Food Storage 101: Water - Storage Containers

Friday, September 14, 2012
There are many options for storing water. There are many commercially available storage containers in various sizes. You can also use plastic juice containers or pop bottles that have been cleaned with soap and water and thoroughly rinsed.

According to the site, here are some things you need to keep in mind when choosing water storage containers:
  • Use only food-grade containers. Do not use plastic milk jugs because they become brittle over time and do not fully seal.
  • Clean, sanitize and thoroughly rinse all your containers prior to filling them.
  • Never re-use containers for water storage if they have ever had non-food products in them.
When choosing containers, also keep in mind the "portability" factor. Water is heavy! A 55-gallon drum of water is great to have on-hand as long as you don't have to vacate your home. But it's not going to be so easy to pick up and move should you have to leave or evacuate.

When I first started storing water, I just used empty juice containers and soda pop bottles filled with tap water. They were a cheap option and a great way to reuse the containers. What I didn't like about this option was that these bottles started to add up - there were a lot, and they weren't stackable at all. They took up a lot of space, and the clear plastic allowed the water inside to evaporate too fast, so we were always finding half-empty bottles.

We eventually decided to change our water storage containers.  We now use several different types of containers, because it gives us more options.

We bought some blue, 5-gal square containers at Walmart. They are stackable up to 5 high. They look like big blocks, and are about a foot square, and about a foot and a half high. They have a handle for carrying, and a screw-on cap.    We bought 2 or 3 each month to keep costs down. We now have 10, which gives us 50 gallons of stored water.  These are semi-portable.  We could put them in our car if we had enough time and space and could evacuate by car.

We have also purchased (2) 55-gal drums to fill with water and keep next to our shed, as another option.  These would not be portable at all. 

Then we also have another 6 gallons or so in commercially-bottled water (individual water bottles).  These are the most portable of the options, and we use these for car trips and hiking trips and whatnot.  I also keep 2-3 of these bottles in the car with our car emergency kit.

What you choose to use is really just a matter of what works best for you and your situation. Even if you can only store a couple 2-liter bottles of water under your sink right now, it's still better than no water storage at all!