Water: Where and How Long to Store

Here are some quick pointers to remember for where and how long to store your water:

  • Store water containers in a cool, dry place (if possible) and away from direct sunlight.
  • Store them away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, chemicals, or similar substances because the hydrocarbon vapors (from the chemicals) can penetrate the polyethylene plastics (aka our water containers).
  • Do not store containers directly on the concrete (put a layer of cardboard down first or a blanket or some other insulating measure) as the concrete can also leech chemicals through the plastic and into the water.
  • It’s also a good idea to store some water in your car and at work, or any other place you spend a considerable amount of time and could be stuck without access to water in an emergency.
  • You can also store water for an extended period of time in the freezer. Then, if you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in the freezer frozen (or at least chilled) until power can be restored. (Remember to leave 2 to 3 inches of head space in a container before you freeze it.)
  • When storing water on a shelf, remember that one gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. Be sure that any shelves or storing surfaces are strong enough to support the weight of the water.
  • For the best quality, rotate through your stored water every 6 months to 1 year. You can also improve the taste of stored water by pouring it from one clean container to another several times, to put air back into it.

Photo courtesy of Justyna Furmanczyk