Water Storage Step By Step


Use food grade plastic container to store your water:

  1. Sanitize you work space, including the counter, sink, and pool test kit.
  2. Wash your hands and use latex gloves
  3. 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.
  4. BEFORE filling them, rinse the container/barrel out thoroughly. Wash them out with soap and water, then you must sanitize them with a solution of 1 quart water mixed with 1 teaspoon of non scented bleach. Spray the solution on the inside of a large container/barrel, or shake the solution thoroughly in the small container/barrel and then rinse it out with clean water.
  5. Place the 30-55 gallon containers where you want them BEFORE filling them. 55 gallons of water weighs about 483 lbs.
  6. Fill them up using a lead free “drinking hose”

If using glass or stainless steel to store your water:

  1. sterilized it by boiling in hot water for at least 20 minutes
  2. BEFORE filling them, rinse the glass/stainless steel container out thoroughly. Wash them out with soap and water, then you must sanitize them with a solution of 1 quart water mixed with 1 teaspoon of non scented bleach. Spray the solution on the inside of a large glass/stainless steel container, or shake the solution thoroughly in the small glass/stainless steel container and then rinse it out with clean water.
  3. Place the large glass/stainless steel container where you want them BEFORE filling them. A filled 55 gallons of water weighs about 483 lbs.
  4. Fill them up using a lead free “drinking hose”


  1. Spend $10 for STRAIGHT Chlorine, called pool or spa sanitizer, or something similar. It should have at least 97% SODIUM DICHLORO-S-TRIAZINETRIONE. Which is straight chlorine 99% pure disinfecting granules and tablets are EPA registered and NSF/ANSI certified for routine chlorination of drinking water. 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!!!
  2. You ONLY need 1/4 teaspoon, to sanitize a 55 gallon barrel. Seal the container and allow the water to sit for 24 hours, then smell for the presence of free chlorine in the water.
  3. 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.
  4. If the chlorine is detected after 24 hours, then the water has been purified.
    • NOTE: 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 cannot tolerate. Never use for more than 72 hours at any one time.
  8. 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.

From the products below, I recommend the pool test kit and the pool chlorine, which I have both. They will get your water treated safely. Also, you will need to get the water hose to fill up your containers from the tap. This hose is for drinking water, not like the regular garden hose you would buy off the shelf at Wal-Mart.


  1. Water needs to be stored at temperatures between 75F to 33 F, just above freezing.
  2. Always store them on a pallet or platform. Do not store directly on cement or dirt to prevent leaching of lye or other chemicals and to prevent the breakdown of the plastic.
  3. Plastic bottles or Bottled Water is okay, if you store them properly and rotate them every 6 months.
  4. 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 6 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.
  5. If temperatures consistently exceed 120 degrees rotate bottles every 2-3 months. Like in a hot car, over the summertime. The chemical reaction with the heat and plastic, can cause health problems.
  6. Manufactured Water bottles can be rotated every year, if stored properly.
  7. 1 case of 24 bottles (16.9oz) = 3 gallons of water
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 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.
  2. To prevent contamination to your water, use a hand pump or spigot on your barrel.
  3. If you are nervous about storing water for long time without rotating, consider purchasing a good water purifier like a BERKEY filter, DIY Water Filter, or Bio Sand Water Filter.
  4. If water has been sitting for some time, agitate it back and forth before drinking. This will put oxygen back into it.

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