Facts About Water Storage

Although it is difficult and impractical to store water in large quantities, experts recommend that a two-week emergency water supply be kept. Store at least fourteen gallons per person — seven for drinking and seven for other uses. Store even more if there is a baby to care for. Regardless of how much storage you are looking to build up, the recommended amount is one gallon per person per day. So, a family of four would need 120 gallons for a one month supply; this would equate to about 2 of the 55 gallon barrels.

When choosing a water storage container, remember that water weighs 8 pounds per gallon. Store water in thoroughly washed, clean containers, preferably of heavy plastic (not lightweight plastic that milk and water come in) with tight fitting caps. 55 gallon barrels generally fall in the price range of $50 to $75 each depending on where you get them.


(1) If you can afford it, it is worth the expense to invest in 5 gallon jugs, or 30- 55 gallon Barrels, as the plastic is thicker, and stores better.
(a) Rinse the container/barrel out thoroughly before filling them. New water barrels should be rinsed out for debris left by manufacturing process but if you don’t want to, it is not going to hurt you.
(b) Place the 30-55 gallon containers, where you want them, BEFORE filling them. A filled 55 gallon barrel weighs about 483 lbs.
(c) Fill them up, using a White “drinking” hose, if possible, as the green or black garden hoses tend to have lead in them.
(d) Do not store directly on cement, to prevent lye leaching.(or even directly on dirt) Always store them on a pallet or platform.

(2) Plastic bottles or Bottled Water is okay, if you store them properly and rotate them often.
(a) Consider where you are storing plastic bottles. After time, they leach the odors around them, causing a toxic flavor into the water. To prevent this, rotate every 3 months.
– If you store them in the garage, they could taste like a lawn mower.
– If you store them in the trunk of the car, they will taste like a car tire.
(b) Do not store water bottles directly on cement, as the lye from the cement could eat through the plastic. Place them on a pallet or platform.
(c) Rotate bottles every 2-3 months, if temperatures consistently exceed 120 degrees. Like in a hot car, over the summertime. The chemical reaction with the heat and plastic, can cause health problems.
(d) Manufactured Water bottles can be rotated every year, if stored properly.
(e) 1 case of 24 bottles (16.9oz) = 3 gallons of water

(3) Do Not purchase water in “milk jug” plastic for long term storage. The plastic is more porous and will break down, especially in heat. For short term, store in a cool place, and rotate every 3 months.

(4) Check containers every few months for leaks. At the same time check the water for cloudiness or undesirable appearance or taste. If undesirable appearances or tastes have developed, the water should be discarded.

(5) When stored in clean containers, away from sunlight, and when free from bacteria at the time of storage, water will remain safe. Most disease organisms tend to die during long storage. Generally, the longer the water is stored, the safer it will become bacteriologically.


(1) Standard Beach or Clorox is about 70 years out of date. Please do not use Clorox unless you have nothing else! At best – it will cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, at worst, bleeding ulcers. Your great, great, grandmothers might have used this product because it was all they had to make water pure, but this is not true today. The part of Clorox Bleach they sought was Chlorine. That is the part we want. If you store water for over a year, treated with bleach, all the chlorine leaches out and the water becomes no good. What is left is untreated water, full of dyes and chemicals, which can cause intestinal problems.

(2) Spend $10 for STRAIGHT Chlorine, called pool or spa sanitizer, or something similar. It should have 97% SODIUM DICHLORO-S-TRIAZINETRIONE -. Which is straight chlorine. Chlorine is the way almost all cities treat their water – it is very cheap and works – available at any spa & pool store. WARNING: !!!You must get 97% or above or it could make you sick!!!
(a) You ONLY need 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon, to sanitize a 55 gallon barrel. It will not leach out, and will not hurt you. It will last indefinitely. WARNING: DO NOT USE MORE!!!
(b) Purchase a Pool Chlorine measuring kit to test your water. It is very slow acting, so you will need to allow time for it to work. It takes about 24 hours to work, you will need to Repeat the process if there is no measurable free floating chlorine.
(c) To remove the Chlorine taste, before you drink it, Leave the cap OFF for 24 hours, and the chlorine will evaporate out. You need to let it sit, exposed to air, for 24 hours before you drink it anyway.
(d) Be sure to measure for chlorine BEFORE you allow it to evaporate. If there is no measurable chlorine, there may still be bacteria in the water.

(3) Boiling a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes. Boiling for 20 minutes or more kills Giardia. Water tastes very flat after this kind of boiling, but it is very effective if done long enough. Consider the need for a huge storage of fuel, in order to boil water.

(4) Iodine may cause thyroid storm in some women. If you are pregnant or nursing, Iodine is unsafe to drink. It has a peculiar odor and taste some people can not tolerate. Never use for more than 72 hours at any one time.

(5) Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen kills bad bacteria and feeds good bacteria. Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen is a tasteless, odorless liquid concentrate, of non-toxic stabilized molecular oxygen electrolytes. Pour 1.15oz. into a 55 gallon Barrel. It will store up to 5 years. Laboratory reports show 10 drops of Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen in 8 fluid ounces of mountain water, killed the organism Giardia in just two and a half minutes. Do a google search to purchase Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen.


(1) To prevent contamination to your water, use a hand pump or spigot on your barrel.

(2) Use a bung wrench to properly seal the bung cap on the barrel. By not properly sealing the cap, the water may become contaminated, and will be useless. Make sure the bung cap is on tight.

(3) If you are nervous about storing water for long time without rotating, consider purchasing a good water purifier like a BERKEY filter.

(4) NEVER EVER EVER store gas or any petroleum product in a UN Approved Blue Food Grade Barrel. This is not good. If you are caught, you will receive a very costly fine. IT is NOT SAFE.

(5) Store water containers on pallets or some other kind of rack. Keep them off cement, they may leach the Lye that’s in cement. Also, store away from chemicals.

(6) If water has been sitting for some time, agitate it back and forth before drinking. This will put oxygen back into it.