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Discussion Starter #1
When I fill up water that I will store for a significant amount of time- How often should I change the water to prevent it from going bad? ....Water does go bad after a while? Also, is there anything that you can add to the water to extend the life of it? If so how much does it cost...
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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You can add unscented chlorox bleach to keep the water safe. I think the recommended dose is 16 drops per gallon, but I start at 8 and use my nose to tell the right amount. The water should have a faint chlorine scent. If it doesn't, add a little more bleach and repeat until it does.
 

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Yep, what Mike said as far as chlorine bleack. For storage vessels, .. I noticed 12 used water heaters sitting behind a local plumbers shop near me. If the water tanks are good (bad burners etc), I'd bet I could get a couple for hauling them away. If I talk to them, I'll make a posting. 30 to 40 gallons capacity each.
 

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You can add unscented chlorox bleach to keep the water safe. I think the recommended dose is 16 drops per gallon, but I start at 8 and use my nose to tell the right amount. The water should have a faint chlorine scent. If it doesn't, add a little more bleach and repeat until it does.
how long will that keep the water good for tho, and without it, how long will the water be good for?
 

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how long will that keep the water good for tho, and without it, how long will the water be good for?
You can always retreat it every 6 months or however often you need to. As long as there is a chlorine scent to the water, bacteria can't grow in it. This is why I prefer to use my nose rather than some set measurement when adding bleach. I keep water stored, and the time it goes between retreatment depends on heat and other factors. If you can't smell chlorine, then it's time to add a little more. Without it, you still have some residual chlorine from the tap. It's probably good for 3 months or so. Again, use your nose.
 

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Yep, what Mike said as far as chlorine bleack. For storage vessels, .. I noticed 12 used water heaters sitting behind a local plumbers shop near me. If the water tanks are good (bad burners etc), I'd bet I could get a couple for hauling them away. If I talk to them, I'll make a posting. 30 to 40 gallons capacity each.

WSierra,

If the tanks are good, could you plumb them in line to your water main so the water ran through them? You'd never have to treat the water if you could.
 

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I have wondered this also after getting very, very sick from drinking some water that had been stored for about 3 months. :xeye: It still smelled of bleach and I let it sit overnight before using it, but everyone who drank that water (me, the dog and the cats) had really bad stomach aches -- and the trots -- for 3 or so days.

Makes me a little leary of drinking anything that has set for a while.
 

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I have wondered this also after getting very, very sick from drinking some water that had been stored for about 3 months. :xeye: It still smelled of bleach and I let it sit overnight before using it, but everyone who drank that water (me, the dog and the cats) had really bad stomach aches -- and the trots -- for 3 or so days.

Makes me a little leary of drinking anything that has set for a while.
Dang, that's scary. I don't blame you for being leary. Did it sit out open or anything?
 

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Treating self stored water with chlorine isn't easy. Bleach treatments generally make water safe for cleaning and bathing but not necessarily safe for drinking. I turn over my emergency supply every three months. I also keep some PUR water filters on hand to filter any stored water in the event I need to drink it.

Boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes will always make it safe. So will other camping treatment options like Polar Pure.
 

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Dang, that's scary. I don't blame you for being leary. Did it sit out open or anything?
Nope. Was in the cabin the whole time with me and the critters. I just happened to be taking a class for food service managers at the time and the instructor (who was a MD) said she thought it was giardia, but I don't know because it was tap water from home.

All I know is the water we have stored now for drinking/cooking/washing dishes is from the store. May be expensive but I could give a rat's pattootie!! LOL

We do have some water in 5-gal containers but I am not sure you could convince me to drink it if you had to! **shudder** :xeye:
 

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Water storage - shelf life

I have heard from various sources over the years that chlorine disinfected water can store for up to two years. But most people suggest rotating it sooner than that (every 6 months or annually.) There are some Oxygen treatment drops that you can add that may help extend the shelf life. It's called Aerobic Stabilized Oxygen (http://www.disasterstuff.com/store/pc/Stabilized-Oxygen-Aerobic-7-69p155.htm) I've never bought anything from them. It was the only place I could find that had it specifically for water treatment. Some people also use it as a supplement.) It is supposed to extend the life of stored water for up to 3 to 5 years or so. To be safe I would suggest rotating your water every 6 months to a year. You can also check for leaks at that time too. A friend of mine has water in 55 gal drums that he stored in 2000. I told him he needs to dump it and replenish it.
If you don't want to drink chlorine (I don't), you can filter the water to remove the chlorine before drinking if you have a bottle filter or stand alone gravity filter (like a Berkey, etc.)
 

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Just a point of clarification- If you put clean water in a clean container it will stay drinkable forever. If stored water is not drinkable either it or the container weren't clean when it was stored.

The trick is cleaning the container well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just a point of clarification- If you put clean water in a clean container it will stay drinkable forever. If stored water is not drinkable either it or the container weren't clean when it was stored.

The trick is cleaning the container well.
So you're saying that steryl water you get from the pharmacy to clean wounds will NEVER go bad?
 

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sterile water

So you're saying that steryl water you get from the pharmacy to clean wounds will NEVER go bad?
I don't know if it will go bad, but there is an expiration date on each bottle, moreso for the sterility of the water.

Having drunk sterile water in the OR when I couldn't get out of a case, I can tell you it does not taste pleasant.
 

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Links to information on water storage/shelf life

Since this is such a crucial topic, I've posted some information links on water storage. There are various opinions. The first link is a FEMA document that has information on water supplies including "If You Are Preparing Your Own Containers of Water"

http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf
http://www.standeyo.com/News_Files/LTAH_Water_Store3.html
http://theepicenter.com/tow02236.html
http://www.storablefoods.com/water_storage.html

Hope this is helpful.
 

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Re: Using Bleach to Disinfect Drinking Water

beware of bleach it loses 50% of its strength in one year of storage. If it is old you need to at least double the doses.
Better yet, make your own bleach mixture. Buy powdered calcium hypochlorite, sometimes sold as "Pool Shock," or something similar:



How to Disinfect Water Using Calcium Hypochlorite

Using granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water is a two step process.

1. To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.
2. To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.
3. Let the mixture sit for at least one-half hour before drinking.

Be sure to obtain the dry granular calcium hypochlorite since once it is made into a liquid solution it will begin to degrade and eventually become useless as a disinfecting agent. This also means you should make your treated drinking water in small batches, for example enough for a few weeks at a time at most.

Another plus for using calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water for emergency use is that a little goes a very long way. A 1-pound pag of calcium hypochlorite in granular form typically costs only a few $US dollars and can be obtained in any swimming pool supply section of your hardware store or online. This amount will treat up to 10,000 gallons of drinking water, which is enough for a family of four for some six or seven years at a gallon per day per person!

Calcium hypochlorite will store for a long period of time and remain effective as a chemical drinking water treatment. So get rid of the household bleach and buy a can of Calcium hypochlorite for your disaster emergency water disinfection needs. It lasts far longer and treats far more water than the traditional chlorine bleach water disinfection treatment.
I have three pounds stashed away. Should last for quite a while, assuming I can find fresh water.
 
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