Storing Water: How to Store Water for the Long-Term

Storing Water

The body of a normal human being is approximately 70 percent water. The water content must be maintained within a specific range to support the bodily functions. An imbalance may happen if you lose too much fluid. Usually, you’d lose water through sweat, saliva, tears, and urination. Therefore, you’d need to replace such loses.

On average, a human body will need approximately 2-4 liters (0.5 to 1 gallon) of water each day. You’d need even more if you are in intense heat or working in hot conditions. In an emergency, accessing such amount of water each day could be problematic. Since a majority of us do not live near potable natural springs, the only option you are left with is to have a means of storing water.

For How Long Should You Store Water?

Are you aware that water has an expiry date? Most of us fail to realize this, but it is the truth.  Water reserved in a tank or any storage container can develop problems that can make the water undrinkable or dangerous for drinking.

You may wonder how stored water gets bad since it does not contain sugars or proteins that microorganisms can consume and rot. However, the chemistry of water can change with time. When stored water is exposed to air, it absorbs carbon dioxide. About 0.1 percent of the CO2 gets converted into carbonic acid.

Some carbonic acid may form bicarbonate as well as carbonate. These chemicals will lower the pH of water. The water becomes slightly acidic with altered taste. If the water container is sealed, heat may build up inside the container and react with the plastic causing it to release the hormone disruptor bisphenol A.

Only by storing the water properly can it remain fresh and safe for drinking for long periods. Generally, we recommend that you swap out your water containers approximately half-yearly. Ensure you wash, sanitize and disinfect your containers in between uses. Dilute bleach would be a good cleaning agent to use.

Best Containers for Storing Water

The container you use to store water can determine the quality of the water for later use. The best containers for this purpose are food-grade plastics. You can buy plastic water bottles. However, the cheapest way to reserve water is to reuse plastic soda bottles or even milk jugs. Two-liter bottles work perfectly.

Before you store water in these containers, be sure to clean them thoroughly. Wash and disinfect them with a diluted bleaching agent. The dilution ratio should be one teaspoonful of liquid household bleach for each gallon of water. Avoid using the scented kind of household bleaches to avoid the transfer of the scent to your water.

Once you disinfect the containers, rinse them with potable water. You can then fill and cap them. Use blank labels to mark the bottles with the date and time of bottling. This will help you track the water for expiry date. 

Dedicated Water Storage Options

water storage

Water Storage Cart

Reusable water bottles are great, but if you are getting more serious about storing water, you got to think out of the box. A dedicated storage option allows you to reserve tens to even hundreds of gallons of water. Such options are great because you can be confident of being water-sufficient so long as you store water well.

Dedicated plastic or stainless steel are ideal for storing large quantities of water. They can range in capacity from as little 5 gallons to 55 gallons.

  1. Dedicated Plastic Water Storage Option

    The plastic should be food grade and bisphenol A (BPA-) free. BPA is a controversial chemical used in the manufacture of plastics, food containers and most portable food and water containers. Research indicates BPA is potent and can be toxic.

    Stored water exerts a lot of pressure due to its weight. Therefore, the plastic containers should be strong both in structure and in design. The container should be sturdy, durable and lightweight (for easy portability).

  2. Dedicated Stainless Steel Water Storage Option 

    Stainless steel remains the most excellent material for water storage containers. It is sturdy, durable, safe and rust proof. The same qualities make stainless steel containers suitable for water storage to cushion you against dehydration in survival emergencies.

    There are different types of stainless steel most of which are recommended for industrial use. The recommended kind for food and water is stainless steel grade 316. Thus you have to careful when looking for the stainless steel container to buy to ensure it is of the right type.

  3. WaterBOB

    It may sound interesting, but WaterBOB can be a reliable reservoir for storing water. WaterBOB is a large sturdy plastic bag. You can throw it into your bathtub when trouble knocks at your door. Just fill it from the tap, close its mouth with an airtight access point that you can reseal after drawing. Incredibly, you can save up to 100 gallons of water in your WaterBOB.

How to Preserve Stored Water

To make sure your stored water stays fresh and tasty for long, you may have to preserve it. Usually, chlorine additives are the preservatives of choice. Chlorine can kill most microbes found in water. You can use granular calcium hypochlorite because it is the best option disinfecting the water.

Calcium hypochlorite is generally better than dilute bleach in this regard. This is because the common bleach tends to degrade with time. Therefore, it will not be able to disinfect your water when you need it putting you at risk.

If your container of choice is plastic, ensure you keep it away from direct sunlight. Luckily, most manufacturers of plastic water containers dull colors that do not let light in. But heat can still accumulate inside the plastic container to cause chaos. So, you have to store the water away from direct sunlight.

Conclusion

Water is critical, especially in a survival situation. Lacking water for just a couple of hours could have devastating health effects on your body. It’s good you have learned everything to do with storing water. Whether you choose plastic soda bottles or milk jugs or you prefer dedicated water storage options; just ensure you have enough water for any emergency. Keep in mind that stored water can go bad. Therefore, put things in place to ensure you disinfect it if it must maintain its taste and freshness.

 

You May Also Like to Read

7 Unique Ways to Find Water in the Wild

How Much Water Should You Carry in Your Bug out Bag

9 Basic Survival Skills Everyone Should Know How to Do

 

Storing Water: How to Store Water for the Long-Term
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Dan Stevenson

Dan Stevenson is a chief editor of The Survival Corps and an experienced survivalist who is incredibly passionate about everything survival and preparedness, be it in the great outdoors or in an urban environment.

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