Preparedness blog

FAQ - Can My Water Storage Be Outside?

By Elena from Ready Store
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One of the many questions we get asked here at The Ready Store is, "Can I store my water containers outside?". The short answer to this is, yes, of course, you can store your water outside. The longer answer is, yes, of course, you can store your water outside, but you're going to need to work a little harder to keep your water fresh and pure.

Ideal Storage Conditions for Water - First of all, water never goes bad. We've had the same water for thousands, if not millions of years. However, water can become contaminated by bacteria, mold, etc. The best place to store water so that mold and bacteria do not breed is in a cool, dark room, away from extreme temperature variations. So, unless you live in a cool, dark hole, storing water outside is NOT ideal. But, whoever said you have to make everything ideal?

If You Store Water Outside-  Some of us have to store water outside. We simply don't have room to store it all in the house/apartment. There are some rules to follow that will help you maintain a safe emergency water supply.

Use a water preserver-  A good water preserver is a key to safe water storage. While it won't permanently stop bacterial growth in water, it will significantly slow it down.

Tighten caps well - Wind, falling debris, and creepy crawlers are all dangers to outside water storage. Make sure you cap is screwed on tightly and any vent holes are completely sealed.

Change water every 6-12 months - If you store water in a cool, dark room, you can go up to 5 years without changing your water storage. Since your outside water is subject to heat and sunlight, even with a water preserver, it can grow mold/bacteria. We suggest you check your water storage every 3 months and change it every 6-12 months.

Bury your water containers- A great option for outdoor water storage is to bury your containers. If you dig a hole about 4 feet deep with 6-12 inches of ground cover, your water containers will be well insulated from the heat and the cold. Of course, you will need a good siphon and hose attached if you choose this method.

Keep some water indoors - Yes, I just told you that you can store your water outside. However, it's always a good idea to have some of your water storage indoors. Let me give you a couple scenarios to prove this.
1- Pipes freeze in a winter storm. If pipes are frozen, your water storage containers will have frozen water, as well. You will want a source inside to work with.
2- Flooding. Water is heavy and hard to bring inside once a tank is full. A 250-gallon water tank weighs over 2000 pounds, while a 55-gallon container weighs almost 500 pounds. If you are stuck indoors, that water in your backyard will stay there. If you have a few 5-gallon water containers inside under beds, inside cabinets, or other places, you'll have easy access to water.

Have you stored your water outside? What are some of the methods you've found that have worked?

6 years ago
6 years ago at 9:21 AM
whats the best method to test your storage water for bacteria/mold? Is there a test kit that can check for the bacteria? thank you.