Storing Water : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have been purchasing water in gallon plastic jugs to keep on hand. We have found that after a few months the plastic breaks down and the jugs start to leak. We are considering buying some new gasoline containers and using them for water storage. Has anyone done this? Any disadvantages?

-- Cindy in NY (, November 10, 2001


you can buy the "bluish" plastic jugs from most grocery store,, they last longer., 2 liter soda bottles work. Kepping them in a dark place stops UV break down.,, how about a food grade plasic barrel?, ,, can get them, 20 gal, 30, 50, all sorts of sizes

-- stan (, November 10, 2001.

Cindy, when I was in Haiti there was only one well in our village that was safe to drink water from. We used those big jugs like Culligan uses and they lasted and lasted, even hauling from the well in the back of a truck. If I wanted to store water that is what I would use. Adding a few drops of bleach keeps the water longer. I would be leary of the gasoline containers since they wouldn't necessarily be food grade plastic.

-- diane (, November 10, 2001.

You can but the 6gal. water jugs at Wal-Mart or K-Mart in the sporting goods dept.

-- Ruby (, November 10, 2001.

There are blue jugs and there are good blue jugs. You want the polycarbonate--they are the most expensive. WalMart doesn't carry the good ones. They carry a look alike. They are the next thing to glass. All other plastics will absorb chlorine and everything thing else in the water. You want to use "pure" water--water that has been purified by reverse osmosis, for example. Then you will never have to wash them. I don't know what kind of plastic is used to make gasoline containers, but there has to be a reason they aren't used for water. We have two six gallon polycarbonate jugs and one four gallon. We buy Reverse Osmosis water out of the machines at the supermarket for all drinking water and the baby's formula. It's 30 cents a gallon out of the machine. If you are storing water for months you might want to add collidal silver to it. I personally wouldn't store it that long, I'd rotate it. Any bacteria in there is just going to multiply like crazy if you don't add an antibacterial agent like collidal silver to it. That's why we use the polycarbonate--they don't absorb chemicals and bacteria like other plastics do. We never wash them because then you would be adding detergent and chlorine and defeating the purpose. We just use them for pure water, nothing else. Can you tell I used to work for a drinking water company?

-- Frances Burt (, November 10, 2001.

Cindy, just a another thought to add to the excellant post above, plastic by it's very nature absorbs gases and things from it's surroundings depending on the temperatures. After you store water for awhile it will get really yukky tasting so keep that in mind. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, November 10, 2001.

I also have several gallon jugs of water but I do rotate. For long term storage I fill empty 2 & 3 liter soda bottles with water and put them in the empty spaces in the freezer. This also helps the freezer run more efficiently because a full freezer is more efficient than an empty one.

-- Lou Ann (, November 11, 2001.

Having done quite a bit of research for "Y2K" I learned that the triangular mark on the plastic bottle, with the three letters surrounding the mark, designated what the plastic consisted of.I'm sorry that I don't have the detailed information about which kind of plastic should be used as opposed to what shouldn't be used. The thin bottles like soda bottles or even water bottles will break down after awhile. Any water stored should be boiled before use. You might be able to search for the old Y2K information, or older information from the '50's or '60's.

-- MissJudi (, November 12, 2001.

Thanks everyone for your responses! I will try to find some of the containers that you have recommended.

-- Cindy in NY (, November 13, 2001.

We also refill our water at the store using plastic 1 gal containers. On the bottom of the jug it has a triangle with arrows and a 2 in the middle with HDPE underneath the triangle. Is this a "good" plastic as opposed to the ones that leak? Would these be considered possible for long storage? Thanks!

-- Ron (, November 13, 2001.

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