Storing water at home is important for surviving in the event of a major crisis or disaster. Whether filtering, purifying, or storing water, building up water reserves at home requires extensive preparation, the layout of storage spaces, learning of the corresponding health rules, filtration and purification.
This article is entirely dedicated to good practices for managing the stock of water at home.
Water supply for an adult and a family
An adult needs to drink 2L of water a day for his body to function properly, uses about 1L for bathing, and another 1L for cooking. If we consider the needs of an individual over 1 month, we must store at least:
- 60L of drinking water
- 30L more for cooking
- 30L more for washing/flushing/doing laundry
- That is a total of 120L of water/per person for 1 month of total autonomy
It is, therefore, necessary to provide a stock of water consisting of 15 bottles of 8L of spring water to meet the monthly needs of an individual deprived of running water.
For a family of 4 people, this represents 240L for 2 weeks of stock and 480L for 1 month of complete autonomy which is almost ½ ton of water.
This sounds impressive but for comparison, according to the WHO, an adult consumes about 150L of water per day or approximately 4500L per month (4.5 tons!).
Of course, if the conditions require it, it is possible to save the stock of water by drinking less, washing only every other day, and by defecating in garbage bags.
You can also count on the recovery of rainwater to maintain your water supply, wash and supply the toilet flush, but the weather must allow it. And even living in a place where it rains 50% of the time, it’s not guaranteed.
Storing water at home requires adjustments
Water is heavy (1L=1Kg) and takes up space but is absolutely essential to life. Do not hesitate to be inventive and store water at home above the cupboards, under the beds, in the cellar, or in a packing box (particularly practical for loading your vehicle in the event of evacuation).
The canister format is to be preferred because it facilitates transport and its use can be diverted if necessary (fuel storage, transformation into a bucket, etc.).
The ideal is to build up a stock of spring water in 8 to 10-liter carboys kept cool and in the dark to prevent the development of algae and microorganisms.
The stock of water in the home must always be kept cool (or at room temperature if you don’t have a cellar) but above all away from sources of light. A stock of water exposed to UV rays will develop micro-organisms and will sooner or later be unfit for consumption.
To store water at home easily, it is also possible to set aside water cows and food jerrycans of 5,10, or 20L that we will fill at the last minute if necessary, but we take the risk of being taken by the urgency and not have the possibility of doing it.
Arranging a corner of your home to accommodate the stock of water is strongly recommended.
If you store drinking water in a cellar, parking box, attic, or barn, take care to isolate your water supply from the ground by placing it on wooden planks or a carpet and covering it with a tarp to limit its exposure to light.
Water and containers are sensitive to thermal shocks, especially freezing and thawing which promote the development of harmful microorganisms and which can crack glass and plastic.
Storage of water in plastic bottles
Storing water at home by buying lots of packs is the simplest solution in case of an emergency.
Bottled water can be stored for a very long time as long as it has not been opened. Health authorities recommend consuming water from a bottle within 48 hours of opening it to avoid the development of harmful microorganisms.
The quality of water in a plastic bottle does not deteriorate unless it is exposed to light, heat, and left open.
A best before date is stamped on each bottle of water due to the decay of its mineral content over time and the plastic that breaks down and mixes with the water over time.
This is called the package-product interaction.
The expiration date of mineral water can easily be exceeded by several months or even several years without you having to fear for your health (only if the bottle had never been opened or exposed to light for too long, obviously !).
The only risk of consuming bottled water after the stated expiration date is that it tastes like plastic. This is because plastic molecules mix with water over time.
In the very long term, consuming such water repeatedly involves a risk of chemical poisoning (the micro-particles of plastic would accumulate in your kidneys).
In the best of all possible worlds, the best-before date for water in plastic bottles should therefore be respected. But if you have nothing more than that to drink, it is better to take this minor risk than die dehydrated!
Storing water in glass bottles is the best solution, but the cost, fragility, and weight of these containers make them unattractive in a survivalist logic.
To store water at home, it is better to rely on carboys and plastic water packs. By organizing the rotation of your stocks, you will avoid any risk of exceeding their expiry dates in a “normal” situation.
Running water from the public network
Water from the public network is treated for immediate consumption. This reputedly healthy water but kept too long at home or used in poor conditions can become undrinkable and dangerous.
The problem of storing and conserving drinking water for domestic use is very old and has come back in force in recent years.
To safely consume tap water from the public network, ultra-efficient filters such as the Big Berkey can be used. These systems that allow you to purify and consume even totally dirty water are a must-have for any person.
To store drinking water from the tap at home and let it “sleep” until it is needed, it must be treated first.
For this, it is possible to use silver salt table filtration of water using a suitable device that allows the blocking of foreign bodies, viruses, and large molecules. However, while effective and useful, this process is not a guarantee of healthy water on its own and is therefore not 100% reliable in protecting you from disease or poisoning.
such as Micropur, but your drinking water stocks can also be purified with bleach.
Filtering water at home
Filtration is done using a filter that you can buy commercially or make yourself if the circumstances require it. If your budget you should buy a water purifier to provide your family with fresh and clean drinking water. There are several ro service centers that provide doorstep services.
This step is used to remove as many impurities as possible from the water you wish to consume or store.
After filtration, water purification can be done by boiling, exposure to UV rays, or chemical treatment.
Important: once purified, the water must not be transferred to a container whose cleanliness you do not know: this could contaminate it and the operation would have to be repeated.
Name – Sunil Trivedi
Bio – Sunil Trivedi is the Managing Director of Aqua Drink. With 15 years of experience in the water purification industry, Sunil and his team have been ensuring that his clients consume 100% potable water to lead a healthy life and keep water-borne diseases miles away.