Letter Re: Home Water Storage in Water Cooler Bottles

I am a brand new prepper. Within the last year I have been introduced to the world of Prepping and preparedness by a co-worker of mine. I have been reading up on as much as I can, but despite my efforts at increasing my knowledge and awareness of disaster preparedness, I am woefully un-prepared for even the slightest disaster or minor interruption of my accustomed lifestyle. I am beginning to acquire some extra food items, and I am making small steps toward expanding my food and water storage.

One thing that I have been thinking about of late, is the topic of water storage. I have already determined that when the SHTF I will be bugging in, as I have a family with two young kids, and really nowhere else to go. I need to make room in my house for all of my appropriate storage needs. Right now I have a small water cooler in my house, and use the large 5 gallon bottled water jugs. As I was pouring myself a glass of water the other day, I wondered if it would be possible to use those 5 gallon water bottles for my water storage. What I would like to do is to store an extra bottle every time I have the water delivered until I obtain a suitable amount for storage. I was also wondering if I could re-use the empty bottles as well for additional storage. As I look at the bottles, I don’t think they are meant for long term storage.

My question is: Would those water bottles be a suitable method of long term water storage, and is there a way that I could provide for a better seal around the opening that would allow them to be used for long term storage? Thank you for putting up this blog, and all of the valuable insight that comes with it. I would appreciate any advice on my question. Thank you. – Matt B.

JWR Replies: Yes, those work fine. In my experience, the plastic caps that come from the spring water companies are adequate if you tape them on. But be sure to first lightly chlorinate the water. The bigger issue is exposure to sunlight. Be sure to store your water in a dark place such as a closet, to prevent algal growth.

To make water that has been stored many months more palatable for drinking, you can aerate it. This can be accomplished with a wire whisk or a hand-crank rotary egg beater. Or, lacking those, you can just rapidly pour the water back and forth between two glasses several times.