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

Water Storage Revisited

A reader sent me an email today asking about a product they saw online.  I won’t link to it, because the product is a horrible one.

Canned water.

Yes, you too can buy a case of canned water that is specially marketed towards preppers.  They advertise a 30 year shelf life!

Horrible product.  One that preys on peoples fears.

That said, the reader recognized that the product itself was hokey, but wanted to know about the concept, and whether it was a good idea to use a pressure canner and large glass jars to store water for long term usage.

A really good question, indeed quite a reasonable one considering that we can all sorts of other things … why not water too?  I figure more of you may want to know too, so I’ll answer it publicly.

The quick answer is … don’t bother.

See, water doesn’t go bad.  It may get contaminated, or it may grow funky stuff, but the water itself doesn’t go bad.

So there’s no need to use a canner, or anything like that to preserve water.

There’s two steps to water storage.  You can add more steps if you want, but this is the important bit:

First, take a container (preferably opaque) and fill it with water from your tap.  Seal it up and store it somewhere.

Second, make sure you have a couple ways to treat water.  You should have a good water filter (Berkey!) and replacement filters, as well as a chemical means of purification.

You don’t even have to rotate the water like you do other stored items.  You CAN if you want, and I often do, but you don’t have to.

When you have to use your stored water, simply look for signs of algae or slime.  Pour a bit in a glass and make sure it looks like tap water still.  It’ll be fine to drink as long as your source was pure when you filled the container.  Most municipal sources are perfectly clean, and if you’re on a well, you know already what’s in your water and if pre treatment is required.

If you have any doubt at all, run it through your filter.  If your filter is broken, feel free to use the chemical purification.  As an extra bonus, when you run out of stored water, the filters and chemicals can treat water from the local river, or rain fall, or whatever.

But like I said, water doesn’t go bad … it may grow stuff in it, but that’s what the filters and chemicals are for.

You can reduce the likelihood of something growing in it by storing it in an opaque container in a dark location since light is required for gunk to grow.

What do I do?  I fill up 55 gallon blue drums and let em sit.  I rotate if I feel inclined.


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2 Responses to Water Storage Revisited

  1. Rudy,

    Thanks for revisiting this issue of water storage. As a former disaster preparedness coordiinator, I used to recommend storing five gallons of water per person per day for a seven day period for an emergency. Overkill? Possibly. But with that amount of water stored I knew my family had enough for drinking, hygiene, and to use for cooking for a week. When you live in a rural area, help will take a while to reach you. We learned that one year when a storm blew through our rural Washington region and we were without power for four days. No power in our area also meant no access to well water unless you were lucky enough to have a shallow well. Since we had prepared, we had more than enough supplies on hand until we could be reconnected to the “outside world.”

    I’d like to recommend two very good links that discuss the proper storage of water long-term. The first is a joint publication from FEMA and the Red Cross and the second is from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Here are the links: