Water Storage on the cheap

Water bottle spililng onto parched dry ground

Water becomes very very important when you can't get any.

If you are just beginning to prepare your family for the *weirdness that is sure to hit at some point, Water Storage can be a free or very inexpensive place to start.

* weirdness = anything that could interrupt your usual water source (contamination, water main break, earthquake, tornado, flooding, etc)

When you or your children are thirsty nothing else matters at that moment….it’s a bit like being on a road trip and hearing from the backseat the words, “I needa go bafroom” Priorities at that point change don’t they?

I suppose it’s not quite THAT urgent but the longer you are thirsty, especially for children, the more urgent it becomes.  By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and dehydration is a very dangerous problem that can lead to loss of physical and cognitive performance (not good in a crisis) heat stroke, and in sever cases even death,  but it is easily fixed if you’ve planned ahead.  Here are a few easy and cheap ways to get and store the water your family needs.

1.    Each time you enter a grocery store, go straight to the juice/water aisle and get one or 2 cases of bottled water.  The store brand or whatever is the least expensive will work great.   Put it on the rack below the basket and go on with your shopping. Those cases will add up quickly, and you’ll feel great satisfaction as you look at your pile.  We keep some of ours in the storage area under the stairs, some in our pantry and others in each car.  Don’t worry about use by date, for heaven’s sake, it’s just water.  It’s the same water that has been on the earth for years.  Remember the Water-cycle you learned about in elementary school, yep, same water.

The one thing you will notice with bottled water that is past the date stamped on the package is that the package will sometimes deflate, or collapse a bit.  That is just because the oxygen that was in the water has gone out, it’s gone flat.  That does affect the taste just a bit, it’s not that bad, but is easily fixed by adding the air back in by pouring the water back and forth between to containers a couple of times.


2.    If you prefer to buy soda UGH, (I’m not judging, just expressing my personal feelings about soda 🙂 instead of water, all is not lost. Take heart because really you’ve just purchased a water container that you’ll soon be storing water in. See there is always a bright side.  This is a bit more time intensive than just buying bottled water but, hey it’s free.

When you empty a 2-liter soda bottle or a clear juice bottle be sure you SAVE IT.   Now you just need to clean it out for your gorgeous water.

Steps for cleaning a container for storing water:

  1. Take a look at the bottom and check to make sure it says PET or PETE in or near the recycling symbol.  This indicates that it is a polyethylene plastic and it will be save to store water in.
  2. Fill the container with about a cup or two of water.  Put on lid and shake vigorously, pour out water.
  3. Squirt in a bit of dish detergent, fill half-way with very hot water, tightly replace lid and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Open lid carefully, pressure from soap will build up. Pour out soapy water over lid too because we want it clean too.
  5. Fill with cold water, letting the faucet run into the bottle, the cold water will go to the bottom and the remaining soap will be pushed out the top.
  6. Pour out this water
  7. Fill with cold water to the very top. I even like to see the water bulge a bit, then I put the lid on tight, cut of the label if it’s still on.

You might be wondering why I didn’t add bleach. The reason is that I put treated city (culinary) water into a clean container so there is no need.  If I have any concern about water quality or drink-ability, I’ll  treat it on the way out of the bottle but treating it on the way in, in these circumstances, is unnecessary.

**If you buy water for storage, DO NOT buy the kind that comes in the containers that are shaped like milk jugs.  That plastic is designed to bio-degrade and it will do just that wherever you store it and one day, in about 4-6 months you’ll have a nice big puddle of the water you so carefully purchased and stored.

What do you think?