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I was thinking about picking up a couple of 5 gallon bottles of water every week or so, I'm talking about Sparklets type bottles. If these are kept mostly in the dark and in a cool room how long will they stay fresh? I'm also looking at some form of water filtering device as well. Thanks for any help.

Casey
 

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Cool water won't get bacteria in it as fast as warm water. Bleachis the answer to stop mold. Three drops per gallon to stop bacteria from forming. 5-7 drops per gallon for water already with bacteria in it.
Rather then buying bottled water, though I do have a few cases, I prefer the blue plastic fuel cans for storing water. Use the blue ones so they don't get confused with the organge ones with fuel in them. Plus the fuel cans are easy enough to rinse out with bleach.

Now, as per filters, I prefer an assortment. For convenience, I like keeping the brita water bottles with the built in filter in the truck.

HH
 

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i store a 300 gallon tank in my garage and a few 5 gallon tanks meant for water coolers and such. i have some that are sealed and almost 2 years old. it tastes a bit stale but it doesnt gie me any GI issues. i just rotated it out as 2 years is about as long as i felt confortable with. not sure water ever really goes bad even if it tastes stale. you can pour it back and forth between two cups to aerate it and that helps with the taste.

as far as filters, i would say that the berkey water filters are generally thought of as the best but they arent cheap. there is also a cheaper prep type filter build called a bucket berkey. buy filters online and store them with a couple 5 gallon buckets and have a gravity drip filter.

here is a decent place to get real berkey filters. http://www.directive21.com/

here is a ready made bucket berkey. http://www.disasterstuff.com/store/pc/Bucket-Berkey-Water-Filter-20p1202.htm

DIY video. [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KExgPPfF2o&feature=related[/ame]
 

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I hear in the news all the time that bottled water has more bacteria than municipal tap water and that justifies my frugal practice of storing tap water in large camping type containers, with the addition of chlorine bleach. That way you can also completely refresh your supply whenever you want. This is not to say that I don't also keep some bottled H2O around because I do, if only to have the handy sized and surprisingly reusable containers if things go bad.

As far as water filters go, if you mean portable ones then Katadyn is Cadillac and their 'Pocket' filter the top of the line- because it will last virtually forever. Whatever you buy in the portable line, outdoors types found out long ago that the straight pump design (as seen in the Pocket) is much more durable than a cammed version or one with pivot points for leverage, like say is seen in an old fashioned well hand pump. Filters are not as popular as they once were during the big beaver fever scares of past years, so I have to recommend shopping online- unless you know a really good and fairly large local store.
 

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Cool water won't get bacteria in it as fast as warm water. Bleachis the answer to stop mold. Three drops per gallon to stop bacteria from forming. 5-7 drops per gallon for water already with bacteria in it.
Rather then buying bottled water, though I do have a few cases, I prefer the blue plastic fuel cans for storing water. Use the blue ones so they don't get confused with the organge ones with fuel in them. Plus the fuel cans are easy enough to rinse out with bleach.

Now, as per filters, I prefer an assortment. For convenience, I like keeping the brita water bottles with the built in filter in the truck.

HH
HH:
3 Drops Per Gallon...What Do You Think That Would Be In A 5-Gallon Jug(I know...15 Drops! GI2)...Like a Tablespoon?
If a guy puts Too Much(NOT WAY Too Much, Just A Little Too Much)Liquid Laundry Bleach In A Jug...Is That Just Going To Make The Water TASTE Strongly Of Bleach? No Other Ill Effects?
Also, How Many Months Do You Think That Water Would Stay 'Ok'?
I ask because of the Cold Winters here in Wyoming...I Really Can't Store Water In The Garage...If I Store It Indoors, It has to go way back 'out of the way', and not at all handy to 're-fill'...
Do You think it would be safe from say, October through March?
Thanks!

CAVman in WYoming
 

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I think you would be fine storing water jugs about 90% full in your garage. So what if they freeze & then thaw. Also, bleaching out the inside of any container before adding water for storeage is a smart idea.

I prefer my stored water have a very slight smell of bleach. That way I know its bacteria free. Unscented Clorox bleach is the choice for purifying water as per both FEMA & the Red Cross.
As per bleach smell, most city water has a slight bleach smell which the FDA says is fine.

And yes, the problem with "natural spring water" is there is no bleach in it to stop bacteria from starting. And that is why it has a fairly short shelf life.

The whole idea behind the stored water is adding enough bleach that bacteria can't start growing.

HH
 

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I think you would be fine storing water jugs about 90% full in your garage. So what if they freeze & then thaw. Also, bleaching out the inside of any container before adding water for storeage is a smart idea.

I prefer my stored water have a very slight smell of bleach. That way I know its bacteria free. Unscented Clorox bleach is the choice for purifying water as per both FEMA & the Red Cross.
As per bleach smell, most city water has a slight bleach smell which the FDA says is fine.
And yes, the problem with "natural spring water" is there is no bleach in it to stop bacteria from starting. And that is why it has a fairly short shelf life.

The whole idea behind the stored water is adding enough bleach that bacteria can't start growing.

HH


Agree with HH's advice above. Anywhere from 4-8 drops of unscented bleach, depending on the source of the water. You do want to have a slight chlorine taste. That way you know you have added enough to kill any bacteria that wants to form for short/long term storage. Main source of water is rooftop runoff in 5gal. watercooler bottles which are pre-filtered by a coffee filter to get out any large debris. That then goes into a black Berky Gravity Filter similar to the 2nd link in post #3. Once filtered it goes back into another clean 5gal watercooler bottle with the chlorine added. Chlorine does not have to be added if water is to be used w/i 6 months. I have 10 of these 5 gal water jugs on hand at all times. Got thru my bottled water company for $5 deposit, and have a built in carrying handle. 5 gal bottles are about as much as can be considered portable for my usage. If SHTF, my $5 deposit will be well spent on these bottles. For larger storage, I have a super cleaned spare bathtub that can be used for that purpose. BTW: the Berky Bucket in post #3 is about as cheap as you can get one for a DIY project. dozier
 

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I think you would be fine storing water jugs about 90% full in your garage. So what if they freeze & then thaw. HH
In that sort of situation, I'm careful to squeeze some air out of the container, supposing it's airtight, so there is certain to be some room for expansion. Even plastic containers should still be flexible enough at the critical temp range, within a few degrees of freezing, which is when the water expands into ice and then stops. But OTOH I've had REALLY bad luck with unopened metal soda cans that accidentally get left in my Canadian car....
 

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Where you seriously need a Berkley filter or similar is where the water might have too much minerals or chemical. "Good" water you just need to be concerned with bacteria & the unscented Clorox takes care of that.

Now, if chemicals or minerals are a concern, I would definately recommend running that water threw the filter BEFORE putting into my storeage containers so as not to contaminate them. Use something like a 5gal bucket to collect the water initially but mark that bucket as being contaminated.

As per water stored for six months or less not needing bleach, that mainly depends on the quality of the water initially & the temperature it is stored.
Here in Florida, in the summer, I have to bleach out all the dog water bowls weekly because of bacteria forming.

HH
 

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soda bottles can be left in a vehicle nearly full and they are stron enough to withstand freezing cycles.

if you get a bit too much bleach in your water, it can be relieved a bit by pouring it back and forth between a couple cups. this will aerate the water and allow the bleach to evaporate out a bit faster.

i may be wrong, but iirc, i looked at the brita filters at walmart and it was more of a kitchen sink type filter and it wasnt for removing bacteria and viruses. may want to check that again and i may be wrong.

berkey filters are also great for filtering out rain water and all the stuff that may be in it coming off of your roof.
 

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I absolutely agree a Berkley filter is a better choice then a Brita filter. But the Brita filter is affordable & better then nothing. No matter what filter you use, you want to prefilter that water to get the big chunks out. Things cheap like coffee filters will make your filter last alot longer.

HH
 

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soda bottles can be left in a vehicle nearly full and they are stron enough to withstand freezing cycles.

if you get a bit too much bleach in your water, it can be relieved a bit by pouring it back and forth between a couple cups. this will aerate the water and allow the bleach to evaporate out a bit faster.

i may be wrong, but iirc, i looked at the brita filters at walmart and it was more of a kitchen sink type filter and it wasnt for removing bacteria and viruses. may want to check that again and i may be wrong.

berkey filters are also great for filtering out rain water and all the stuff that may be in it coming off of your roof.

The reason I mention the Berky Gravity Filter is that in the event of a lack of enough rainfall, my secondary water source is a pond in my back yard. This pond runs the length of my subdivision, and definetly would need proper filtering/purifying. Needless to say since I already have a homemade Berky, it's going to be used no matter what the source of water. dozier
 

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If the container is sealed (never opened), in a cool dark place, it should last at least a year.

Best prepare now, I think we will have a water shortage here in the US and It could be a bad one. Think about it, our airports, federal buildings, and banks are protected, but who is protecting our water supply? YUP NOT A SOLE.
 

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Best to have layers of water supply readily available. It's easy to stock up on 1 gallon jugs from the store, like many have said you only get a year or two out of them though. You could also get one of those bladder kits that fills up your bathtub, good for 60 gallons or so. Layer two could be a few 55 gallon barrels of water (lots of places sell these, about $100 or so) storage kits, additives make them good for 5 years.

Finally, at an average consumption rate of 3-4 gallons per person/day (drinking, cooking, washing) even a larger stash of a few hundred gallons won't last long. You'll need a way to purify water from a lake or river. Like many have said, you can't beat a Berkey. A filter kit will run about $230 and can do about 10,000 gallons. If you can't swing the Berkey other places (like Cheaperthandirt.com) sell filter kits that you can use with two 5 gallon buckets, will run you less than $50 total with parts.

The bottom line is water (in my opinion) is more important than guns, food, ANYTHING. You can never prepare enough for water shortages.
 

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I already got burned on this so I thought I would pass it on...


Make sure you use pure 6% bleach. Don't use the Clorox "splashless" bleach.

It has something in it that makes it soapy.
 

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The scented and fabric-friendly versions are also to be avoided. I favour a no-name brand because you know they're not going to be adding expensive ingredients no matter what! GI2
 

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We live in guatemala. We built our house here, and we have a cistern of
16,000 gallons of water. We use it for drinking, showers etc. We have never added any chemicals, use a small filter hooked to our pump system and we've used this water for twenty years with never a problem.

If the water is maintained cool, and covered it will almost go forever.
 

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I'm sure no expert and maybe someone here can correct me if I'm wrong. But water doesn't spoil. It can become contaminated, possibly even before you get it. But "good" water stored in sealed, air tight containers should last as long as the container (if it's air tight). Then, when you take it out, just pour it back and forth between containers to aereate it and it should be fine. If you're still concerned, at that time, add a few drops of bleach, boil or filter as you choose.
 
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