Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Water Storage- Step Two: Bottling Your Own Water

For more on water storage, click here.
For more emergency prep and food storage help, click here.

So now that we know the proper storage for water, let's talk about storing your own water. You have water in your house, so why not make water storage free (or very close to it)! Below are the steps to bottle your own water.

  1. Choosing Storage Containers. Never use any container that has held chemicals or other hazardous material in it. Even if you think it has been cleaned very well, there is always the chance the chemicals are in the plastic. It is better to find other options. Never use glass or cardboard (such as OJ cartons) containers, glass breaks easily and cardboard does not seal well enough to keep out contaminants. Avoid the use of milk jugs (or any jug that looks like a milk jug) as they are brittle and break down quicker. They also don't seal as well.  However, you can use them as a short term solution until you can collect better containers. Choose soda bottles or other bottles of similar plastic such as juice bottles and sports drink bottles , or you can purchase commercially manufactured water storage containers (these are made specifically for long term water storage).
  2. Cleaning the Container. Clean the container (including lid!) with soap and water, and thoroughly rinse it so that there is no soap residue left behind.
  3. Sanitizing the Container. To sanitize the container, with a solution of 8-10 drops of chlorine bleach* in two cups water. Swish it around so it touches all surfaces, including the lid. Thoroughly rinse the container with fresh water. If you will be sanitizing many containers, you can also mix a tsp of bleach in a quart of water.
  4. Filling the Container.  Fill with tap water all the way to the top. If you have commercially treated water, such as through a utility provider, you will not need to do anything else to it as your water has already been treated with chlorine. Skip to step 6. If you have water from a private water source, such as a well, you will need to treat your water continue on step 5.
  5. Treating Your Water. Again, this step only applies to those who obtain water from water sources not commercially treated. To treat your water, add two drops of bleach to the water.
  6. Sealing the Container. To seal the container simply replace the lid and screw it on tightly. Be sure not to touch the inside of the cap when handling it. (If you do, just clean it again.)
  7. Labeling the Container. Label your container with the words "drinking water." 
  8. Dating the Container. Date the container with the date that you bottled the water. This will help you with your rotation. (Remember to replace or use it within 6 months.)
  9. Storing the Container. Store in a cool, dark place. 
  10. Using the Water. Use as you normally do. Sometimes it will taste a little off, if this happens just pass the water back and forth between two containers. It usually is just in need of oxygen.
*The term bleach means non-scented liquid household bleach.

See how easy that is? I hope you will consider getting started on bottling your own water. Next week we will look at finding sources of water in your home.

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