Author Topic: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers  (Read 12203 times)

Offline UrbanSteader

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Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« on: January 09, 2010, 10:09:28 AM »
I was thinking about storing water in 5 gallon, food safe, containers. Can I use standard tap water? Are there any treatments I should use in the water? How long will the water stay drinkable?

Thanks.

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 10:32:16 AM »
Welcome to the forum freedom. There are several threads that contain information on storage of water. For that reason I will post a short answer.

Storing water is easy, but does require some level of maintenance. You can use tap water. You can use food storage containers, but I prefer to use containers specifically designed to hold water such as you can find in the camping section of most Walmart stores. You will need to use chlorine to store the water also. You need the normal kind of chlorine that has no special fragrances to it. Below is a chart on how much chlorine to use.


Offline UrbanSteader

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 01:29:51 PM »
Thanks for the response, ColdHaven. I was planning on using the storage containers you mention. So, I can just use regular old grocery store bleach? This isn't at all harmful?

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 01:39:53 PM »
Thanks for the response, ColdHaven. I was planning on using the storage containers you mention. So, I can just use regular old grocery store bleach? This isn't at all harmful?
Yes, like Clorox or whatever. Its terribly harmful but that's why you use the small amount on the chart. Its a powerful poison and will eat cloth or skin in its undiluted state. So be careful. But it also kills most bad germs. And it breaks down relatively quickly and will leave the water as it sits in storage.
If you treat it when you store it and keep it sealed and out of the sunlight, the water will stay good for years.
If you open the container and it still smells like chlorine just let it sit open for a few minutes or sit it in the sun for a few minutes.

Edit:
I should add that I used to be the maintenance superintendent of a small water company and I personally handled the water treatment process.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 01:42:39 PM by Hare of Caerbannog »

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 02:30:10 PM »
Thanks for the response, ColdHaven. I was planning on using the storage containers you mention. So, I can just use regular old grocery store bleach? This isn't at all harmful?

Chlorine is usually present in most city provided water. So its there anyway, amongst other kinds of water treatment chemicals, but using the recommended amounts of chlorine will ensure that there are no contaminants in the water prior to storage. Once sealed and kept as HoC stated the water will be good until you open it again and expose the water to contaminants again.

And, you are welcome.  :)

Offline UrbanSteader

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2010, 03:12:53 PM »
One last question -- how long will the water be good for under the conditions we've laid out here?

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2010, 03:38:35 PM »
plain water in a somewhat sterile container, should be safe for a year. I personally, would add bleach when I use it anytime after 6 months. It also might taste a bit stale to you; to fix this, just get two pitchers and pour water from one to the other several times.
Water doesn't really have a "shelf life", but most people will rotate the water once a year...go for spring, so you can use it to water plants.
Remember also, that any water is good for flushing the toilet or washing clothes.
If you buy purchased water, in sealed 5 gallon jugs (like the ones for water coolers), they should be fine for several years before you would need to use bleach. Remember though, to keep them out of light.
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Offline UrbanSteader

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 07:07:03 AM »
Thanks for the advice, HerbalPagan. What do you think of this container:

http://www.amazon.com/Igloo-1402-Gallon-Water-Container/dp/B000K6HM6Y/ref=pd_sbs_misc_2

Is that appropriate for year-long storage?

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 09:57:13 AM »
I bought my 5 gl water just from a water supply store and wally world.  When I was at the water store, there were these racks that stacked the jugs on thier side 4 high so I bought those too.  Works out very nicely and doesn't take up much space. 

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 01:06:45 PM »
Thanks for the advice, HerbalPagan. What do you think of this container:

http://www.amazon.com/Igloo-1402-Gallon-Water-Container/dp/B000K6HM6Y/ref=pd_sbs_misc_2

Is that appropriate for year-long storage?
That would work, but why not just save your money and use empty 2 liter drink bottles. Thats what I have done. Just wash them out real good, fill them up and put them away. Another plus it is alot easier to handle a 2 liter bottle than a 6 gallon jug filled with water. That thing will weigh @ 48 pounds full. Just my 2 cents. :)
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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 03:35:44 PM »
That would work, but why not just save your money and use empty 2 liter drink bottles. Thats what I have done. Just wash them out real good, fill them up and put them away. Another plus it is alot easier to handle a 2 liter bottle than a 6 gallon jug filled with water. That thing will weigh @ 48 pounds full. Just my 2 cents. :)
The two liter bottles are great for the freezer as well.

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 04:26:50 PM »
Just remember that if you are storing bleach as a means of water purification that it only lasts about 6 months, after that it turns into salt water. You may want to look into some powdered chlorine. I have read of pool chemicals being used for this. Do some research on it, but the powdered stuff will last indefinitely.

EDIT:

Info found directly from Clorax from "The Hydrated Horse" blog:

Thank you for asking about the shelf life of Ultra regular CLOROX liquid bleach.
When bleach and water are mixed together to create a cleaning or disinfecting solution, the solution is only good for 24 hours. The temperature of the water does not affect the cleaning or disinfecting abilities of the solution. After the 24 hours, the solution begins to lose needed disinfecting properties. Therefore, it is recommended that for disinfecting purposes, the solution is made fresh daily.
Our bottles do not have an expiration date, however, they do have a production date. Once you understand how to read the production date, you can decipher the shelf life of the bottle. Please look below for a chart explaining our production codes.

CODE PLANT YEAR DATE
MD21002 MD2 1= 2001 002nd day of year
A90288 A9 0= 2000 288th day of year

We recommend storing our bleach at room temperatures. It can be stored for about 6 months at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. After this time, bleach will be begin to degrade at a rate of 20% each year until totally degraded to salt and water. Storing at temperatures much higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit could cause the bleach to lose its effectiveness and degrade more rapidly. However, if you require 6% sodium hypochlorite, you should change your supply every 3 months.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 04:31:51 PM by Trioxin »
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Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 07:11:29 PM »
That would work, but why not just save your money and use empty 2 liter drink bottles. Thats what I have done. Just wash them out real good, fill them up and put them away. Another plus it is alot easier to handle a 2 liter bottle than a 6 gallon jug filled with water. That thing will weigh @ 48 pounds full. Just my 2 cents. :)

This may not happen, but I would be afraid that the plastic would degrade over time and leak. However, 2 liter bottles are excellent for short term storage I would think, and are not that hard to obtain either.

Offline inthego

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 07:31:38 PM »
Just remember that if you are storing bleach as a means of water purification that it only lasts about 6 months, after that it turns into salt water. You may want to look into some powdered chlorine. I have read of pool chemicals being used for this. Do some research on it, but the powdered stuff will last indefinitely.
Yes, this is what I use.  I buy the powdered shock from Wally world on sale (like now) and store them in metal coffee cans.  Only thing is that they can not get wet.  Even High humidity will mitigate there effectiveness over time.

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Offline Who...me?

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 07:58:35 PM »
I use a multiple container approach.  I have 2qt juice containers, soda bottles, gallon jugs, several 5 gallon jugs and 55 gallon barrels.


Thanks for the advice, HerbalPagan. What do you think of this container:

http://www.amazon.com/Igloo-1402-Gallon-Water-Container/dp/B000K6HM6Y/ref=pd_sbs_misc_2

Is that appropriate for year-long storage?

For those containers I would buy the 5 gal variety sold at wal-mart for about 11 bucks.  But I worked up a little math thingy for you.

To get 54 gallons of storage from those 6 gallon containers you need 9 of them.

9 containers at $19.89 ea = $179.01 + $6.04 shipping = $185.05

For 1 55 gallon barrel sold here  http://www.bayteccontainers.com/new55gawaba.html

1 Barrel $49.95 + 42.75 shipping (highest estimated shipping) = $92.70

$185.05 - 92.70 = 92.35 saving by buying the barrel.

So there is nothing wrong with that style container...you can get them cheaper tho.  But even at a cheaper (walmart) price the barrel is cheaper and you can probably find them at a cheaper price.  That was just the first place I looked.


Just my 2 cents.



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Offline inthego

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 10:01:17 PM »
Just consider that water weighs around 8.33 lbs per gal.  55 x 8.33 = 458 lbs  

heavy man heavy...  So, great for your Bug in plans.  Forget it for your bug out.  I have a 55 gal one myself as well as 4 of the blue wally mart 5 gals.  I would suggest that if you go with the 55 gal get a good hand pump! (I did not at first, bad prepper! bad.)  :)

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Offline Who...me?

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 11:50:54 PM »
Yes, which is why I have and assortment of sizes. 
"Build a politician a fire and keep him warm for a day.
Set a politician on fire and keep him warm for the rest of his life."

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2010, 01:29:49 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is if you live in a cold climate and your are planning to store in a unheated shop or something you will want to leave some space in the 5 gallon jugs. They will split out when the water freezes.

Offline inthego

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2010, 02:52:37 PM »
Yes, which is why I have and assortment of sizes. 
always a good measure...  8)

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Offline Ragzilla

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2010, 04:33:37 PM »
I bought my 5 gl water just from a water supply store and wally world.  When I was at the water store, there were these racks that stacked the jugs on thier side 4 high so I bought those too.  Works out very nicely and doesn't take up much space. 

I'm looking for a stand or rack for my 5gal jugs.  It would give me more floor space.

Offline A mazed

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2010, 06:16:27 AM »
I am glad to hear this as I was planning on beginning to pick up a few each trip to Wallyworld until i get the available space filled.

Offline Stein

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2010, 01:05:44 PM »
I also use the blue cubes from Walmart.  They are easy to carry to your car if need be or for other members of my family to lug around the house.

I washed them, filled with tap water, labeled the date and added:

http://www.waterpreserver.com/waterpreserver.htm

I don't know if it is totally necessary, but I don't have to worry about it for 5 years

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 09:59:01 AM »
The 7-gallon Blue cube Aqua-Tainers at Walmart are only $7.49 each here. I think they are a very cost-effective way to store water. The cubes are still manageable when full, too.

Offline sclindah

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010, 06:59:21 PM »
If you want some water containers, I've found some in two unlikely places.

Our farm and garden center has the food grade 55 gallon drums for $20.  They have some to use for rain barrels but it has the plugs, etc to use for regular water storage.

Also, I have a friend who works in a lab and they have to get distilled water in 5 gallon mylar bag filled boxes.  These again are food grade and you can refill them for water storage.  You can't stake them more than 2 high but that's another option if you know someone who works in a lab.
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Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2010, 09:05:40 PM »
I was at BJ's (big box store) and they had water containers...filled, like for a cooler, in both a round shape and a square shape. The square ones stacked up real nice and you could get a stand for the round ones, or put them on a sturdy shelf.
I really thought hard about getting those 5 gallon containers, but honestly, it would be real hard for me to handle them. I'll stick to my gallon and 2 liter bottles.  I've kept my 2 liter bottles for 5 years and never once had a leak.
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Offline Truik

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2010, 09:10:16 PM »
This one fits nicely in the back of my truck.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/leg-style-storage-tank-65-gal--2137316

I didn't pay that much for it and it has come in handy for a few different projects!

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Offline Longsnowsm

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2010, 10:56:31 PM »
This past summer we were moving and so I made it into bugout drill with my pickup and a small uhaul trailer.  What I learned in this process is hard to put into words, but anyone planning to try and bugout and take any reasonable amount of supplies with you really should try this some time.  You might have a different perspective on this.  One of the things I did try to anticipate was the possibility that I might have to bug out so I needed to make things as portable as possible.  So I found water containers at Wally world that hold 8 gallons, have a fold out handle and wheels.  I have to admit moving the water wasn't nearly the hassle of moving jars, buckets, and jerry cans.  So the handle and wheels option was good good on the water containers.  The other thing is if my wife or kids have to handle these things they should at least be able to move them around.  Picking them up?  No way, but they should be able to move them without risk of injury.   Here is a URL for what it looks like.  It might be an option to consider....

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Reliance-Products-Hydroller-8-Gallon-wheeled-water-container/10098756

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Offline Vandido

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2010, 09:58:47 AM »
I have a question on the powdered form chlorine! So does the amount of powdered form you put into a 5gal water jug for example differ from the liquid form chlorine?  ???

Offline Truik

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2010, 07:26:34 PM »
I have a question on the powdered form chlorine! So does the amount of powdered form you put into a 5gal water jug for example differ from the liquid form chlorine?  ???

If you're talking about the pool shock chlorine, the powder is REALLY concentrate.

You would use the powder and add it to water to MAKE the equivalent of regular liquid chlorine bleach, and then add THAT to water  to disinfect it.

There is a thread around here somewhere where they explained the proportions and everything.

Trying to find a link for ya.

Edit: Here it is!: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=11590.msg128084#msg128084

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Offline Vandido

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Re: Storing water in 5 Gallon containers
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2010, 08:59:55 AM »
If you're talking about the pool shock chlorine, the powder is REALLY concentrate.

You would use the powder and add it to water to MAKE the equivalent of regular liquid chlorine bleach, and then add THAT to water  to disinfect it.

There is a thread around here somewhere where they explained the proportions and everything.

Trying to find a link for ya.

Edit: Here it is!: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=11590.msg128084#msg128084



Awsome thanks!!! ;D