I have quite often gotten the question, “How long will water last if I store it?” or “How long until water goes bad?”
My response always is, “Water is water, is water. Water doesn’t go bad. It’s the ‘stuff’ that gets in it that can make it go bad”.
So, how long you can store it depends on if you are letting ‘stuff’ get in it, or grow in it.
The keys to successfully storing drinking water for long term storage is starting with good pure clean water, a good clean safe sealed container, and a good storage location.
The best thing is to take water from your tap at home, which already has been treated with enough chlorine to destroy harmful pathogens (typically 1-ppm chlorine in your tap water). I recommend increasing this to 3-ppm for long term storage to be assured of a very safe level to prohibit growth of ‘nastiness’ in your drinking water. The video at the end of this post illustrates how to do this.
The simplest and a very good way to store your water is in BPA-free plastic containers that have been manufactured specifically for water storage. These containers are colored blue and will be labeled as safe for drinking water. You may also use any food-grade storage bucket. Or you may choose to use your own two-liter plastic soft drink bottles. In all cases, be sure to thoroughly clean the storage container first.
Store your long term drinking water storage containers in a cool place so as to avoid heat trying to promote growth of algae and other nasty’s.
How much drinking water should you store?
FEMA says you should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
I say that you should assess your situation, your surroundings (do you have access to other water sources than tap water), the number of people you’re storing for, your risk tolerance threshold, and decide for yourself how much you would like to store.
50 gallons would be barely enough for 2 people for a month. And that doesn’t count all the ‘gray water’ use that you normally consume.
How long will the long term water storage last?
There are a multitude of opinions out there, but I’m sticking to mine… “Water is water, is water” If you start with a pure clean source treated with a safe level of chlorine and store it in a clean sealed container in a cool place, it will last for “a very long time”. It might be a good idea to dump it out every few years and start over. Just in case. When in doubt, swap it out. Say, once a year.
How To Treat Drinking Water For Long Term StorageClick here to view the embedded video.
Appreciate topics of survival, emergency preparedness – or planning for disaster?
Read our current articles on Modern Survival Blog
Similar Articles You Might Enjoy: