Water Storage Information & Treatment Tips
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOUR NEED FOR WATER!
Why have an emergency water supply?Generally, our abundant domestic water supply is taken for granted. However, some situations can reduce the availability of safe drinking water, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and winter storms. Such interruptions may last only a few days or up to two weeks. In these situations, an emergency water supply can be essential.
- Purchase NEW approved drinking water barrels for storage and future Drinking water use.
- Have on hand smaller approved drinking water containers for portability,rationing,sharing and refilling larger barrels.
- Have on hand prepackaged purified water for expediate use,rationing,convenience,portability and sharing.
- Store water in at least two locations around your home,never on top shelves.
- Store water in your vehicles(smaller containers or prepackaged rations).
- Purchase a hand operated water filter/purifier this could prove to be very valuable life saver.
How much water should I store?In an emergency, an ample water supply is a priority. Needs will differ, depending upon age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, but most people need to drink at least two quarts, which is equal to eight cups, of water each day. Hot weather conditions can double the amount needed, and children, nursing women and ill people also will need more. In addition to drinking water, supplies for food preparation and hygiene are needed. In general, store at least one gallon of water per person, per day of expected need.
Never ration drinking water, even when supplies run low. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow. You can, however, minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
What containers should I use?
You should only store water in NEW food-grade plastic containers with tight-fitting screw-on caps.NEW Food-grade plastic containers can be purchased at www.safetycentral.com New containers should be labeled for storage of food or beverages,(DOT)or(UN)rating. as those not labeled for food or beverage storage could release harmful chemicals into the water.
How should I prepare the containers?
Wash the containers and lids thoroughly with hot tap water and dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly with hot tap water.
What water should I use?
In most cases, your drinking and cooking water should be suitable to store for emergency purposes. The water should be potable (bacteria and pathogen free).
Public water supply A public water supply is defined as one that provides piped water for human consumption to at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals. Water from a public water supply is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) HHS (Human service systems) require all public water suppliers to regularly test for bacteria and deliver water meeting EPA drinking water standards. While you may expect water from a public water supply in the united states to be potable, inadequate cleaning of the container used to collect and store the water could result in bacterial contamination.
Private water supply Private water supplies are not subject to any regulation. Testing is the only way to determine if water from a private water supply is potable. The test should be done by an HHS-approved laboratory. It is generally recommended private water supplies be tested for bacterial safety at least once a year. Again, inadequate cleaning and disinfection of the container used to collect and store the water could result in bacterial contamination.
Vended water supply Water vending machines are systems where customers fill their own containers with treated water. Vended water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since FDA requires water for vending machines come from an approved public water supply, the assumption is that the water meets EPA drinking water standards. The vending machine normally provides treatment above that done by the municipality. Inadequate cleaning and disinfection of the water vending machine or the container used to collect and store the water could result in bacterial contamination.
How should I treat the water for storage?
To treat water for storage(up to one year)do not retreat, use liquid household chlorine bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use bleach with soaps or scents or colors added. Add the bleach according to the following table, using a clean, uncontaminated medicine dropper.(See our water preserver concentrate in the water section to safety store water for 5 years without rotation).
Two drops bleach per quart or liter container of water. Four drops bleach per 2-quart, 2-liter or 1/2 gallon container of water. Eight drops bleach per gallon or 4-liter container of water.
When treating larger quantities of water, use the following table to convert drops to standard measuring units.
8 drops = 1/8 teaspoon 16 drops = 1/4 teaspoon 32 drops = 1/2 teaspoon 64 drops = 1 teaspoon 192 drops = 1 Tablespoon 384 drops = 1/8 cup which is equal to 2 TablespoonsStir the water and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. You should be able to smell chlorine after the 30-minute waiting period. If you cannot, add another dose and let the water stand another 15 minutes. Cap containers and label each, describing the contents and preparation date.
Where should I store the water and for how long?For shelf-storage of water, store containers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Because most plastic beverage containers degrade over time, store them away from heat and light to prevent leakage. Store water in plastic containers away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances because vapors from these products can penetrate plastic. Remember, water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon, so make sure the shelf or storage area is strong enough to support the weight. For best quality, replace stored water(using this method) every six months. improve the taste of water stored for a long time, pour it back and forth between two clean containers several times to aerate it. Water can also be stored in a freezer. If you lose electricity, the frozen water provides the added benefit of keeping foods frozen until power is restored. Leave 2 to 3 inches of air space in the top of containers before freezing to prevent the container from bursting as water expands during freezing.
How do I keep water in opened containers safe?
Once opened, use good sanitary measures to keep the water safe and to control exposure to bacteria. To reduce the chance of water contamination, open only the containers you will use immediately. If electricity is available, store opened containers in a refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If refrigeration is not available and containers are stored at room temperature, avoid introducing bacterial contamination into the water. Use water in opened containers within one or two days We recommend storing a minimum of one gallon (preferably two gallons) of water per person per day, for two weeks of drinking and food preparation and other limited uses such as hand washing, brushing teeth and dish washing.
We do not recommend storing water in glass containers, used milk or thin water containers sold at most supermarkets. They become brittle with time. Also never-ever use any previously used plastic containers or barrels, even ones used for syrups and concentrates. These containers absorb and retain the residual of anything put into them regardless of how much prior cleaning you give them, thus contaminating your water reserve (and causing it to taste terrible). Beware of savvy people selling used containers as being safe. Do not use pool, spa or water bed water for drinking; the acids, algaecides and other chemicals can be harmful or deadly if ingested
Our new industrial strength water containers are made for years of faithful service. Unlike most store bought containers, each of these has passed the U.N. & Department of Transportation rigid burst & handling test as well as being FDA approved as a food & water storage container. These containers can also be stored indoors or out, and are made to withstand both hot & cold and freezing temperatures. Remember, use only new approved containers when storing your valuable water reserves.
After a major earthquake or other disaster, water can become scarce and questionable to drink. In such a crisis consider all water supply unsafe to drink unless properly treated.