Water Storage

Water is one of the most important elements needed for survival. It’s important to store enough for your family in case of emergency. Water can be stored in almost any container, but not all containers will make your water safe for drinking.

Use food-grade water storage containers made of thick plastic to store water for drinking. One should store enough water for at least one gallon per person per day. A good rule of thumb is to store at least one 55-gallon barrel of water per person. Never store water containers directly on cement, as the cement will leach chemicals into your water. Place a board under your water containers or prop them up somehow. Always leave enough room for expansion if you store containers in the garage because in the winter they may freeze and expand.

Before filling containers with clean water, wash the storage container with dishwashing soap and water, and completely rinse with clean water before filling.

Avoid using the following containers to store safe drinking water:

• Containers that cannot be sealed tightly
• Containers that can break, such as glass bottles
• Containers that have ever been used for any toxic solid or liquid chemicals (includes old bleach containers)
• Plastic or cardboard bottles, jugs, and containers used for milk or fruit juices

It is fine to store water for use in washing clothes or flushing toilets in containers that have been used for bleach, detergents or juice. Be sure to label water in those containers as unsafe for drinking.

Fill drinking water containers using a clean RV hose. Do not use a regular garden hose. A used garden hose harbors harmful bacteria, which will contaminate the water that flows through it.

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