How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Why You Must Store Water

I had an experience this last weekend that reiterated the importance of water storage and storing clean water for your consumption and sanitation needs.

Over the  holiday weekend we went out to the Farm to spend time with the extended family. My siblings were all in town, which is rare since one of them lives rather far away.

But this weekend, everyone was in town, and a great time was had by all. Except for one minor problem. The water ran out at a most inopportune time. The evening after a nice and warm work day.

The Setup

The water is currently provided by a drilled well into a normal pressure tank system. The well generally holds about 400 gallons of water, and yields about 1.5 gallons per minute or so.

It’s got a simple switch that turns the pump on and off, but that switch goes into fail mode when the pressure drops too far to protect the well pump. Getting it running again requires a manual override.

So at around 4pm or so, the water pressure in the house dropped off to nothing. Sure enough, the switch was off, and there was no pressure left in the tank.


Long story short, there was a break in a garden hose down by the chicken coop that went unnoticed all day. It poured water out as fast as it could considering the size of the hose. This wasn’t faster than the pump could handle, but was faster than the well filled.

Simply a matter of time until the flow exhausted the water in the well and the pump shut off.

So here we are with ten adults, fifteen or so kids, and no running water. And none to come for several hours until the well recharged enough to fill up the system with some room to spare.

The Moral Of The Story

No matter how reliable you think your water supply is, you MUST have spare water onhand. Even if it’s just water bottles, or something like that, you need to have something there.

I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a very fun time if my folks didn’t have water stored that we could use for flushing toilets and drinking until the water was restored.

And I can just imagine how bad it would have been if it had been more than just a few hours. If it had been a couple days, well, that wouldn’t have been pretty. At all.

So store water. Three days worth, at least. And do it today. Peace of mind and all that…

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6 Responses to Why You Must Store Water

  1. Rudy,

    Excellent! Thankfully, I already do store water. The city is having tremendous water line problems because of the drought and so the water goes off on occasion. Not a good thing when the heat index is over 100 degrees on a regular basis. Your example should really hit home on many levels.

    Steve Haynes
    Houston, TX

  2. Good Reminder Rudy, I have been thru this myself a couple of times. When visiting relatives for a family reunion in the Gorge, and it was hotter than heck. The river was close by but it was tough.
    Last week I found three of those refillable 5 gallon jugs by the curb at a house where people are moving, in a free pile. So I grabbed them and I am going to clean them up and use them or see if I can turn them in for new ones.Score. Thats 15 gallons for us if we need it. I also just read something about storing 1/2 gallon a day for each animal you have, so we should all remember our pets need water to and plan for them.

    • I have drums that are strictly for drinking water and others that had been used for things I don’t consider safe even after cleansing that are strictly for toilet flushing and/or washing clothes etc… Any time I have access to empty 55 gal drums, I snap them up. Had a broken water main last year and was without water for a day. Couldn’t believe how much water we went through. It was a real eye opener. There is no such thing as too much water stored.

    • I’m too lazy to look and see if I mentioned this, but last winter there was an issue with the pump burning out, and as a result my mom also started storing water in the kitchen for easy access. She used one gallon water jugs that you buy from the store, and just refilled them. They’re stacked underneath the table so you wouldn’t even notice them. Having drinking water handy is quite nice, even if you have larger storage areas elsewhere.

  3. I agree that storing water is wise. We currently have two 55-gallon drums and several 5 gallon containers filled. The larger drums are treated with water preserver and sealed. These presevers can be ordered on-line and are good for 5 years. Additionally ‘gray’ water is stored for sanitation.

    We have a well and should the worst happen we can use the generator to operate the pump to replenish supplies as long as the gas holds out. We also have a small pond and stream on our property as another resource. Having Katadyne filters is essential. Water would still have to be boiled, I think, after filtering.

  4. I always myself doing this good job of storing water at home because of the shortage of water in this place where I am living.