Tired of Rotating Your Water All the Time? Me Too.

Written by The Ready Store

Storing water is a huge part of every emergency plan. Like we have discussed in this blog before, you got to have water and preferably a lot of it. But storing a lot of water presents a major problem: rotation. As most of you know, water is very heavy. It weighs a little more than 8 lbs. per gallon. To put that into perspective, your 55 gallon water barrel when completely full weighs more than 450 lbs. Yikes! That is a back ache waiting to happen if you try to move it. And getting the water out of it to rotate can be just as difficult.

Keep in mind that untreated water that is stored in a cool area away from direct sunlight in opaque containers needs to rotated at least annually. Some municipalities do a good job of treating their drinking water and so it might extend that shelf life, but as a general rule, water stored in that way, should be rotated annually.

But rotating water (especially annually) is a pain. And because of that you and I both know that it doesn’t happen as often as it should. With that in mind, let me give you a few suggestions to help with water rotation. Hope they help.

1. When you store water use a Water Preserver
www.TheReadyStore.com sells a Water Preserver that is designed to treat up to 55 gallons of water and extends the shelf of the water to 5 years! I’ll take 5 years over 1 year any day. So in all of your storage containers, use a Water Preserver to extend the shelf life and not have to rotate as often.

2. Store water in smaller containers

A 5 gallon stackable water container will slightly more expensive up front, but you will rotate the water much more easily and as a result much more often.

3. Buy a siphon pump

I have an inexpensive siphon pump that works awesome. It screws into the top of my 55 gallon water barrel and once it is primed that water just keeps on flowing. It makes emptying my barrel so much easier and as a result, I rotate more often.

4. Keep you water storage in a place where it is easy to rotate the water

Have a drain close by or access to the outside where you can dump your water and easily replenish it with new water.

Updated March 10, 2009

7 Comments

  1. Brandon wrote:

    Thanks! quick question, I am saving to buy a 55 gallon barrel…when I get it do I have to do anything before filling it up, like sanitation, and how do you sanitize the barrel. Also, Should I put filtered water in it or do you just fill it up with the garden hose…I’m just getting started doing this.

    April 23rd, 2009 at 10:02 am
  2. TheReadyExpert wrote:

    If you are using a brand new 55 gallon barrel that wasn’t holding another food item or liquid before, then simply rinsing it out is all that needs to be done. If there was some food item in it prior to that, you will need to wash it out with soap and warm water. It is best to repeat that process twice in order to insure that you have cleaned the barrel adequately.

    April 23rd, 2009 at 11:05 am
  3. Brandon wrote:

    Thanks, one more quick question…how do you suggest filling up a 55 gal. new drum? should I just go with a regular garden hose, or I was thinking I could figure out a way to possibly get a filter on the hose to make sure the water was pure…what would you do?

    April 25th, 2009 at 12:00 am
  4. Pat B. wrote:

    In answer to Brandon’s question:

    You can purchase a food grade hose at most home improvement stores and run it safely from a clean faucet to your storage container. I would run water through it for a few seconds to flush any dust that may have collected in the ends while it was sitting on the shelf.

    In my opinion, you do not need to pre-filter the tap water going into the storage container as it will likely not remove much, if any, contaminents and what it does remove, is safe to drink anyway as it is coming right from the tap.

    Don’t forget to add the water treatements so you only have to go through this process once every five (5) years.

    I have three 55 gallon, food grade, new drums. When I recieved them, I added a couple of gallons of hot water and a couple of dollops of chlorox (unscented) bleach. I then sealed up the barrels and rolled them around my back yard to make sure the solution got on all the surfaces and let it sit for an hour. I then rinsed a few times and that was it.

    Enjoy

    July 29th, 2009 at 4:01 pm
  5. kim wrote:

    I have 2 330 gal water storage containers. I’ve read numerous articles and am wondering if by burying them would it help with longevity? I have hydro powered pump for filling/emptying. Would I still need to treat water?

    March 6th, 2012 at 11:01 pm
  6. admin wrote:

    Hey Kim, good question. I can’t really see any advantage of placing your water in the ground. Depending on the containers or bottles you’re using, this could actually cause you some problems. Some types of containers absorb chemicals if they are in long-term physical contact with things like cement. However, that might not be a big problem. If you want to save space, this might be a good idea, but I can’t really see any big advantage.

    March 7th, 2012 at 9:15 am
  7. Steve wrote:

    There is a lot of information on this site about the need to rotate stored water. This is important because microorganisms can grow and multiply in the stored water over time. But what if you do not intend to drink the stored water directly? What if instead you just use your stored water as a ready reserve of reasonably clean water that you will filter and treat with water-purification tablets before using the stored water as potable water? Is water rotation really necessary under this type of plan?

    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:14 pm

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