It’s hard for families to store a significant supply of water given how heavy water is and how much space it occupies, but these tips could help you build up a supply that will last a few weeks or months. Just be sure that whatever you use is made of safe materials and has a small opening or spigot that enables you to access the water safely without needing to insert hands or cups that could potentially contaminate the stored water.
Here is a look at some water storage methods that could prove useful in home emergencies.
Water storage drums
55-gallon drums can be very useful for home water storage. Yes, it takes some time to fill them, but they hold enough water that it is worth the effort. They can also be emptied using a special hose and pump to make the job easier. You can buy these drums online or at a preparedness store.
For homeowners on a strict budget, it may be possible to buy used drums from a local food processor. Keep in mind, however, that if you buy used ones, you will need to clean them extremely carefully to ensure no product is left behind that could cause bacteria. Of course, it’s essential to know what was stored in the drums in the past; avoid any that have ever held cleaners or other chemical solutions.
If you have the space for larger water storage containers, super tanks are available that hold as much as 500 gallons of water. Resembling hot water tanks, they make great use of floor-to-ceiling space and are taller than they are wide. They usually use a gravity-fed system for delivering water from a spigot. However, they’re not portable and should be placed somewhere that is easy to access so the water can be rotated out.
Smaller storage bottles
If you need a solution that is easy, cheap, and highly portable, it’s hard to go wrong with individual water bottles from big box stores. While it’s not ideal that they are made of plastic, it is still better than running out of water.
Ideally, you’ll seek out home water storage containers that are made of thick, dark, food-grade plastic that doesn’t allow light to permeate as this can help keep algae and bacteria at bay.
You’ll want to keep these water bottles in a cool, dark place. Wrap them in blankets if light exposure is a concern where you’re storing them.
You might also consider storing water in a bathtub, especially if you live in a place prone to severe weather events like hurricanes. You can purchase liners known as water bladders that are designed to fit into your tub and be filled with water from your faucet for those times when your municipal water service is interrupted.
Keep in mind that a standard American bathtub can hold around 80 to 100 gallons of water, which can be quite useful in a short-term emergency. If you have children, take precautions so they can’t drown in the water or contaminate it.
Whatever storage method you choose, be sure to rotate all your water every six months. Don’t throw the old water away; you can use it for washing dishes or watering your garden if there are no signs of bacteria or other issues.
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