How to Store 5 Gallon Water Jugs (The Only Guide You Need)

This post will provide you with the necessary information and storage suggestions for 5-gallon water jugs, how much you need to reserve, and the requirements for a container and sanitization.

It’s crucial to know how long 5-gallon water bottles last, whether you’re preparing for an emergency or have an excess supply. After all, you don’t want to drink contaminated water.

The good news is that there are jugs that are pretty long-lasting. There are a few things to bear in mind, though. Don’t worry because we’ll get to it in this article. 

Keep in mind that safe drinkable water may not be accessible during a water-related disaster or epidemic. In some areas, it’s even scarce. 

Thus, it is best to start creating and storing a water supply now so that you will be able to fulfill your family’s needs in an emergency or water shortage.

Let’s dive in and go over everything you need to know on how to store 5 gallon water jugs.

bottled water in different colored leads

Unopened, commercially packaged water is the best and most reliable water supply in an emergency.

If bottled water isn’t accessible, you may make your tap water safe to drink by boiling it.

Boil your water before drinking it is the best, easiest, and less expensive method you can do to ensure safe drinking water. And it’s the most effective way to destroy disease-causing organisms, viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

How Much Water Should You Stash in Case of an Emergency?

bottle used for collecting water

Save at least 1 gallon of water per person every day for three days for drinking and sanitation.

From these parameters, you can start calculating how much water you need to reserve to have 5 gallons of water for each individual in your household or even just for yourself and for how it should last. If at all feasible, have a two-week supply on hand.

Consider keeping additional water for hot areas, pregnant ladies, and ill people. If you are in a place where the water supply often gets interrupted, you might need to reserve some more for washing dishes, clothes, bathing, cooking, etc.

When using store-bought water, keep an eye on the expiration date. Most people tend to forget this step when grocery shopping. For you and your family’s safety, make sure to check the date.

Every six months, replace non-store-bought water. Neglecting stock water for too long can cause contamination and health risks when consumed. A quick tip, use a permanent marker (on Amazon) and put the date on your container that’s visible to anyone who would attempt to use it.

Keep a container of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach on hand to disinfect your water and sanitize general cleaning. Ensure that the label specifies it contains between 5% and 9% sodium hypochlorite.

Picking the Right Container

blue water container set

Food-grade water storage containers are preferred when storing safe water or treated water to make it safe to drink since they do not transmit harmful compounds into the reserved water.

You can find food-grade storage containers that have been certified by the FDA at surplus or camping supply stores. Contact the manufacturer if you’re unsure if a storage container is food-grade.

If you can’t use a food-grade water storage unit, make sure the container you use has a top that can be firmly closed. This feature will help you ensure that it will not catch any inserts or pollutants.

Also, you can check and ensure the container is tough and indestructible materials, unlike glass. Water containers usually come in solid plastic material, which can last a long time.

Lastly, use a container with a thin neck or aperture. In this way, you can drain the water with ease.

Cleaned and Sanitized

water splashing on two 5 gallon water containers

It is a must to clean and sterilize water storage containers before filling them with safe water. Here are the steps to help you if you’re unsure how to accomplish it.

First, you need to rinse the storage container well with water after washing it. Use one teaspoon of unscented liquid home chlorine bleach in 1-quart water to sanitize the container. Then, use bleach with a 5%–9% sodium hypochlorite concentration.

Next, start covering the container firmly and give it a good shake. Ensure the sanitizing bleach solution reaches all of the container’s inside surfaces.

And then, you can pour the sanitizing solution out of the container after waiting 30 seconds. Allow the empty, cleaned container to air dry before using it, or rinse it with safe water or treated water.

Finally, fill the cleaned container halfway with clean water and close the top tightly.

Last Words

Here are some more tips for when you need to remove the water from your container.

First, avoid contaminating the water by using a clean scoop or other utensils when you withdraw safe water from the storage container. 

Ensure that you do not touch the water or the insides of the container with your hands before scooping, draining, or pouring out the safe water.

After washing and sanitizing, you need to keep your safe water in a container. You can put a label on the container with the words “drinking water” and the date you last used it. Make a calendar reminder every six months to replace the stored water.

Also, you can keep the water you’ve saved in a cool area (50–70°F) and away from direct sunlight. It is best to refrain from storing water containers in areas where harmful compounds, such as gasoline or pesticides, are present.

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1 thought on “How to Store 5 Gallon Water Jugs (The Only Guide You Need)”

  1. Awesome video! I’d love it if you could go through water purification procedures in detail using chlorine, iodine, or anything else you propose and how much to use. But, all in all, great content!


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