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 Storing Water

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nwghostrider
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PostSubject: Storing Water    Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:35 pm

Storing Water

For your in-home cache or survival retreat stash, you should count on two gallons of water per-person per-day. While this is more water than necessary to survive (except in hot climates or after strenuous exertion) it ensures water is available for hygiene and cooking as well as drinking.

My personal in-home stash has enough water for a week.

Commercial gallon bottles of filtered/purified spring water often carry expiration dates two years after the bottling date. A good rotation program is necessary to ensure your supply of water remains fresh and drinkable. You can purchase cases of six one-gallon jugs, which frequently go on sale for just under 50 cents per gallon. The heavy-duty cardboard boxes stack easily and protect the jugs from rupturing.

If you prefer to store your own water, don't use milk cartons.; it's practically impossible to remove the milk residue (ugh!). Bleach bottles are recommended by others, and although I have never used this method, and apparently bleach manufacturers don't recommend it.

If you have a spare refrigerator in the basement or the garage, use PET water bottles (the kind soda or liters of water come in) to fill any available freezer space. In addition to providing you with fresh, easily transportable drinking water, the ice can be used to cool food in the refigerator in the event of a power failure. I have found that these bottles, which are clear and have screw-on caps like soda bottles, will withstand many freeze-thaw cycles without bursting or leaking. (The bottom may distort when frozen, but this isn't a big problem.) For self-storage of large amounts of water, you're probably better off with containers of at least 5 gallons. Food-grade plastic storage containers are available commercially in sizes from one gallon to 750 or more. Containers with handles and spouts are usually one to seven gallons, which will weigh up to 56 pounds. Get too far beyond that and you'll have great difficulty moving a full tank.

15 gallon and 30 gallon containers used for food service -- such as delivery of syrups to soda bottlers and other manufacturers -- are often available on the surplus market. After proper cleaning, these are ideal for water storage -- as long as a tight seal can be maintained. 55 gallon drums and larger tanks are also useful for long-term storage. But make sure you have a good pump on hand!

Solutions designed to be added to water to prepare it for long-term storage are commercially available. Bleach can also be used to treat tap water from municipal sources. Added at a rate of about 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons, bleach can ensure the water will remain drinkable. I recommend rotating the water in storage tanks every year.

Once you're in a survival situation where there is a limited amount of water, conservation is an important consideration. While drinking water is critical, water is also necessary for rehydrating and cooking dried foods. Water from boiling pasta, cooking vegetables and similar sources can and should be retained and drunk, after it has cooled. Canned vegetables also contain liquid that can be consumed.

To preserve water, save water from washing your hands, clothes and dishes to flush toilets.

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