Water storage

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by clearconscience, May 15, 2016.

  1. clearconscience

    Vancouver, WA
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    I was planning on getting some water stored up in the house.

    I was thinking about just buying some water jugs from home depot and I know they aren't the blue fancy jugs, but I was wondering for water storage if your storing that water inside in a closet away from contaminants and weather would it last longer?

    And if you do store tap water can you just retreat it after 6-12mths?

    Or are you just stuck trading out water all the time?
  2. orygun

    West Linn
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    I'm curious about this, too. We've been using clear plastic juice jugs for storing tap water.
  3. clearconscience

    Vancouver, WA
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    I would think even if you put tap water in a jug and it stored a while couldn't you boil it or add chlorine drops/tabs and clean it?
  4. AMProducts

    Desert Southwest
    Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Water is insanely heavy, and you need large quantities of it in order for it to be useful.

    If you're storing small amounts for drinking for short term emergencies, you can just buy bottles, or use empty 2L bottles left over from sodas etc. At my parent's house in Socal, I bought a bunch of used soysauce drums from a local BBQ sauce company, there's about 15 drums sitting over by the side of the house (out of the sun). This is really enough water for probably a month of just drinking cooking, and some basic cleaning. The water doesn't really need to be cycled, and doesn't tend to grow anything, I've never had a problem drinking it after storing for several years. The only problem initially was a faint taste of salt and soy.

    Out at my desert cabin, I have what is essentially a slit trench that runs underneath the cabin, and about 1500 gallons of IBC totes, because there is no water on the property, and this is usually enough water for weekend use for months. There's also a rain catch system on the roof, that fills 2-250gal totes up with "other" water, that can be used for flushing the toilet, or watering the joshua trees, or powering the mist system. This water is run through a two stage sand and activated charcoal filter. If it's running low, I usually refill it when I truck water out to the property.

    If you're really serious about water, and have the space for it, I suggest looking into creating a sistern that can capture and store water for use, maybe pump it out for watering your lawn, or filling the kiddie pool during summer. Treatment of these kinds of systems is fairly easy using pool chlorinating tablets. You just need to check that your rate of withdrawl is fast enough so you don't get excess chlorine, this is fairly easy to test with over the counter water testing kits. If you're really worried about your water quality from such a cistern, consider a berkey type filter or another more advanced filtration and treatment system. In general my preference is to chemically sterilize the water, filter out chemicals using activated charcoal, and then sterilize it again with a UV lamp. This kind of system works best if you have low turbidity (junk in the water), if your water does have high turbidity, sand filters work very well but do need to be maintained.
  5. djaziatic

    Portland, OR
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  6. Liberty97045

    Oregon City
    Well-Known Member

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    Bacteria cannot grow if there is no bacteria so if you sanitize the container, then purify the water it will theoretically last forever. The practical reality is something less than the ideal.

    Milk jugs are far from the ideal container as they are hard to seal and may allow air transfer (along with bacteria).

    Bleach will work for bacteria but does not kill molds & yeasts. This product will kill yeast too and is good for prepping your containers before filling.

    Really your best option is FIFO (first in - first out). Say you want to keep 24 cases of water on hand and go through 1 per month. Just date them and use the oldest one first.

    Since this is the rainy northwest and I live in the country, I opted for the ability to sanitize water. Life straws, bleach, etc. Most water purification tablets expire but this product does not. I try to only prep things that have a very long shelf life.
    pdempsey1097 likes this.

    Brownsville, OR
    Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'm no expert but have surrounded myself with those who are with advanced degrees in Microbiology and the highest levels of water treatment certifications. This is some of the research from a book I started to write then ditched. It is both research and empirical data I've generated from an experiment - this from a guy who suffers from OCD with Perfectionist Tendencies. This is for entertainment purposes and not to be considered expert advise!!!! Anyway, I digress...

    Others have summed it up best. Treat before drinking. Filter it and/or use chlorine and be good to go. Having a good filter or two is not a bad plan.

    Some key principles you should keep in mind for storage:

    • Sterilize the vessel/container before putting in water

    • Place in a dark environment away from UV sourced light/sun

    • Keep the temperature as constant and cool as possible

    • Realize that even though you sterilized the vessel/container if you do not keep it treated it can potentially start to breed non-pathogenic bacteria. They are small and can hide in the smallest cracks of the vessel and the sterilization may not have made contact with them.

    • If you are going to rotate then dump, re-sterilize and refill with city water (because it is treated) with a RV style hose that is also sterilized and stored in a sterile environment.
      This option gets expensive in time, labor and wasted water.

    • If you want to treat instead then please see below:
    Treat the water with the following guidelines:
    Using non-colored, non-scented household bleach dose of 4 mg/l per 55 gallon drum
    • 4 mg/l equals about 0.5 oz or 13 ccs in a farm store syringe. Little goes a long way

    • Stir in the bleach to equally distribute through the 55 gallon container then check titration with test strips (see below), then reseal and mark the dose, date and time

    • Assuming you're using dosing at this level should put you in the 2 to 2.5 Free Chlorine range. (Typically a city water system is dosed to 1 before it leaves the water treatment plant so it is in the .6 to .8 in city distribution.)

    • By dosing at a higher 2 to 2.5 range a sealed 55 gal drum of water will be at .6 in 7 months according to my experience - but that is me and my situation. So that means once per year you need to recharge your water with a .5 oz or 12 to 13 ccs of household bleach.

    • Get yourself a bottle of SenSafe Free Chlorine Water Check strips which are approved by the EPA for compliance monitoring to monitor this yourself.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  8. Joe13

    NW of Vancouver
    Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

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    Above ground pool in the backyard.

    6,000 gallons of treatable water all year round.

    And it's a good way to collect rain.
    orygun likes this.
  9. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW
    Northern Idaho

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    I found the following video helpful when I was researching water storage. I settled on the blue 55 gallon drums because I am storing them on pallets in my garage with a concrete floor. I have a good local source for the drums.

    As he suggested in the video he uses stabilized liquid oxygen instead of bleach. I am doing the same for my drums. One 4 oz. bottle will treat two 55 gallon drums. Hope that helps anyone out.

    Amazon.com: Liquid Oxygen Drops, Stabilized Oxygen Drops, Premium Concentrated Liquid Oxygen Supplement, 4 Ounces: Health & Personal Care (https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Stabilized-Premium-Concentrated-Supplement/dp/B004IJHHL4/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1464833893&sr=8-4&keywords=stabilized+oxygen)
    Ruben4864 likes this.
  10. CHLChris

    Portland Metro East
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    Granted my plan only provides for a couple weeks of drinking water, I think I have a pretty good plan.

    We store 20 to 25 flats (16 16oz bottles) of store bought water bottles in PETE plastic.

    But the trick to this plan is to actually drink from these water bottles. We drink 1 to 3 bottles a day, which rotates the whole set every few months. It costs a bit of money but is super effective.
  11. cigars

    Beaverton, USA
    DON'T CALIFORNIA OREGON. Platinum Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Here's the current listing for water storage from costco. Search Results: water storage (http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?keyword=water+storage)
    It's a good starting point.
    I have four of the big barrels in the garage. They come with the hand pump and filter.
    Also, if water get scarce and you need to get it from the pond, ditch etc then consider a Berkey water filter. They are gravity fed, have washable filters and there's other filters for them on ebay.
    Berkey Water Filter Systems - World Leader in Portable Water Purification (http://www.berkeyfilters.com/)

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