Choosing the right water containers for your space
While we can never store enough water, there is a limit on how much we feasibly can store. Larger containers are more useful for long term storage but are treated differently. You must first decide where your long-term water storage is going to be placed before you select which containers to buy. The more room you have, the bigger container options become available to you.
Selecting storage locations
Assess your storage space for the following:
Should provide optimal conditions that are cool, dry, and dark. Light exposure promotes organism growth, quickly reducing your water storage time.
- Larger spaces can include basements, cellars, and garages.
- Garages must be used with caution as temps fluctuate dramatically. Make plans to block the light.
- For smaller spaces consider bedroom and hallway closet space and areas under each bed.
- There is one outdoor option as well. See Waterfull Barrel below.
Long-Term Water Storage
Once you’ve chosen the best places that offer the best conditions, you can move on to finding the containers that serve your space the best. The more space, the more storage container options there are to choose from. The containers listed here are not the only ones available, but they are some of the most popular.
Now that you know what type of containers you want to buy, here are a few pointers when looking for a reputable vendor. Remember, not all plastic is created equal when it comes to water storage.
Buying the right type of plastic for drinking
What to look for when buying
- Invest only in high grade materials by purchasing containers meant for water storage.
- Long-term water storage must be kept in heavy-duty plastic containers.
- They are often blue and opaque so light cannot get through easily.
- They are made from BPA free, HDPE (high density polyethylene) food grade plastic. Do not skimp on this step.
What not to buy or use
- 1 gallon plastic containers available at your grocery store are not suitable for long term storage as the plastic can crack over time. Only use for short term rotation.
- Do not buy used food containers in case someone has stored some type of chemical that will not come out with any amount of washing. This could contaminate your water storage.
- Do not buy any containers from Craigs List, eBay, etc. unless you personally know the seller.
- Avoid clear soda-type containers as light is an enemy.
Once you have invested your time and money, this last step is vital to the success of your long-term storage.
Your chosen location should provide optimal conditions that are cool, dry, and dark with temperatures between 50°F –70°F. Garages get warm to hot in the summer so use your garage as last resort unless you are willing to rotate your water supply every six months.
It is imperative that you minimize the light, or at the very least, direct sunlight. Light exposure promotes organism growth, quickly reducing your water storage time.
Store your water containers at least 6 inches from the ground. Learn more about water storage placement.