How To Store Water-Pros And Cons

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I’m sharing some of my tips on how to store water and discuss the pros and cons. We all have various budgets, different amounts of water needed based on family size, and the space to store the water our family will require.

Just giving you the heads up here, I’m sipping water from my daily jug this very moment as I write this article. I drink a lot of water every day.

How To Store Water

How To Store Water

Please store ALL water at least 2-inches off the concrete/cement floor to prevent the chemicals from leaching from the cement into your containers.

Please store your your water containers in a cool dark location.

I use 2 by 4’s for all my water containers to keep them off the concrete. I try to live by the things I suggest, and water storage is very important to me and my family.

Did You Know You Can Survive:

If you haven’t seen the post where I have written about the time needed to survive without air, water, food, and shelter, here it is again.

3 Minutes without air (I don’t recommend this)

3 Hours without shelter (extreme heat or cold weather)

3 Days without water (you need water or you’ll perish)

3 Weeks without food (I promise this would not be fun)

How Much Water Do You Need?

I highly recommend storing 4-gallons of water per person per day. Is this too much? The American Red Cross recommends 1-gallon of water person per day.

Are you like me and you get thirsty just thinking about this amount of water?

Here is the pamphlet you may want to read regarding suggested water storage amounts: American Red Cross (page 7).

Please keep in mind, if the weather is hot where you live you may need more water. This may be necessary just to cool yourself down if the power is out for extended periods of time and to make sure you stay hydrated.

We need water for hydration, personal hygiene, cooking, and washing clothes. Let’s talk numbers and make it easy for everyone.

Water for ONE PERSON for 1 day = 4 gallons

Water for ONE PERSON for 7 days = 28 gallons

Water for ONE PERSON for 14 days = 56 gallons

Water for ONE PERSON for 21 days = 84 gallons

Water for ONE PERSON for 30 days = 120 gallons

Preserving The Water – Options

1. Bleach


It’s inexpensive to purchase. Please use 2 drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water.


The water must be rotated EVERY SIX MONTHS.

2. Water Preserver

This is what I use to store my water when I fill my containers: Water Preserver


A little goes a long way. This solution, and I quote: “Water Preserver™ kills the pathogenic organisms responsible for typhoid, dysentery, and other serious diseases, and also kills and prevents the growth of yeast, mold, fungi, and algae which also make water undrinkable.”

It’s fairly inexpensive, and you only have to rotate your water every 5 years.


I really can’t find any cons. This is a good product that I have recommended to many readers. I haven’t heard any negative comments from users.

Containers: Based on Cost

1. 2 Liter Plastic Soda Bottles


They’re basically free, you can wash them and fill them with water and bleach according to the ratio above. They are fairly light in weight when filled and don’t take up a lot of space when space is a factor.

Milk jugs are not safe to wash and refill with water because it’s nearly impossible to really clean the bacteria that may be lingering in the bottles. Reference: American Red Cross (page 8). Consider using them for clothes washing or other uses where drinking from the bottle is not included.


The plastic bottles could possibly crack over time and are a bit hard to handle if you need to evacuate your home.

2. Bottled Water


Watch for sales, and stock up, very inexpensive.


Not good for the planet, they also don’t store very long. They only store for 1-2 years, depending on how the water was processed. Bottled Water

3. 55-Gallon Barrels


These are very cheap here in Utah, not sure where else they may be inexpensive. I have seen them for about $35.00 (empty) at local stores in Southern Utah.

You may be able to order them through Walmart and have them delivered to your local store.


They are bulky and hard to handle, particularly if you need to get some water out. You need a bung to tighten or loosen the top. You will also need a pump in order to retrieve water from the barrel. Hard to store. BUNG and a PUMP

4. 5 Gallon Jugs


These are fairly cheap and easy to store. Some are even stackable.


Five-gallon jugs can be very heavy to lift and haul. A 5-gallon water storage container can weigh a little over 41 pounds if filled to the top.

5. WaterBricks:


These WaterBricks can stack, they also have a handle and are easy to carry two 3.5 gallon containers. You can carry one in each hand since they weigh about 27 pounds each when filled with water.

WaterBricks come with handles and are easy to haul, when needed.


They are a bit expensive. WaterBrick and Multiple WaterBricks

6. BlueCan Water


I realize BlueCan water may seem expensive, but please do the research. This water will last 50 years if you make sure not to store it where it will freeze or exceed 145 degrees.

These cans are the size of a soda can (12-ounces) and come 24 cans to a box. They are easy to stack on top of each other. No preserver needed.

The aluminum cans have a liner. Information here: BlueCan

My gift to my daughters’ families for Christmas was 4 cases of BlueCan water. To me, it’s the best gift ever.

The best place to buy, if you don’t live close to one of their distributors is Brownells.

If you sign up for their emails you will see when they have a sale going on or FREE SHIPPING available. That’s when I ordered my Christmas cases last year. You gotta love it!


More expensive than a few other containers.

7. High Capacity Tanks


High Capacity Tanks typically have two spigots, one bucket level, and one ground level.

Great for filling a bucket and for when you need to empty the tank. They come in 150, 160, 200, 250, 300, and 350-gallon size tanks.


These are bulky, hard to handle alone. They seem bigger once you get them home and try to place them where you want them to be accessible. Once in place, they are impossible to move without draining them.

They are extremely heavy, and you may want to anchor them to the wall for safety reasons.

These tanks are expensive to buy and very expensive to ship them to your home. Please try and purchase them locally and have them delivered, if possible.

Final Word

I hope this post helped you learn a bit more about how to store water. If you are teaching classes, please emphasize water is the #1 item you need to store.

Remember, whether you dehydrate your storage items or buy them that way, you’ll need to re-hydrate them for use.

Freeze-dried items can usually be eaten right out of the can, but you may also want to re-hydrate them with water.

We can do this, one-gallon at a time. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

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Copyright Images: Water Deposit photos_310925740_s-2019,

11 thoughts on “How To Store Water-Pros And Cons

  • April 9, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I did invest in some Waterbricks a couple years ago, and I highly recommend them! My water was off for a day last summer (well repair) so I had the chance to use them. Easy to lift onto my kitchen counter, spigot was convenient. One was frozen with no damage over the winter (good to know). Besides the stackable shape, the bricks also have holes molded straight through–so you can also run a rod through the whole stack to really secure them in place!

    • April 9, 2020 at 9:48 am

      Hi Rhonda. great comment! I saw a post where some people actually froze water in the small ones (leaving room for expansion). It serves two purposes, one is water to drink and the other to keep your freezer cold if the power goes out. I need to try that. I need to organize my freezer first! Love this! Linda

    • April 9, 2020 at 10:06 am

      Open top barrels are the way to go. That way you don’t need a special pump or wrench. You just unscrew the kid and pop the top. Use any container to dip it out.
      We’ve got 30gl to 65 gl in the family and use dollys to position them. I fill mine 3/4 full in the winter to allow for expansion.
      The large IBC totes can be set 2 concrete bricks high and a typical 5gl bucket will fit under them. They sell attachments to put a garden hose on as well. You should wrap them in black plastic before filling and store them on the shaded side of the house to keep the algae down.
      I store several of the water cooler type 5gl containers with spigots. You know like the orange container that sits in the dugout or on the sidelines. That way when I put it in the counter even the kids can fill their own cups or wash their hands.
      Them soda bottles and jugs are great to refill the toilet with. They can be stored under most counters or around the toilet area and aren’t to heavy to lift. The bottles are also easy enough to handle hand washing.
      I use bleach but only rotate annually. Make sure it’s not all in one place. I’ve got some inside, outside and in the storm shelter.
      I think 4gl is more reasonable and closer to what we used in the army when out and about. Y’all soldiers think on it. A water buffalo held bout 300gl and it was refilled every 2 days for each company of bout 75-100 troops.

      • April 9, 2020 at 10:41 am

        Hi Matt, thank for the great comment! I’m glad to hear the soldiers used 4 gallons a day. Awesome to hear! Plus the soda bottles would be great to flush the toilets, I love it! Linda

      • April 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm

        Matt, thanks for your post. Lots of great information plus ideas.

        • April 9, 2020 at 1:58 pm

          We’ve got plans in place for collection, filtering and stuff as well.
          I also save our laundry detergent bottles for the non potable toilet flush. They are generally tougher than jugs. I don’t rinse them out either. I just fill them. Later they make good hand washers cause of that button.
          Also don’t forget the hot water tank. The location of them can make collection a pain sometimes as they don’t sit very high or are in inconvenient places. Have a plan.
          Also have some cheesecloth(deer hanging bags) on hand cause the minerals collect in the bottom of the tank and when you drain it it’s kinda gravelly. The deer bags are in the hunting sections and are pretty cheap. I’ve bought them post season for a buck. Yup deer/buck lol

  • April 9, 2020 at 10:43 am

    I also keep rain barrels, filled from the downspouts on the house and barn. It’s not filtered, but can be used for garden, flushing if you want a flush toilet (we use a “humanure toilet”), and some washing.

    Also worth noting for anyone with animals (we had a milch cow, still have horses, so needed to have *plenty* of water if the power went out!) Trash cans and assorted buckets can be filled at short notice–when a heavy storm is predicted, for instance. I put in a large, heavyweight trash bag first–not only makes sure the water is clean even if the container isn’t perfect, but if you have to move filled buckets, tie the top and it won’t slosh.

    We still have the old dug wells on the place. I’m arranging to have two of them fitted up with old-fashioned hand pumps. Should be convenient for the pastures, but also if the power goes out long-term (thinking Blizzard of ’78, or Ice Storm of 2008!)

    • April 9, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Rhonda, oh my gosh I love your comment! I need to get some rain barrels. Great reminder. The blizzards and the ice storms!! Yikes! Linda

  • April 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    I always love reading your blogs…and then the comments. People have such good ideas at times! I know I don’t have enough water; it’s a constant worry for me. But what I do manage to do, tho, is save all my Tropicana Orange Juice bottles (they’re nice and sturdy) and fill them with water for “non potable” water. I keep them in my basement. They have flat sides so they snug up to each other easily. I know how people are supposed to store drinking water but as a whole, I think we forget about all the other needs for water-washing bodies, dishes (when paper plates, etc. run out), clothes-OUR PETS…things like that. I think I can treat our water bottles in an emergency but I really do need to figure out an affordable, better way of storing water. I always get such good ideas on this site! In case of emergencies/natural disasters, has anyone learned about the WaterBob or something like that? It’s basically a huge “bladder” to put in your bathtub and quickly access water before it’s no longer available. I used to think that was a good idea for something “instant” in an emergency.

    I live in Northern Nevada and we frequently have our pipes freeze in the winter if we’re not careful to keep the heater up or the power goes out. Having all my little orange juice bottles has reeeally come in handy! It may not be ideal for long term but it sure works when the water gets frozen.

    Linda, keep up the good work! I count on you and knowledge more than you’ll ever know!! :o)

    • April 9, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Robbie, you are so kind!! Thank you, your words mean a lot to me. I learn from my readers as well. That’s why it’s nice to see what others do to give us ideas. Let me tell you my thoughts on the WaterBob. It’s inexpensive but I worry, that people are counting on being able to fill it at the last minute before or after a disaster. What if the water is contaminated? That’s why I worry about my water heater. If the local waterways get contaminated, just something to think about. I personally have a lot of water stored but I always worry it’s not enough. Just keep doing what you’re doing, a jug or a bottle at a time. God bless this world, Linda

  • April 9, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I’ve always wondered about those water-bobs too. Nice idea to have a fairly large amount of water in a clean “container,” but we’ve always just filled up the bathtub itself (to add to what we had in jugs or elsewhere) when we knew a storm was on the way. Maybe someday. I wonder how well they fold up to store, over time.


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