Long-Term Water Storage

Food storage is a huge part of being prepared for an emergency, but a major component of food storage is also having an adequate water supply. While most emergency kits are equipped with a water filter that can be used if water needs to be collected from an unclean source, it is a really good idea to also store water. If a major catastrophe happens in your area, water may become a scarce commodity. Water could also be contaminated to the point that you can’t completely filter it.

The average person needs to drink ½ gallon of water every day. However, it is recommended that you store at least 1 gallon per person per day. The extra ½ gallon will go into your food preparation, daily grooming, and other activities.

It is much better to err on the side of caution and store too much water, rather than not enough. A human can only survive about a week (or less depending on the temperatures, and activity level) without water. Losing only 3% of your body’s weight due to water loss, will result in a 25% loss of function.

There are a couple of options when it comes to storing water. Perhaps the best method is to purchase commercially bottled water. If unopened and used by the expiration date then freshness is guaranteed. This is the easiest method, but may be more expensive than other methods.

You can also bottle your own water to store, which is one of the cheapest methods of water storage. Simply keep all of your plastic bottles that have been used to hold water or soda. Do not use plastic milk jugs as water storage containers, as the type of plastic used to make these absorbs some of the milk sugars and they cannot be removed.

Wash the bottles with dish soap and rinse thoroughly. Then fill the bottle with 1 quart of water and add 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach. Put the cap on the bottle and shake it so that the sanitizing solution touches all of the inside surfaces. Empty the bottle and rinse with clean water to rid the bottle of all sanitizing solution.

Fill the bottle up with tap water. If you get your tap water from a well, or non treated source, add 2 drops of the non scented chlorine bleach to the bottle before sealing it with the sanitized cap. Do not touch the inside of the cap, or the edge of the bottle or contamination may occur. Write the date on the bottle when you seal it.

Store your water in a cool, dark place and remember to watch the expiration dates. Self-bottled water will be good for up to six months, and then should be rotated.

10 Replies to “Long-Term Water Storage”

  1. what if you use reverse osmosis filtered water what is the storeage time amount of chlorine per 20 oz. bottle.


    Although reverse osmosis will most likely extend the amount of time the water is fresh, it is still a good practice to rotate/replace your water every 6 months.

    Many people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of rotating water will purchase a high quality water filter, and plan on filtering their stored water before drinking it.

    We have a few water filters we recommend here:


    If you have any additional questions, feel free to email our Support Department at contact@foodinsurance.com, or call us at 1-866-946-8366.

    Food Insurance

  2. Thanks a lot for being the lecturer on this area. We enjoyed your own article quite definitely and most of all cherished how you handled the issues I widely known as controversial. You happen to be always quite kind towards readers much like me and help me in my lifestyle. Thank you.

  3. are the charcoal filters good to use only with tap water or will they purify contaminated water.?



    That is a great question! Many water filters use charcoal filters at some stage in the process because it does a fantastic job at removing contaminants, flavors, odors, etc. That being said, most carbon filters that attach to your culinary water supply will not sufficiently clean contaminated water. They are designed to improve the taste of water that has already been filtered. The packaging of your filter should specify what it is designed to treat.

    If you have any additional questions, feel free to email our Support Department at contact@foodinsurance.com, or call us at 1-866-946-8366.

    Food Insurance

  4. A coworker just pointed out something to me – we also have the water in our water heater available. I know that’s not long-term but it is something.

  5. Is bleach the all around water purification stuff? Doe’s it take care of all the harmful bacteria and germs? When your looking for water to purify [when your water supply runs out] what is the best choice? pond, stream, lake. Thank you.



    The best solution for water filtration is always going to be a water filter. We have several available here: http://www.foodinsurance.com/emergency-supplies

    Bleach has been used for years by backpackers and campers, and it does an effective job at killing bacteria and parasites, but it doesn’t filter out sediment, taste, etc.

    When using a water filter, ponds, lakes, and streams are all the same, see our video here for a demonstration: http://www.foodinsurance.com/store/emergency-supplies/water-bottle-and-filter

    When using bleach, or other water treatment drops, it is generally better to look for running water.

    If you have any additional questions, feel free to email our Support Department at contact@foodinsurance.com, or call us at 1-866-946-8366.

    Food Insurance

  6. Any idea of how long will reverse osmosis water last?


    Great question Terry!

    Most often, water goes bad because of contaminants in the storage container. Because of this, even reverse osmosis water should be rotated about every 6 months.

    If you have a high quality water filter, you can bypass rotation, and re-filter the water before drinking it.

    If you have any additional questions, please contact us at contact@foodinsurance.com, or 1-866-946-8366.

    -Food Insurance.

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