Water Storage & Treatment

Water Storage

Your body is 60 to 70 percent water. It’s necessary for all bodily functions. You can only last three to four days without it. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Water is vital to our survival, so it’s important to store a MINIMUM of 1 gallon of water per person per day in preparation for an emergency. That’s a 1⁄2 gallon for drinking and a 1⁄2 gallon for food preparation and sanitation. You will need more at high altitudes or in dry climates. People who are older or sick, children, nursing mothers, and those who are physically exerting themselves will also need more.

Store a MINIMUM 2 week supply (14 gallons each) for you and your family in clean, airtight containers. Look for the “HDPE” and “2” label on containers for safe, long term storage.

You don’t need to do anything to municipal “tap” water before filling your containers. It is already treated and ready for your storage. Be sure to fill your containers full. This keeps their gaskets moist and maintains an airtight seal.

After filling, put your water storage in an area or areas of your house that are cool, dark, and dry. Check your containers yearly and replace the water as necessary. If there are no leaks or contamination, water can be stored for 5 years or longer without rotation.

DO NOT store water in glass or metal because of breaking and rust.
DO NOT store water in milk jugs. They break down and become brittle.
DO NOT store water in containers which held hazardous chemicals.

Water Treatment

In an emergency situation, you may find yourself without clean and safe drinking water. Use the following process to treat most water and make it safe for drinking, cooking, first-aid, and hygiene. Remember to always start with the cleanest water you can find.

  1. Pre-Filter: Filter water through cloth, cotton, or coffee filters to remove large particles. This will keep your main filter from clogging.
  2. Filter: Put your pre-filtered water through your main filter. Many commercially purchased filters remove chemicals, sediments, microorganisms, and heavy metals. Most filters do not remove viruses. There are many sizes, styles, options, and levels of quality in water filters. Ask your local outdoor or preparedness dealer to help you find one that will meet your preparedness needs and budget.
  3. Purification is the final process that kills any remaining microorganisms in the water. There are different kinds of purification; these are the most common.
    ● Boiling: A rolling boil for 3 minutes at Utah’s average elevation will kill all organisms in the water. Higher elevations will require a longer boiling time. A lid helps water boil faster and prevents loss from evaporation.
    ● Iodine Tablets: DO NOT use if pregnant, have an allergy to iodine, have a thyroid problem, or for longer than a few weeks. Follow manufacturer’s directions.
    ● Bleach has a one-year shelf life. Only use unscented, uncolored bleach. Add 8 drops of bleach to one gallon of untreated water and let it set for 30 minutes. If it does not have a slight bleach smell, repeat the process with 8 more drops.
    ● Chlorine Dioxide is iodine and chlorine free. It is significantly stronger than iodine, with greater microorganism killing power. Chlorine dioxide does not discolor water, nor does it give water an unpleasant taste. Chlorine dioxide is often used to improve the taste of water. Follow manufacturer’s directions.

December Goal: Get a one-week supply of water for each person in your family.

A 40 pack of 16-ounce water bottles equal five gallons of water. A 24 pack of 16-ounce water bottles equals three gallons of water.

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