Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Water Storage

I have talked with a few people about the importance of water storage. The trick is finding creative ways to store the water (the right containers, the right place to store it, etc.)

Below are a couple of different articles derived from other groups I am part of.

Water Storage

By Scott Pedersen, Vicki Tate, and Barry Crockett

How Much Water Do You Need?

Store as much “drinkable” water as is convenient to maintain. The average water need for an average-sized person in an average climate is approximately one gallon of water per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for cooking). Most preparedness experts recommend storing 14 gallons of “drinkable” water per person. When you consider that the average person uses about 100 gallons of water per day for drinking, bathing, laundry, water lawns, etc., it is evident that one gallon per person per day is minimal. But in an emergency, you can survive.


It is important that you use only new, high quality, food-grade plastic containers designed for water storage. Do not use old bleach containers, plastic milk jugs, fuel cans, paint buckets, or antifreeze containers to store drinking water. There are many other storage options that are safer and more reliable. We recommend using durable, dark-colored (blue, green) polyplastic, polyethylene containers that restrict light. This helps control algae and bacteria growth.

Water weighs eight pounds per gallon, and transporting a 440-pound, 55-gallon drum would be almost impossible without the use of a hand truck. Likewise, the 1-gallon containers or the 2- to 3-liter bottles don’t hold enough water and would require that you make many trips to a water source. The 5- or 15-gallon containers can be easily transported in a wheelbarrow or a child’s wagon. The 5-gallon metallized bag in a box is another good choice for storing portable water because it is nonporous (odor control), and it prevents light from entering. Beyond these transportation problems, however, the 2-liter pop bottles make good containers.

Storing Your Water

Heavy containers should always be stored close to ground level and secured to prevent breakage or possible injury in the event of an earthquake. Be sure to store your water in plastic containers away from any harmful chemicals or foul-smelling products because plastic tends to absorb odors. Avoid setting water storage containers directly on a cement floor because they will leach moisture from the cement that will end up in your water.

Elevate the containers by placing them on boards or pallets. Rotate your water at least annually to ensure freshness, taste, and purity. Pastel or white colored containers need to be stored in a dark room or pantry to avoid being exposed to light. If you cannot store containers in a dark room, cover containers to keep out light.

Here is a link from Alan Martindale of the city of Mesa (AZ) Water Department: Water Storage And Purification. I chose to do it as a link, because it is a pretty long article.



Anonymous said...

I have a couple of tanks that I purchased through US Plastics at http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.asp.

The tanks that I have are 750 gallons each and fit perfectly between my garage door track and the wall. There was 51 inches and the tanks are 48 inches. There was 119 inches from the floor to ceiling and the tanks are 103 inches tall. I also have them 6 inches off the floor so you can see I used up this space very well. Unfortunately the no longer off this size of tank.

Anyway the advantage of US plastics is that they have a very large variety of sizes of tanks, sometimes having different dimensions for the same number of gallons. From what I could see, the largest tank that would fit through a normal doorway or down a flight of stairs would be a 300 gallon tank.