Affordable home water storage for preppers
05/08/2020 // Zoey Sky // Views

Before SHTF, it's crucial to learn how to source water and store it properly so you can make it last a long time in your survival stockpile. This important prepping skill ensures that you have water for cooking and cleaning even if you lose access to water in a survival scenario. (h/t to

Ideally, you should already have food grade containers and potable water from the tap, along with a high-quality water filter. With these tools, you can store water in your stockpile for emergency use.

One option is to purchase big blue potable water tanks, but you may need alternatives if you prefer to keep a low profile among your non-prepper neighbors.

If you don't mind lifting heavy containers after SHTF, you can keep your water stockpile in your basement. You can also store clean water in one-gallon bottles throughout your home, such as near bathrooms and your kitchen. Unlike larger containers, one-gallon jugs are more portable for your prepping needs.

Finding a water source

Count yourself lucky if the water from your tap is fluoride-free and safe to drink. To be safe, use a Berkey water filter for your cooking and drinking needs.

Get storage containers

If you have the budget to spare, purchase food grade containers for your water supply.

Don't reuse one-gallon juice bottles, which may give water a strange smell and an aftertaste. Use clean one-gallon bottles with twist-off caps or threaded lids. (Related: Prepper storage guides: Which containers should you use to store water for stockpiling?)


Other water storage options include:

  • Collapsible water carriers
  • Rain barrels
  • Single-use emergency water tubs
  • Water barrels
  • Water bricks

Sanitize your water containers

Detailed below is one way to sanitize your water containers. Make sure you use 5.25 percent or 8.25 percent sodium hypochlorite or plain household bleach.

Refrain from using scented bleaches, high-efficiency bleach, splash-less bleach or any kind of bleach for laundry purposes or for commercial or industrial use. You should also skip the bleach if you are allergic to chlorine bleach.

  1. Wash your one-gallon jugs with dish soap and warm water. Scrub in soapy water using a long-handled bottle brush. Soak water containers in soapy water for one day. While scrubbing, clean the outside of the jug, around the outside threads for the cap, and inside the neck area. Scrub the inside of the cap as well.
  2. Rinse the one-gallon jug thoroughly, then let it dry. During this step, you may use up about two to three gallons of water to rinse all the detergent residue out of the bottle.
  3. Add about two to three tablespoons of bleach into the bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with tap water. Label your bottles with the sanitize date, and set the bottles aside for two weeks. It is not safe to drink the bleached water at this stage.
  4. Empty the jugs and rinse thoroughly. Set aside and let air dry.
  5. Fill the jugs with potable water from the tap if your water is clean enough to drink right out of the tap. You can also fill the jug using the water filter system you use for cooking and drinking.

Treat the water in your stockpile

It's safe to store commercially bottled water in your stockpile, but you will need to add a drop or two of bleach per gallon of water in your long-term stockpile. Using this much bleach helps prevent the growth of any organism in your water over time.

Experts recommend adding about eight drops of plain hypochlorite bleach per gallon, which should be safe to consume. Write the date on the jug, and note if it came from the tap or if it was filtered.

Before SHTF, follow this simple method to stock up on clean water for your survival stockpile.

Sources include:

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