Long-term water storage and water purifying

Gin Lee

Bottled waterHans/ Pixabay/

Long-term water storage and water purifying

Why should we store water for long-term use? If the energy grid should ever go down, the municipal water will also shut down, unless the location where you live has some type of backup system.

Unfortunately, at one time or another, we all have power outages, often due to related weather occurrences. Usually the electricity is only off for a few hours, before power lines, transformers, etc. are repaired. However, sometimes freakish ice storms, tornadoes, or hurricanes happen and the power gets interrupted for days, weeks, and sometimes, unfortunately, for months.

Storing water for the long-term and treating potable water

Water should be stored in thoroughly clean glass jars, or dark plastic containers (#1, #2, and #4). Glass bottles or jars are the absolute best choice, because glass isn't made with chemicals, therefore no chemicals can leach out into your stored water. Water stored in glass containers will last indefinitely as long as the glass containers are sealed and are sterilized before adding the water.

If you don't have the suggested containers (above), then use the large plastic containers that juice and fruit punch come in to store water.

The containers should be kept in a cool and dark environment. Always add labels to the containers of your drinking water and date it.

The CDC recommends dumping the stored water after six months. They also recommend that everyone should store enough water for three days for each person in the household. The suggested amount is to have at least one gallon per person stored, per day. For example: If you have two people in your household, then you'll need to store three gallons of clean water for yourself, and three gallons for your other family members. So you'd need a total of six gallons. If there're three family members in your household, the number of gallons you'll need stored for three days would be nine. Four people would need twelve, etc.

Water treatments for potable water and your survival

Here are a few items that everyone should have along with the stored water: hand pump water filters, filter straws, gravity filters, and potable water purification tablets. Each of these items could actually be life-saving, should you ever run out of stored water and have to use water from other sources such as a hot water tank, rain barrel, or river, etc.

Boiling water is one of the best methods to kill pollution in the water. (Contaminants such as bad bacteria, germs, parasites, and viruses.) For the boiling method to be effective, you'll need to bring the water to a rolling boil and boil it for one minute at the minimum. Of course, should the electricity be off-grid, you'll also need matches to start a fire, or a camp stove, so that you will be able to boil the water.

Another smart way for purifying water is chemically treating it with Clorox liquid (unscented) bleach for long-term storage.

Amounts of bleach to add to potable water to make it safe for drinking

  • 1 quart. Add 5 drops of bleach.
  • 1 liter. Add 5 drops of bleach.
  • ½ gallon. Add 10 drops of bleach.
  • 2 quarts. Add 10 drops of bleach.
  • 2 liters. Add 10 drops of bleach.
  • 1 gallon. Add ¼ teaspoon of bleach.
  • 5 gallons. Add 1 teaspoon of bleach.
  • 10 gallons. Add 2 teaspoons of bleach.

Strain any stored water that's been sitting for a long time with paper towels, or a clean cloth if it has turned cloudy and has particles in it, because disinfecting it may not work as well. Then store the water in clean containers with lids.

Does (store purchased) bottled water go bad?

If that's a question that you've asked yourself, here's your answer. Technically, it isn't the water that goes bad, because water itself doesn't have any type of expiratory. However, the plastic bottles that it's stored in leach chemicals into the water, and over time the plastic begins to break down. The United States Food and Drug Administration only recommends a shelf life of two years for still water and one year for sparkling water.


It's so crucial to be prepared for the worst type of scenario, and it's very possible that, due to the extreme heat that's occurring this summer, many people may lose their power. In extreme heat, you'll need extra drinking water. So please take care of yourselves and make sure that you have enough water stored to stay hydrated.


The Quest for Hydration (2005). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/quest-for-hydration#:~:text="We%20were%20at%20the%20point,last%20five%20or%20six%20days."

Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water | US EPA. (2021, December 9). US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/emergency-disinfection-drinking-water

Silver, N. (2018, January 16). How Long Can You Live Without Water? Effects of Dehydration. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-long-can-you-live-without-water#food-intake

Heart Water - Does Bottled Water Go Bad?: Water Expiration Dates. (n.d.). Heart Water®. https://drinkheartwater.com/blog/does-bottled-water-go-bad#:~:text=The%20recommended%20shelf%20life%20is,one%20year%20for%20sparkling%20water.

Creating & Storing an Emergency Water Supply. (2021, January 26). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/creating-storing-emergency-water-supply.html

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It is within my mission to ensure that readers will receive original and valuable news content. The content will be written about a large variety of topics. I find my inspiration in the art of design, illustrations, as well as writing content for viewers like you! As an author, designer, artist, animal rescuer, food blogger, organic gardener, freelance journalist, and contributor, I strive to encourage my readers to learn about topics that they may not be fluent in, as well as share my common knowledge about important elements of interest. Because, as circumstances have it, I do live in an extraordinarily rural area, of which I'm proud to profess. Writing for NewsBreak is an enlightened and enjoyable experience. It's been a collection of milestones for me. Concurrently, you (as well as I) have touched base on so many news levels, and we have all learned from the research I've done on a variety of topics. Although this is just a small token of my appreciation to all of my readers and followers, I want to say with a happy heart, and my arms wide open- Thank you for being you! And thank you for liking, subscribing, and following me! It means more to me than mere words can say! Addressing the rudeness in the room (in a way of speaking). Rudeness and hatefulness is why I turn the comments off on the articles in which I write. The world has enough vulgarity, hatefulness, and arrogance without it having any help. Since having the simple courtesy of manners is lacking, and sharing words of kindness does not abide in a few people. Those few people ruin what's supposed to be educational and an enjoyable experience for all others. I don't have the comments turned off because I can't handle ill manners. I turn them off because I do have children and young adults that are followers. Potty mouths, vulgarity, and hate are not acceptable. Sometimes I get busy and I don't get to turn off the comment notifications until a few hours have passed. This is why sometimes a few comments squeak through. I apologize to those of you who generally are very sweet and I also apologize to my followers who have been a witness to others being rude and malicious. I hope that as my followers, you'll be understanding of the measures that I have to take. Please be kind to one another.

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