Previously-Used Containers are Not Suitable for Water Storage

55 Gallon Water Storage Barrel

Water Storage is an ESSENTIAL part of your emergency preparedness plans. This is one area of your preparedness supplies where you don’t want to cut corners! Your life and the lives of those you love could depend on it.

If you want to store large amounts of water, in 55 gallon drums or the like, I recommend that you NEVER purchase previously-used containers. Even if the containers were previously used for food grade items like juice concentrate, juice, syrup, olives, etc., they can still contain residue from those items.

There is a reason why these containers are “used” only once and then discarded. Once they have been used, these containers can never be fully cleaned, as they have microscopic holes in the plastic, where bacteria and mold can hide. Storing water in them will change the water to taste like what was in there before.

Food companies know that these “used” barrels will always be contaminated with a residual amount of the previously-stored item, and using them over would risk contaminating future products. This is why the used containers are sold so inexpensively.

So, only purchase new, never used containers. It probably won’t be cheap, but it will guarantee your water will taste like water.



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  1. Bruce Hopkins says

    I respectfully disagree with the plan for water storage at all. (Unless you’re storing a small amount of [expensive] bottled water.)

    It’s much safer, and takes less room, to get a high quality water filter like the AquaRain. It will filter up to 30,000 gallons of lake/pond/puddle water.

  2. Freeze Dried Food says

    Hi Bruce. Thanks for the comment.

    I agree with you that owning a high quality water filter is a great idea. I do recommend that everyone own one.

    While it is expensive to store water, I prefer to store water as well as have a filter like you mention. I just like to cover all the bases.

  3. azurevirus says

    Thanks for the tip…I bought a couple of plastic 5 gal containers that had peanut oil in them once..although I have several 5 gal h2o containers I bought at walmart..I had planned to used these peanut oil containers also..still will, just not for “drinking” water now

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