How To Store Water-Pros And Cons

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I’m sharing some of my tips on how to store water today, it’s all about the pros and the cons. We all have various budgets, different amounts of water needed, and 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.

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. 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. I use 2 by 4’s for all my water to keep it off the concrete.

Did You Know You Can Survive:

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 per person per day. Is this too much? The American Red Cross recommends 1-gallon 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: American Red Cross (page 7).

Please keep in mind if the weather is hot where you live, you may need more water, 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 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

1. Bleach

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Pros:

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. You only have to rotate your water every 5 years.

Cons:

I cannot find any cons.

Containers Starting At The Cheapest

1. 2 Liter Soda Bottles

Pros:

They’re basically free, you can wash them and fill with water and bleach according to the ratio above. Milk jugs are not safe to wash and refill with water because it’s impossible to really clean the bacteria that may be lingering in the bottles. Reference: American Red Cross (page 8)

Cons:

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

2. Bottled Water

Pros:

Watch for sales, and stock up, very inexpensive.

Cons:

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

3. 55-Gallon Barrels

Pros:

These are very cheap 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.

Cons:

They are bulky, hard to handle. 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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

5. WaterBricks:

Pros:

These WaterBricks can stack, they also have a handle and are easy to carry two 3.5 gallon containers. (one in each hand-they weigh about 27 pounds each when filled with water). WaterBricks come with handles and are easy to haul when needed.

Cons:

They are a bit expensive. WaterBrick and Multiple WaterBricks

6. BlueCan Water

Pros:

I realize Blue Can water may seem expensive, but please do the research. This water will last 50 years (do not 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 Blue Can 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!

Cons:

More expensive than a few other containers.

7. High Capacity Tanks

Pros:

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.

Cons:

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. Once in place, they are impossible to move. 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 too. We can do this, one-gallon at a time. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

How To Store Preps In A Small Home

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

  • June 30, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    Good stuff!
    It’s best to go with multiple options. Layered if you will. The drums are also available in 65gl open top pickle barrels. In order to clean them use 1/2bag of pool shock and let them sit in the sun for a day. All the smell will be cleaned and the open screw tops allow you to use any container to dip the water out.
    If the larger containers are clear wrap them in black plastic usually available at a place like Lowe’s. That will keep the algae from growing.
    Bleached water is rotated every 6 moths around here however I’ve tested some at 2yrs that was fine.

    Reply
    • June 30, 2019 at 8:03 am
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      Hi Matt, yay!!! I didn’t know we could get 65-gallon barrels!! Woohoo!! Thanks for the tip on how to clean the pickle juice taste out! I love it! THANK YOU! Linda

      Reply
      • June 30, 2019 at 8:25 am
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        Craigslist is probably the cheapest place to find them.

        Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 12:46 pm
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    My idea or wish is that we build a rack system for those 5 gallon jugs like one uses with water dispensers (water coolers) except I’d buy the jugs that have handles. They are a lot easier to manipulate and transport. Whatever type, kind or style of container I’d have, it’s handy to have a shelf or rack system for organized storage and efficient use of storage space.

    I also favor those smaller rectangular shaped two and half gallon containers with a handle, screw on top and a spigot. Like the 3.5 gallon Water Bricks you don’t have to struggle or risk pulling any muscles when moving them around. Years ago I read that smaller containers with a spigot would be ideal for seniors and they could be put on the kitchen sink for convenient hand or dish washing or to get a glass of water to drink. This way they won’t be totally dependent on anyone just to fulfill their basic water needs and that provides peace of mind to everyone.

    I can lift those heavier jugs, but I’d rather be safe and never sorry.

    Reply
    • June 30, 2019 at 1:35 pm
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      Hi Frank, great comment. I’m with you on needing containers I can handle easier. When you mentioned the rack for the five-gallon jugs I instantly saw in my mind where someone built racks (extremely sturdy) for their 55-gallon barrels. They turned them on their side and had spigots ready to go. It’s all about being ready with water before we need. We never want to be sorry, just safe. Linda

      Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 6:03 am
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    in regard to raising containers off the concrete >>>> best reason is to remove the possibility of black mold forming – the combo of moisture condensation and that dark crevice is asking for problems …

    Reply
    • July 1, 2019 at 7:07 am
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      Hi Illini, great comment! I live where it’s really dry air but wow, I didn’t think about the black mold! Thank you for that great tip and reminder to those who live where black mold can form. Linda

      Reply
  • July 18, 2019 at 3:02 am
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    If have a solar system to maintain electricity in the home, you could have a pump to create water pressure and connect the water supply into your homes internal plumbing. That’s exactly what RV do with its on-board water storage using a battery bank or an electrical connection.

    Reply
    • July 18, 2019 at 5:21 am
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      Hi Eric, great tip on the pump! I wish I had solar, great comment! Thank you so much! Linda

      Reply

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