Water Storage: A Month of Questions Answered

Water storage seems like it should be an easy topic, but when you start really getting into it it begins to feel very complicated and overwhelming. We are going to spend the next few weeks going over MANY aspects of water storage in depth and hopefully answer all of the questions that you may have regarding this subject.

Here are some of the questions we will be answering:

  • What types of water storage containers are best?
  • Where can you find containers for free or cheap?
  • How can you store water with limited storage space?
  • When and how should you treat your water before storing?
  • How often should you rotate your water and how do you do it easily?
  • How can you make water rotation more efficient?
  • What is the difference between water filtration and water purification?
  • How do you deal with long term water emergencies?
  • What are the different methods for water purification and when would you use them?
  • What is the difference between Berkey and the new Aqua Pail?

We will also be introducing a new water storage container that we recently learned about and think is great for certain circumstances. It’s going to be a busy month!

What questions do YOU have about water storage?
We asked on our Facebook page what questions people have about water storage and got a lot of great responses. Feel free to leave your own questions on that Facebook post or in the comments of this post and we will try to incorporate the answers into our posts. Here is a sample of some of the questions people are asking:


  • emorra

    I really hope that one of the topics you cover first is BPA in plastic storage containers.  People are incredibly ill-informed about what BPA is and what it’s in.

    Fwiw, BPA is only in PC (Polycarbonate) plastics marked 7 in the little triangle.  And not all 7 plastics are PC plastic (many are the new plant-based plastics), but if you want to be totally sure you avoid BPA, just avoid plastics marked 7. Plastics marked 7 were created after the number system was set up, thus why 7 is the “other plastics” category.

    I have personally never seen a water container marked 7 (other than old Nalgene and a few other brands of water bottles, and Nalgene changed what type of plastic they use when the whole BPA thing got big).

    The other types of plastic to avoid when storing water, NOT because of BPA but because they leach other chemicals are:

    PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) number 3, because it leaches phthalates which are endocrine disruptors/fake estrogen hormones which no one needs to add to their water or food.

    PS (Polystyrene) number 6, which includes styrofoam and polystyrene (usually what plastic takeout containers are made of).  This plastic is not recyclable and it leaches styrene, another endocrine disruptor/fake estrogen hormone, especially when heated (so NEVER microwave your takeout in the plastic container, heck bring your own containers like we do if you need a doggy bag!)

    We personally keep 2  55 gallon blue barrels in our basement (kept up off the concrete floor on 2x4s) for our emergency water supply, along with several cardboard boxes (about the same size as a plastic milk crate) that each hold 4 cleaned and re-used 1 gallon glass organic apple juice bottles we fill with water (we really like a local brand so we end up with lots of bottles). 

    This is plenty of water for our family of 4 for 2 weeks for cooking, but not for dishes/personal hygiene.  We also have rain barrels under our gutter downspouts to water our lawns and we’d use this water for dishes/personal hygiene and have done during the 7-day Challenges.

    We cycle through our water twice a year–at the beginning of the gardening season (for us in May) and at the end (in October)–we water all of our plants with stored water and refill each barrel after using the water on the garden.  Same with the glass bottled, these get dumped onto the garden as well and refilled.  Not quite every 6 months, but nothing gets wasted and we feel assured that our water is fresh and safe.

  • I’m so glad that you’re covering water storage. I don’t know enough about it to even ask an intelligent question! I’ll be following this discussion FOR SURE.