In much of the northern and western hemispheres, people experience extremely hot weather. Perhaps you have considered buying a pitcher of water to keep in your fridge when you come in due to the heat?
Tap water can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months. We recommend using a glass container to prevent potentially harmful toxins from entering the water. After 6 months, you are at risk of developing potentially harmful toxins or bacteria in the water.
Be sure to replace the water regularly to prevent this from happening.
What should you do if you learn of a possible natural disaster? How to prepare water for long-term storage? What is the best container to store water in an emergency? We will give you all the details you need in this article!
Is the tap water going bad?
Tap water is not bad, but it can be contaminated. Tap water will last up to six months if stored properly in the refrigerator.
Water often deteriorates due to environmental factors, such as water contamination or the presence of bacteria. However, as long as it is kept in a safe place and away from potential contaminants, it should last up to 6 months.
If you want to store tap water in the refrigerator, you need to boil it first. This will kill most bacteria and germs, preventing the water from becoming toxic. However, even if you leave the water unboiled, as long as you store it in the refrigerator, it is unlikely to spoil.
To prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, and other potentially harmful contaminants in the water, sanitize the container before use.
Ideally, you should only use a metal or glass container instead of a plastic one for long-term storage. Plastic contains toxins that can leach into the water, so it’s not ideal for long-term storage.
Do not use an unwashed and unsanitized container. This will further prevent potential contaminants from building up in the water. Preferably, unless processing for long-term storage, keep refrigerated for best quality.
How to know if the water has deteriorated?
Water that has gone bad usually smells musty, is cloudy, and may contain residue. Turbidity could represent the presence of bacteria or microorganisms in the water. Mold can indicate that there are debris or contaminants in the water.
As mentioned in the previous section, water does not “go bad” in the conventional sense. Water has no components that spoil its compositional elements.
Milk, for example, contains lactose which can go bad and ferment over time. Water has no such thing. However, water is a solvent, which means that it breaks down and absorbs elements from the environment around it.
Water can absorb toxins from the surrounding area, especially if it sits or flows in that space for a while. Cloudy colors, cloudy surfaces, or a putrid or musty odor can indicate the presence of such contaminants.
If you notice algae or mold inside the water tank, you should not drink the water. Mold and algae usually appear in water that has been in a humid space for a long time. Mold and algae are generally harmless; however, some strains are very dangerous if consumed.
Always discard the water if you notice the presence of mold or algae. The jar must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If you can’t kill the mold or algae, you should throw the container away.
Can you get sick from drinking ancient water?
Water that contains dangerous pathogens, bacteria, or other contaminants can make you very sick. However, the water does not expire. Therefore, drinking old water will not harm you. However, drinking contaminated water can harm you.
Old water may taste and smell musty. This is sometimes unpleasant, which is why many water companies add minerals to improve the taste of bottled water.
However, this taste does not indicate that the water has gone bad. It’s just oxidation and the minerals in the water break down over time and the water loses its taste.
However, contaminated water can harm the body. Bacteria, pathogens, and other microbes can cause digestive upset. This includes parasites that infest the intestines, leading to extreme dehydration and cramping.
Also, water contaminated with heavy metals like lead can cause psychological and medical disorders. Cases like the Water Pollution Scandal in Flint, Michigan caused many to suffer from lead poisoning and Legionnaires’ disease.
However, the ancient water is not dangerous to drink. The contamination is present before the water ages or is caused by cross-contamination while it is in the bottle.
How to store water for long-term storage?
Tap water should be stored in a clean container with a lid in the refrigerator. This should keep the water clean and free of cross contamination for up to 6 months.
To keep your tap water at room temperature for a long period of time, you need to disinfect the container and the water. Be sure to keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight to keep the water temperature cool.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Preventionis the safest way to conserve water for long-term storage:
- Disinfect your water source
- Disinfect your water tanks
- Make sure the container is tightly closed.
- Store in a dark, dry place (a basement or closet)
- Try to keep the space cool and free of chemical cleaners.
To disinfect water, the CDC recommends using one of several methods. These include:
- Boiled water
- Use chlorine bleach
- purification tablets
The CDC recommends boiling your water source if possible and distilling it for a day or two if possible. This will result in more hygienic water as it helps purge the water of most bacteria and heavy metals.
Distillation is to boil the water and give it time to settle before moving it to the permanent storage container.
If you have an emergency and can’t get to a burner and don’t have time to distill the water, you can use a sanitizer.
The most common disinfectant of choice is bleach, which is not deadly as long as it is diluted correctly. Follow the directions on the bottle if available.
If you can’t read the label or if it’s no longer attached to the bottle, follow these steps for 5-9% bleach:
|Measurement method||1 liter of water (or liter)||1 gallon of water||5 gallons of water|
|Dropper||2 drops of bleach||8 drops of bleach||40 drops of bleach|
|measuring spoons||Less than ⅛ teaspoon||⅛ teaspoon||½ teaspoon of bleach|
How long is tap water safe to drink?
Tap water that has not been purified and is stored in a plastic container should only be stored for 6 months. After 6 months, you are at risk of developing unfiltered bacteria or plastic contaminants in your water.
It could be harmful to your health if you drink it for a long time. Emergency supplies of purified water can be stored for up to 12 months.
If you follow the CDC recommendations for long-term water storage, you can store water for up to 12 months. Although you can reuse plastic gallon jugs, we don’t recommend it if you have other options.
Be sure to replace your home water supply every 6 to 12 months to ensure it is fresh and free of contaminants.
the Florida IFAS recommends that people maintain a minimum of 3 days of water supply. Each person in your household should have at least 1.5 gallons of water per day. If you are alone, you should have at least 4.5 gallons of water in your emergency supply.
Replace the tap water stored in the refrigerator every two weeks if you have not followed any purification method.
If you boil the water and wash the water tank regularly, you can keep it for 6 months. However, if you just fill a plastic bottle straight from the tap, be sure to drink it within a few weeks.
How to store water long term in the freezer
Another great method of long-term water storage is to keep it in the freezer. This is one of the best options because it prevents plastics from contaminating the water. It also stops the growth of bacteria and keeps the water pure and drinkable.
To store tap water in your freezer, start by boiling the water for 10-15 minutes, then allow it to cool. In the meantime, find your plastic water bottles and clean them up.
You can wash them with warm soapy water, then let them air dry. You can also use hot water and diluted bleach, let sit for a few minutes, then let the bottle air dry.
Pour the water into the container and seal. The best storage bottles for this type are old soda or sparkling water bottles. We recommend 2 liter bottles. This is the best option as they have a twist off lid which will prevent spillage or cross contamination in the freezer.
In this way, you can store frozen water for up to 2 years. As a bonus, if you lose power in an emergency, these bottles will also keep your frozen foods fresh longer.
What is the best container to store water?
The best container for water storage differs depending on the storage method. For short-term storage of water in the refrigerator, we recommend an easy-to-clean glass container. We recommend food-grade plastic bottles, jerrycans, or other emergency containers for long-term storage.
Glass or less breakable containers are best for short-term storage in the refrigerator. This prevents the water from becoming contaminated with toxins from the plastic container and allows you to easily clean the container.
However, plastic is better if you’re looking for long-term water storage. You can use simple gallon sized plastic containers, but that’s not the best option. Instead, you should choose a heavy, opaque plastic container to store water.
The CDC recommends large, opaque water containers with the FDA seal of approval. These contain fewer potential toxins and are designed to prevent cross contamination. You can find these containers at military supply stores or camping stores.
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