How to Store Water Correctly
We've had a lot of questions from our customers asking how to set up their water storage. Here are a few tips to consider:
After you have used the Water Storage Calculator to determine the amount of potable water you would like to have in reserve, and after you have used the Water Preserver Calculator to find the amount of water preservers needed to keep your water's shelf life, you are ready to start storing the containers.
What Type of Container do You Need?
Size. Make sure that the container is big enough for your needs. We recommended that you have 3 gallons per family member per day. For a family of 5, for example, you would need a 55-gallon barrel every 4 days approximately.
UV coated. You want to make sure that light isn’t getting in to your water. This can increase the possibility of contaminant growth inside the container or barrel, and will render your water storage useless. You want to make sure that it’s dark inside that tank! If the barrel you are using allows for light to shine through, this can be resolved through the use of thick green or black paint to create a homemade UV barrier for your barrels.
Material. Besides making sure that you have a UV coating on the barrel, you’ll want to make sure that it’s BPA free. Research has shown that, given the ideal circumstances, BPA plastic compounds from such containers can seep into your water and create hormonal problems in the human body. The material should also, however, be strong enough to endure the potential duress of additional water containers stacked on top of one another.
Quality. You’ll also want to make sure that each of the containers is durable and won’t warp, crack or split easily under temperamental weather conditions (depending on where you store it).
Where to Store Your Water Tanks:
Before purchasing your water container, check out the Features & Specifications tab below your desired product. This tab will open up a drop-down menu with 6 detailed sub-options. Under Dimensions (LxWxH), you will find the area that you will need to store the container. Because a 55-gallon drum of water can weigh upwards of 450 pounds when filled to the top, it is important that you identify a easy, clear access to the area where you will store the containers beforehand.
Generally, we recommend storing these in an area that is covered from elements, protected from direct sunlight, and that can fit the entirety of your storage in one area. For most people, this accurately describes either their garage, shed, or unused basement area.
PREPARING THE CONTAINER
When you first purchase the tank or container, it will come with preparation directions. To ensure that the inside is clean, you can use a mild dish soap and clean water to wash out the inside walls, base and lid of the container. Here's an article on how to clean, prepare and fill a water container.
We recommend using a water preserver to keep your water safe for 5 years. If you don’t use a water preserver, you’ll have to rotate your water storage every 6-12 months. Although, bleach is considered to be an alternative to a water preserver, bleach was not made with human consumption in mind read more about it here. The water you use can come from a well or from a hose. We advise not using a lead-lined hose, to allow for the water to be as clean and safe for your family as possible.
INSTALLING THE CONTAINER
Place the tank or container in it’s final resting place. You’ll want to place a wood board or block between the barrel and the cement. If you don’t, toxins from the cement can seep into your water supply.
Fill the container about half way. After you fill it half way, you can check the seams and valves on your container, if you have them. (This is when you add the preserver.) Once the seals are checked, fill the rest of the container.
If you’re container is larger, you may want to strap the barrel or tank to the wall. This will prevent it from falling during an earthquake.
Comments or questions? Let us know in the comment section below!