People often learn how to purify water but fail to determine the appropriate way to store it for long-term use. In this article, we will talk about the different type of containment, accessories, best practices and things to avoid when it comes to long-term water storage. Important things that most people wouldn’t even consider to be unsafe could potentially ruin your entire long-term water storage.
Use Proper Hose To Fill Containers!
We would all expect that your typical garden hose should be ok to use in filling your water containers, but that’s not the case. Garden hoses are built using cheap recycled material and could be a health hazard. Of course, there are some that would be safer than others, but we shouldn’t take the chance of contaminating our survival water stock.
The proper equipment to transfer your water from your tape to your container is an RV Drinking Water Hose. This type of hose is BPA and Lead-free and specially made to carry a flow of drinking water. You can find these at your local hardware store or by clicking the picture directing you to the Amazon link.
A bottle of water preserver concentrate allows you to treat 55 gallons of water and make it safe to drink for up to five years without rotation. The product might not be necessary for people In urban areas where there’s chlorine added to the water, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for rural dwellers. In my opinion, everyone should use a water preserver in case of any bacterial contamination.
Different Types of Containment
Water Brick Portable Stackable Containers
The Water Brick is, in my opinion, the best answer for water storage in a tight environment. These containers fit together like Lego blocks, and each of them can hold up to five gallons of water. We recommend you buy 16 water bricks. If you’re in a small apartment and living on your own, then eight should be enough.
The reason for being a great way for long-term water storage for people living in smaller apartments is their versatility. As you can see by the picture, you can make a coffee table or even make it a night table for your bedroom. Placing a cloth or blanket over the water bricks would make your table look natural, and nobody would know any different. Click here for current Amazon price for the Water Brick.
None Stackable Portable Water Containers
If you have more space to spare in your home, then you can opt for the none stackable water containers. These types of containers are cheaper than most stackables so their a popular choice a survivalist on a budget.
A popular one is the 5 gallons Samson stackers, but they are only stackable if they are empty. They have great Amazon reviews, and it also comes equipped with a cap wrench. Click here for more information from Amazon.
None Portable Water Containment
If you’re lucky enough to have space in your garage or have an emergency shelter, then you should look into acquiring a Stationary Water Container. Most people would purchase a 55-gallon drum (Amazon Link) specifically made for long-term water storage. There are also bigger containers that can safely stack on top of each other like the 160 Gallon Water Reserve (Amazon Link).
Bathtub Water Containment Bladders
The waterBOB is a water containment system constructed of heavy duty food grade plastic that can hold up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water. The containment bladder is designed to fit into any standard bathtub in the event of a massive disaster. It’s unsafe to store water directly in a bathtub due to dirt, soap film, and bacteria that can spoil the water and become a health risk.
This type of product makes it ideal when you know a disaster is about to strike; like a hurricane or earthquake because you will have time to set it up in case your tap water becomes contaminated. All you need to do is lay the blatter flat in your bathtub and attach the fill sock to the faucet and fill it up to capacity.
It only takes from twenty to thirty minutes to fill up, and the water will be safe to drink for up to sixteen weeks. There’s even a water siphon, so it makes it easy to fill up a pitcher or pots. This product is not meant for long-term storage and is only intended for a one time use.
The reason we chose the waterBOB over its competitors is due to the Amazon ratings and reviews. Currently at 4.6 stars with over seven hundred and fifty reviews. Let’s just say that the people that buy it love it!
Storing Your Water
- Keep away from sunlight
You should always avoid having your water container exposed to direct sunlight as it will over time degrade the plastic and will eventually promote bacterial growth such as Algae. The main reason why most water containers are blue is that it limits the amount of ultraviolet radiation exposure to your water. You will notice different color containers for various uses; For example, gasoline is stored in red containers.
The safest containers to hold water in are polyethylene-based plastics, or plastics #1, #2, and #4. This type of plastic is suitable for long-term storage and is BPA-free.
Never assume that water can be stored in any type of containers for the long term. Never store water in milk containers since their biodegradable and will break down over time.
You can figure out the number of plastic by looking for this symbol on the bottom of containers.
Lastly, What to Avoid!
Avoid Small Jugs for Long-Term Water Storage
One thing you need to avoid when prepping for long-term water storage is storing water in one gallons jugs. You can sometimes buy a full pallet of these jugs at a low price. The problem with these jugs is that you will have a significant mess on your hands sooner or later. They also take way too much space because of the way they manufacture them.
During the assembly process, the plastic is joined together leaving a seem from cap to bottom. Over time, placing them in direct sunlight will result in degradation of the plastic and become significantly weaker. When people buy a full pallet of this type of jugs, the weight and degradation of the plastic will literally burst at its seam.
This situation will leave you with a big mess and money wasted.
Avoid Used / Pre-Owned Water Barrels!
Never be sucked into buying a used barrel because of their lower prices. Used barrels were likely used to store fruit juice, coke syrup, or even shampoo. By law, these barrels can only be used once because its impossible to thoroughly remove the previous content. Bacteria will then start growing and slowly contaminate the water. No amount of bleach or washing will clean 100% of the last material that is leaching into the plastic.
Buying used barrels off sites like craigslist should also be avoided since there’s no way of knowing what the previous owner had these barrels used for, and what contents it contained. If you’re truly serious about water safety, then the safest thing to do is always buy new and made of plastic with a long-term water storage design.
One thing everyone should keep in a long-term water storage is a personal water filter. LifeStraw’s or Sawyer’s are inexpensive filtration devices that could mean the difference between life and death if the water suffers bacterial contamination.
Please Leave us a comment if you feel that we missed anything or want to add input on things that we talked about.