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5 Best Water Storage Solutions & Blunders To Avoid

Last Updated: July 31, 2022
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Having an emergency water storage is a must for anyone!

I believe, the reason more people don’t stock up on drinkable water is that it’s so prevalent in our daily lives. It’s so widely available today a lot of folks assume water will always be around.

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Don’t make this same mistake.

In a widespread disaster (of any sort), the first two public resources to shut down will be water and grid power. Human beings can survive without electricity – we cannot, however, survive long without water.

Which means, you best start storing water in your home. It’s arguably “the most important” survival resource.

So, make sure you’re stockpiling some.

But not only that, but you also need to do it right. Because it’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds. It’s not difficult but there are simple mistakes you must avoid.

You can’t just collect rain off your roof in old milk jugs, cap them off, and put them away for six years. It won’t be safe to drink exactly when you need it most.

If it’s not stored correctly, it will become toxic.

So, let’s talk about emergency water storage for the long haul, for survival in a major widespread emergency.

Water Storage

Why Is Water Storage Important

Let’s discuss the five vital reasons why having water storage tanks or other essentials for water storage is important in every house or any facilities.

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Water Storage Reason #1-Drinking

Having a clean source of water is indispensable to a human body which means if it is contaminated, it would critically affect the individual’s health.

In addition, don’t forget that humans aren’t the only ones who need water to survive – even our pets too. According to experts, storing at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person will keep them stay sufficiently hydrated.

The fact that human body is composed of 60% water, you’ll want to optimize its health to perform necessary tasks for survival.

Keeping the children, sick people, our pets, and nursing mothers hydrated will surely boost their health.

Water Storage Reason #2-Hygiene

Water storage is not only necessary for hydration but it also plays an important role in the sanitation and other household chores in your home.

From doing your laundry, washing your windows and car, watering the plants in your backyard or garden, or cleaning the different areas in your houses as well.

Depending on the need of the specific community, water storage structures can be ground-level reservoirs, hydro-pneumatic tanks, buried reservoirs, elevated tanks, or rainwater collection tanks.

Water Storage Reason #3-Reduces utility bills

Think of all the different appliance in your home that uses water in order to operate. This could be from dishwasher to washing machine.

This is because these appliances cause you to pay for the consumption of energy and of course, water in order to operate. Water sources like rainwater collection tanks may contribute to decreasing costs of water utility bills.

Water Storage Reason #4-No water shortage

There are several factors that could affect water shortage such as climate change and other issues involving the environment.

This could be a major issue for those homes who require or consume more water than average households. One great solution is to install rainwater collection tanks.

Collecting water from rainwater can surely give enough (or more) water consumptions for daily chores, utility, hygiene use, and aforementioned save money on bills.

Water Storage Reason #5-Saving the Environment

An uncontaminated or clean water is one of the most fast-depleting, most precious resources on our planet. This fact is the main reason why water conservation is a must.

With the help of having rainwater harvesting tanks of Waterstoragecapetown.co.za you can find a simple way to save the environment.

Related post: How To Purify Water – 5 Ways To Filter Water

How Much Water Should You Store

Standard emergency guidelines suggest that you store one gallon of water per day for each person in your household for a three-day to two-week period.

Generally, a normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts (½ gallon) of water each day.

Keep in mind that you must consider your family members’ needs and habits. You will have to decide the actual amount of water you store for an emergency.

Your storage space and individual situation may be such that you should store less or more than the guidelines recommend.

Remember, you might adjust your normal habits to get through the emergency period.

Water Storage Guidelines

  • 1 gallon per person per day
  • 3-day supply x 1 person = 3 gallons
  • 14 days (2-week supply) x 1 person = 14 gallons

(number of days of water needed) x (number of persons in your home) = gallons to store

How Long Can Water Be Stored

Bottled water has a long shelf life. It lasts essentially forever, as long as the seal hasn’t been broken, though it might not taste great a year or more post-bottling.

Can tap water also be stored indefinitely?

While you can use commercially bottled water, you can also store water straight from your kitchen faucet.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends storing tap water in clean plastic, glass, enameled metal, or fiberglass containers.

Once you have filled the container, it should be tightly sealed and stored in a dark, cool location.

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The water should be rotated out about every six months. It won’t necessarily go “bad,” ​but you may get some algae on the container and there is a slight risk of bacterial growth after several months of storage.

It is generally suggested to discard bottled water within two weeks after you open it, but FEMA’s recommendation for how long you can keep tap water is quite a lot longer.

If the water starts to turn green, use it to water your plants; then clean the container, and refill it with fresh tap water.

Similarly, discard the tap water if it develops any other discoloration or has an “off” odor.

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How To Do Long Term Water Storage

Now that you why you should store water, and what rules to follow, this part will be simple.

The first things to discuss are water storage containers.

You already know the container needs to be sterile and food safe. But even within those parameters, there are a lot of choices. So, let’s delve into what materials you CAN use for storing water long-term.

Commercially, there are a lot of drinking water storage containers options on the market. And they come in all different shapes and sizes.

What material you use, and what size you get is all dependent on:

  • How much storage space you have
  • What your budget is
  • How many people you plan on sustaining with your water supply
  • How long you’ll need water for
  • Where you live and your geographic relativity to freshwater sources

So, here’s a variety of best water storage containers available on the market today:

5 Best Water Storage Containers

1 – Plastic Water Storage Containers

Water Storage

The advantages of plastic are plentiful. It’s lightweight, durable, cheap, easy to come by and replaceable.

Plastic is the preferred storage method for many because it’s the most obvious choice. Unfortunately, plastic also has some serious disadvantages too.

For one, there’s a growing fear among food scientists that plastic leaches chemicals into water over time. This is especially true if introduced to direct light or heat.

But, if stored properly there’s less risk of these problems (so long as you occasionally replace your water) – we’ll hit details on this later.

By far my favorite plastic container (and favorite containers overall) is the ​Survival Water Brick

Here are a few highlights of the Water Brick:

  • Holds 3.5 Gallons of Water, Dry Foods, or Ammo
  • Stackable to Maximize Storage Capacity
  • Easy-Grip Design Makes it Easy to Carry
  • Virtually Indestructible!

They are a solid investment and one of the best long-term survival storage solutions.

2 – Glass Water Storage Containers

Water Storage

You can always trust glass, just sanitize it before putting your purified water into it.

Glass is classified by the FDA as “GRAS” which stands for “Generally Regarded As Safe”… so take that with a grain of salt.

If you’re hoping to repurpose an old glass container, but it was used to store anything else in a previous life, it’s best to find a different container.

The big disadvantages to glass are it’s heavy and breaks easily. But it can last forever, is dishwasher friendly, easy to come by, easy to sterilize.

You can reduce the chance of breakages by wrapping your stored glass containers with newspaper and cardboard.

Check out these highly-rated 18 oz leak-proof glass bottlesfor your water storage needs.

3 – Stainless Steel Water Storage Containers

Water Storage

This is possibly the safest bet when it comes to storing water long-term. There are no chemicals that can leach into the water. It protects contents from sunlight, and it’s durable.

Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive option.​ Just check out the price of this 14-gallon stainless steel drum!

Stainless steel containers also tend to be heavy.

You also must be careful what you put inside them. If you store tap water that’s been treated with chlorine, it will erode the protective surface of the stainless steel. That’s called corrosion and corrosion is always bad. That’s how your water gets poisoned.

Make sure that your stainless-steel container is FOOD GRADE or FOOD SAFE!

4 – 55 Gallon Plastic Water Barrels

Water Storage

They take up a significant amount of space and are very heavy when full. But these plastic barrels are one of the most reliable ways to store water easily (and cheaply) for a long time.

Traditionally plastic water storage barrels are blue, for easy identification. And now for the much more reasonably priced plastic 55-gallon drum barrel.

5 – Store-Bought Plastic Water Bottles

“Well, can’t I go to Costco and buy twenty packs of bottled water, chuck them in the basement and call it good?” – you might ask.

While water has no expiration date, those cheap plastic bottles will, over time, leach BPA and other nasty chemicals. Even if stored out of sunlight and heat.

Store-bought plastic water bottles are suitable for storing water on a short-term basis only. But this is an acceptable option if you have a diligent water rotation plan in place.

What Is The Best Way To Store Water Long Term

Rotating Your Water Supply

Water, left in perfect storage containers, even in ideal conditions, still won’t last forever.

Microscopic bugs are impossible to keep out, and the water will need to be replaced.

This is just a fact of emergency water storage.

As a rule of thumb, you should rotate your water storage inventory with fresh water at least once a year.

I’m not saying that you’ll contract illness from ingesting water stored longer than that. But it’s a matter of being safe and avoiding sickness at all costs.

In a survival situation, you want to be sure your water supply is drinkable. Not only because you need water on a day to day basis to survive, but you can’t afford to get sick during an emergency. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Don’t throw out that water you rotate out! Because it isn’t necessarily “bad.” It can still be used for things like bathing, washing dishes or other things, watering plants, etc.

That water doesn’t need to be wasted just because it was stored for too long – you can (and should) repurpose it.

Just don’t drink it.

Why Should You Still Keep A Water Filter On Hand

Even if your basement is stocked full of stored water, you need a method for purifying it.

Whether it’s a pump filter, a gravity filter, iodine tablets, a stove for boiling, or a purification packets – make sure you have something!

Being able to collect and filter good, drinkable water even in an emergency is essential. Because then you can save your stored water and prolong your survival window by days and weeks.

Filtration and purification tools/chemicals are something every single survivalist needs to have. Without them, you’re at a severe disadvantage.

Best Water Filter

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

Water Filter

I highly recommend you get ​a couple sawyer mini water filtersWait? Mini? A mini water filter? Yes, it’s mini in size but not in volume.

It can filter 100,000 gallons of water!

Sawyer Mini Added Inline To A Pack

This little water filter is ideal for both travel AND building a large volume gravity filter at home. Perfect for your long term water storage plan.

What makes the​ Sawyer Mini so powerful is it’s inline design capabilities.

You can use a simple rubber hose to add ​a Sawyer Minibetween your drinking water storage containers and create a large completely passive gravity filter with a single Sawyer Mini.

Saving you hundreds of dollars vs traditional gravity water filters!

Here’s a great review video of the Sawyer Mini


Human beings can only survive without water for three days. Then we shrivel up like raisins and die.

There aren’t any survival resources that are more important than drinkable water. Which is why any survivalist who isn’t storing water is making a huge mistake.

Make sure that you aren’t one of them.

If you store water correctly and have a complete water storage system, you’ll stay hydrated and be ready for just about anything.

If you’re interested in some more gear reviews…

In the past, we’ve covered most of the obvious survival gear we think everyone should own, such as:

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