokenarrow Elma, WA Well-Known Member

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    Any suggestions for storing water in 5 gallon containers? Such as adding chemicals.
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Couple drops of chlorine should keep it.
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  3. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    store in a dark place
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  4. edison bulb

    edison bulb Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    If exposed to a few hours of light a day, say from the basement lights, is that much of a big deal for stored water in gallon jugs?
  5. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Good advice above, and I'm not discounting it. Add chlorine bleach and store your water (pretty much) in the dark, in a cool, constant-temp environment and that's the best you can do. But it won't keep forever.

    The reason that anything you buy has an expiration date on it - including bottled water - is because of the container it's sold in. Modern plastic bottles are PET (Mylar), and they're not good barriers to gas penetration.

    The accepted rule is to change your stored water every year, but I think that it'll go two years if kept away from heat and sunlight (electric lights are okay). A backup solution is always a good idea - keep packable filters like the Katadyn or equivalent:

    Clean, fresh water is essential to survival; after air, it's the most important thing. Think about backups to your backups, like keeping extra bottles of bleach, or an RO system that can turn seawater into potable water. You can even buy a water-bob to fit your tub, if you think you might have enough time to fill it in an emergency:
    edison bulb and Joe13 like this.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Much excellent info above! I'll just add, I use 7 drops of unscented chlorine bleach for a 5gal container.
    I switch out the water yearly on or about my birthday, to keep track of how long it's on the shelf.
    I also use fifty gal, food safe, drums under our downspouts. Now I have the capability to filter and sterilize this stuff but it's intended for washing etc. In a bad enough crisis we could drink it! For now we use it in the garden. Good luck with your storage campaign! SRG
    rick benjamin and Joe13 like this.
  7. brokenarrow

    brokenarrow Elma, WA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the great advice. I have been remodeling the garage and am going to stock up on some necessities.
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  8. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have the white 55gallon food grade drums for water storage.
    Not sure if it matters, but I like to change the water out in early spring when we have lots of water in Bull Run simply for the reason that it seems there is less sediment in the water and the drums stay cleaner, longer.
  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Water doesn't "spoil".

    If it is clean purified water to start with, it will keep a long time in a clean container. I had water that was in a USCG can for decades.

    Exposure to sunlight is fine because light will actually help purify water in a closed container (such as a water bottle) that is clear enough to let in the UV light from the sun. Where you get problems with water exposure to sunlight is when you have an environment where algae can grow in a relatively open container. This won't happen with clean water from a tap, especially treated clean water.

    The plastics that are safe for water storage do not leach into the water. Any water purchased in plastic containers is in plastic that doesn't leach.

    As for water off my roof - I would maybe use it for irrigation or fire fighting, but I put zinc on my roof to control the moss, and I don't want other chemicals from the roofing material in my drinking water. I don't need to irrigate most of my plants where I am at as I get plenty of rain most of the year, and I have a well (with a backup genset to power it) so I have a large underground source of clean tested water.
  10. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Most of your tap waters are already so loaded with chlorine that it will keep forever. I change my storage out every year, but have no issues with it at all.
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  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I've stored water in old soy sauce barrels for years, even outside never had an issue with mold, mildew or algae growth, but they stay perpetually in the shade, they're filled from the tap with a food-grade hose. (the hose is where you're going to get most of your nasties from.

    I maybe change it once every few years if I need to move the barrels or something, after the first few flushes, it no longer tastes like soy sauce.
  12. JamesRL

    JamesRL Beaverton Active Member

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    The chlorine level in stored water will decrease over time as the chlorine reacts with the container and escapes through the container walls.

    If you're going to store water long term, get some chlorine test strips - get the ones for testing drinking water, not the ones for pool water - and keep the chlorine level between 0.2 and 1.0 mg/L (0.2 and 1.0 ppm). Also inspect the inside of the containers periodically for fungus (usually black). If you pre-treat the container with bleach (swirl it around the inside of the container then dump it out), you can delay fungus growth.

    Eventually, fungus will start growing on the inside of the container - fungus is amazingly adept at finding sources of nutrients.

    brokenarrow likes this.
  13. SHPD_Retired

    SHPD_Retired Saint Helens Well-Known Member

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    I have several of thes to keep water in. Along with these I have a Berkey water purifier so even if I do not get these swapped out often enough I could still drink the water after running it through the Berkey. I do not put chemicals in my water as most city water supplies are highly dosed anyway. 0006082394100_P689935_180X180.jpg
    brokenarrow likes this.
  14. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good info,

    I bought 2 of the 250 gal totes (that sit in palleted metal cages) from a re-use company in Gresham. I use them similarly to Sgt Nambu; sure is nice having a plumbing back up.

    We run a monolithic filter system (filter, 2 buckets & spigot) for drinking.

    Use new containers with a triangled 2 (food grade) on the bottom.

    Add a $20.00 Life Straw to your EDC and you're way ahead of the masses of sheeple.
    erudne likes this.
  15. ROC

    ROC Estacada Member

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    The 5 gallon containers with the spigot that screws into the lid are nice to have for washing your hands, filling water bottles, etc.
    Oathkeeper1775 and erudne like this.