Cover All the Bases When Storing Water

Emergency Water Storage Containers

I have been asked by several readers about my thoughts on water storage. There is some confusion because I have written posts about 55 gallon water storage barrels, water filters, and water purifiers. So, I will clear this up.

Yes, I advocate storing water. I have a water well and I still store water. I also advocate owning a water filter. Now, there are many choices out there, but a gravity filter like the Berkey would be a great choice. If you are looking for something portable, you can get a Katyden water filter, or a Steripen water purifier.

You may wonder about water purification tablets. I have never used them, but they must work because lots of people buy them.

Some people add some chlorine bleach to their water storage containers. I did this in the beginning, but I realized you don’t need to if your water containers are in a dark area. If there is no light, then algae can’t grow. So, for the past 10 years I have not added chlorine bleach to my water storage and have gotten along just fine. But, I knew the water I put in there was organism-free. I had my water tested to find that out.

I’ll give you an example why I store water when I have a well. A number of years ago, there was an earthquake in my area. My house was not damaged, but it took out my water well. I didn’t know it had, because the well didn’t actually go dry until 7 months later. My neighbor’s well went out too. We both had to have new wells put in. A costly affair. Well, I had to make an appointment with the water well driller because he had a waiting list. So after making the appointment, I had to wait 3 weeks until he could drill the new well. I had stored some water, so I was able to make it through the wait without too much trouble. But, if I had not stored water, my life would have been much different.

If you make the decision to store water, you don’t have to store it in 55 gallon barrels. But that is a good method. Some people even buy a water tank and store their backup water in that. It’s up to you.

A lot of folks store water in used milk jugs or they buy 1 gallon containers of spring water at the store. The problem with these is that over time, they may leak.

Here’s another example. I store 1 gallon containers of distilled water because I have a backup power system with a battery bank. You have to put distilled water in the batteries every six months to keep the cells covered. After storing some of these gallons for a couple years, I noticed that they sometimes will leak. I’ve also noticed that they sometimes leak even after a few months. So, you can store water in these types of containers, but just realize that over time, they may leak.

Actually, the plastic used in bottled water seems thicker than what is used in 1 gallon milk, spring water, and distilled water containers. So, bottled water may last longer without leaking than the 1 gallon containers. I don’t know, I have actually stored water that way.

The bottom line is I advocate storing water, having a water filter, and having a water purifier. Yes, if you live near a pond or stream you can get water and filter it, but ponds and streams sometimes dry up. Do you really want to take a chance that your favorite natural water source will always be there? Things change, and the weather now seems to be more unpredictable.

In summary, store some water. You’ll be glad you have it when the unexpected happens.

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.