Long Term Drinking Water Storage

Long Term Drinking Water Storage

Water is THE most important resource for survival. Period. We take it for granted that we will always have a supply of water to drink at our disposal and we barely give it a second thought to take precautions and perhaps store some of it for a SHTF scenario…

I often hear the following questions:
“How long will water last if I store it?”
“How long until water goes bad?”

My response to that is…


 
Water is water, is water.
Water does not go bad in and of itself.

It is the contamination that gets in it that can make it go bad.
How long you can store it depends on if you are letting contaminants get in, or ‘grow’ in it.

 
The key to successfully storing drinking water for long-term storage is…

1. Starting with good pure clean water
2. A good clean safe sealed container
3. A good storage location

Usually the best source is water from your tap at home, which already has been treated with enough chlorine to destroy harmful pathogens – typically 1-ppm chlorine as tested with a swimming pool chlorine test kit. You might consider increasing this to 4-ppm for long term storage to be assured of a maximum safe level for drinking (according to the EPA) to eliminate and prohibit growth of pathogens.

Making Drinking Water Safe With Bleach

A very good way to store your water is in BPA-free plastic containers that have been manufactured specifically for water storage. These containers are often colored blue and will be labeled as safe for drinking water. You may also use any food-grade storage container, or you may choose to use your own two-liter plastic soft drink bottles. In all cases, be sure to thoroughly clean the storage container first.

Store your long-term drinking water storage containers in a cool place so as to avoid heat which will promote growth of algae, etc. Keep the containers in a dark environment because sunlight will deteriorate the chlorine level.

 

How much drinking water should I store?

FEMA says you should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.

I say that you should assess your situation, your surroundings (do you have access to other water sources than tap water?), the number of people you’re storing for, your risk tolerance threshold, your risk assessment of what might affect you, and decide for yourself how much you would like to store.

50 gallons would be just about enough for 2 people for a month. And that doesn’t count all the ‘gray water’ that you normally consume (washing, sanitation, etc..).

 

How long will the long-term water storage last?

There are a multitude of opinions, but I’m sticking to this… “Water is water, is water.” If you start with a pure clean source treated with a safe level of chlorine and store it in a clean sealed container in a cool place out of sunlight, it will be drinkable for “a very long time”. If it’s clean and pure to begin with, and you don’t allow contamination to enter, it will be safe to drink. The taste will be ‘flat’ after awhile, but that’s not critical. For maintenance, I would dump it and replace it once every year to be assured.

Water Storage 55-gallon
Water Storage 5-gallon

111 Comments


Modern Survival Blog is a Top Prepper Website

  1. Anonymous April 8, 2012 11:06 PM
    • Ken April 9, 2012 8:20 AM
    • Mortimer May 8, 2012 7:46 PM
    • PrepperDaddy January 10, 2014 10:28 AM
      • mophead January 10, 2014 2:20 PM
      • Scot Garlick April 8, 2014 7:30 PM
        • Michael L January 25, 2015 1:50 PM
      • Water Man August 9, 2014 4:43 PM
      • rtcfrtc June 13, 2016 9:02 PM
    • Arikara August 10, 2016 1:27 PM
  2. Dave May 8, 2012 6:04 PM
    • Ken May 8, 2012 6:22 PM
    • Mortimer May 8, 2012 7:51 PM
      • Art M March 1, 2014 10:11 PM
    • AVERAGE JOE February 21, 2014 6:04 PM
    • MaddMac July 30, 2014 8:33 PM
  3. Dave May 8, 2012 6:27 PM
    • Ken May 8, 2012 6:49 PM
      • Dave May 8, 2012 9:02 PM
        • wildbill January 9, 2014 11:53 AM
        • Richard January 11, 2014 7:49 AM
      • Anonymous December 9, 2012 8:01 AM
    • Davie January 19, 2014 4:32 PM
      • Bill February 10, 2014 10:25 AM
    • Arikara August 10, 2016 1:32 PM
  4. Pam July 16, 2012 12:15 PM
    • Ken July 16, 2012 2:17 PM
    • Mortimer July 16, 2012 9:43 PM
  5. GeorgeisLearning September 11, 2012 5:23 PM
    • Ken September 11, 2012 6:10 PM
      • Rosie March 7, 2014 4:16 AM
        • Ben October 20, 2014 10:35 AM
  6. Tammy September 12, 2012 12:29 PM
  7. sixpense September 12, 2012 1:53 PM
  8. sixpense September 12, 2012 2:45 PM
  9. sixpense September 12, 2012 6:32 PM
  10. sixpense November 13, 2012 3:47 PM
  11. sixpense November 13, 2012 4:02 PM
  12. Joe O November 20, 2012 5:43 PM
  13. tamra29949 December 30, 2012 3:25 PM
    • Ken (MSB) December 31, 2012 2:21 PM
  14. john April 8, 2013 2:29 PM
    • Ken Jorgustin April 8, 2013 3:08 PM
    • abc April 8, 2013 9:00 PM
  15. Stacy Peacock April 9, 2013 1:35 PM
    • Ken Jorgustin April 9, 2013 2:23 PM
  16. Hismaiden April 11, 2013 8:47 PM
    • Arikara August 10, 2016 1:37 PM
  17. Nicholas June 30, 2013 2:37 PM
    • Ken Jorgustin June 30, 2013 3:43 PM
  18. LARRY R November 3, 2013 11:30 AM
    • Ken Jorgustin November 3, 2013 12:28 PM
  19. CriticalThought January 9, 2014 12:40 PM
  20. Urban Redneck January 9, 2014 1:35 PM
  21. George from CDA January 9, 2014 5:31 PM
  22. Paradisa January 10, 2014 8:06 AM
  23. Teresa January 10, 2014 8:26 AM
    • Anon January 10, 2014 9:04 AM
    • Ken Jorgustin January 10, 2014 9:11 AM
      • Anon January 10, 2014 11:19 AM
        • JaiLee January 12, 2014 12:53 PM
  24. rich January 10, 2014 5:27 PM
  25. Jim January 10, 2014 5:32 PM
  26. stcroix January 11, 2014 12:41 AM
    • Jersey Drifter January 12, 2014 11:59 PM
  27. George January 15, 2014 9:49 PM
  28. George January 15, 2014 9:53 PM
  29. James January 16, 2014 2:22 PM
    • Brearbear February 4, 2014 10:33 PM
  30. Joe January 20, 2014 10:40 PM
  31. jack January 23, 2014 9:06 AM
    • Ken Jorgustin January 23, 2014 9:16 AM
      • jack January 25, 2014 3:47 PM
  32. RobGoblin January 27, 2014 12:39 PM
    • Ken Jorgustin January 27, 2014 5:07 PM
  33. Brearbear February 4, 2014 9:34 PM
  34. Debbie W. February 20, 2014 9:23 AM
    • Ken Jorgustin February 20, 2014 9:46 AM
  35. Debbie W. February 20, 2014 7:56 PM
    • WhatMeWorry? February 20, 2014 8:06 PM
  36. Debbie W. February 21, 2014 9:48 PM
    • WhatMeWorry? February 21, 2014 10:56 PM
    • Arikara August 10, 2016 1:43 PM
  37. JamesC March 8, 2014 10:59 PM
  38. Dub March 18, 2014 5:02 PM
  39. Dub March 18, 2014 5:23 PM
  40. BigT April 9, 2014 10:17 PM
  41. carol April 15, 2014 11:01 AM
    • Texican August 4, 2014 6:22 PM
  42. AngelD April 25, 2014 1:14 AM
    • Texican August 4, 2014 6:18 PM
      • AngelaD November 11, 2014 7:40 AM
  43. glass jugs for water storage May 29, 2014 11:50 PM
  44. can I use the canning process for long term water storage? August 4, 2014 4:40 PM
    • Texican August 4, 2014 6:01 PM
      • can I use the canning process for long term water storage? August 5, 2014 1:00 PM
  45. well water?? August 8, 2014 3:41 PM
  46. Rasman September 16, 2014 12:00 AM
  47. ZeroCool September 16, 2014 4:45 AM
  48. TylerCrazyFace September 16, 2014 1:20 PM
  49. Chuck698 September 23, 2014 11:04 AM
  50. SusaninSouth October 7, 2014 4:28 PM
  51. Tonya Evans February 11, 2015 11:28 AM
  52. Eric May 12, 2015 12:03 AM
  53. On the Brink March 26, 2016 7:17 PM
    • antique collector March 26, 2016 11:01 PM
  54. Dena berg April 25, 2016 7:33 PM
    • Shepherdess April 25, 2016 8:22 PM
  55. Christine September 2, 2016 2:17 PM
  56. Brian September 15, 2016 6:13 PM
  57. Denise November 19, 2016 2:45 PM
Vote for MSB -Top Prepper Website

Read our Comment Policy

For off-topic discussion, visit the latest:
'Weekly Preparedness' post

For the most recent comments from all articles:
'Recent Comments' page

Leave a Reply

Email optional - will not be published