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How to Store Water In 5 Gallon Bottles for the Long Term

Can you drink water that had stood around for a long time?  If it’s capped and sealed tightly so nothing could possibly get inside, you wouldn’t hesitate to take a swig from your vintage water, or would you?

A few pathogenic bacteria can survive in clean water and the taste of water can become flat or taste strange after a long storage. Lack of oxygen may make it smell or taste stale. Moreover, toxic plastic chemicals could leach into your water.

Follow these steps to store your water for the long-term:

  1. Choose BPA-free #2 HDPE food grade 5-gallon blue containers to store your water for the long term so there is very little possibility of toxic chemicals leaching a plastic taste into your water. Try to find BPA-free bottles that use PET as opposed to polycarbonate. You can find these types of bottles widely available these days.
  2. Use a small ozone generator to sanitize the water with ozone such as the Ozone 500i water Ozonator
  3. Store your water in a cool place, out of the sun.
  4. In the future, before drinking your stored water, pour it first into another sterile container to oxygenate it.

What to use for long-term water storage:

Ozone gas is a good way to prepare your 5-gallon water bottles for the long term.  Ozone can be used to clean fruit, vegetables, and meats before use, and is a powerful disinfectant. You can be sure the water is safe for use during a future emergency storage if you properly ozonate it before storage.

You can be sure the water is safe for use during a future emergency storage if you properly ozonate it before storage.

According to Canadian government site Health Canada, ozone is frequently added to water during the water bottling process:

Why Do Bottling Companies Add Ozone to Their Bottled Water?

Ozone may be added to spring or mineral water during the bottling process as a disinfectant to inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms. Ozone is also effective in removing objectionable odors and flavors because it breaks down into oxygen which improves taste and other qualities.”

Why it is good to use ozone to your own water bottles:

  • Eliminate bad tastes
  • Remove odors
  • Kill chlorine residual tastes and odors
  • Disinfect water
  • Prevent slime and build-up in the 5-gallon bottle
  • Prolong storage period

Steps  in using Ozone 500i or equivalent ozone generator:

  1. Fill water bottle to neck
  2. Place diffuser stone into the 5-gallon bottle near bottom
  3. Turn on ozone generator and run for 10 – 15 minutes
  4. Cap immediately.
  5. Store bottle in a cool dark place.

 How Ozone Works:blue water container

Q. What exactly is ozone?

A. Ozone is a pungent gas naturally produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere by the action of UV sun light on oxygen molecules. Ozone is manufactured on Earth by sending air through a special chamber containing a high-voltage spark, which creates a blue plasma corona, called ‘corona discharge’

Q. How is ozone used in water and air purification?

A. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer similar to chlorine. Many of the same benefits we get from chlorinating water (disinfection, oxidation of metals, etc.) is also realized by using ozone gas, except that with ozone, there is no chemical residual left in the water. Ozone works faster and is more powerful than chlorine. Note we do NOT recommend using this ozone generator to create ozone gas in rooms where it can be breathed in.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Ozone 500i:

Q. Can the Ozone 500-i  disinfect water?

Ozone 500-i

Ozone 500i

A. Yes. The Ozone 500-i is a convenient and powerful water sanitizer. Using any pitcher or container, the ozone gas can be easily bubbled in the water to kill bacteria, viruses, and remove bad tastes and odors.

Q. How can I use the Ozone 500-i to kill bacteria and sanitize fruit, vegetables, and meats?

A. Place the food in a bowl and fill with water. Allow the ozone to bubble in the water for several minutes and then cover container for 10 – 20 minutes. Ozone will remove pesticide residues, dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants on the surface of the fruit, vegetables, meat or fish within minutes.

 Q. What else can I use ozone for?

A. Use the ozone generator to create a powerful sanitizer by ozonating water, and then using the water to wipe down surfaces. Kills bacteria in cleaning clothes, sponges and rags. Use the ozone generator to bubble ozone in the washing machine to dramatically cut down on the amount of soap used and eliminate the need for bleach.

Q. What does the ‘Negative Ion Generator’ do? What is the difference between ‘negative ions’ and ozone?

A. Negative ion generators generate negatively-charged particles and treat air by eliminating static charges in air, and as an aid in cleaning the room air of dust, dust mites, mold, and spores. The negative ion generator is a separate system inside the Ozone 500-i. The Multi-Functional Ozone 500-i system can only run either the negative ion generator OR the ozone generator at one time.
The negative ion generator should be run for 10 – 15 minutes. Ozone is a powerful disinfecting gas that kills bacteria and removes odors. Negative ions are charged particles and are harmless, but improve the air quality by affecting the charge of particles in the air.

Q. How does the negative ion generator work?

A. Negative ions can create healthier air and are known to help asthma and allergy sufferers. The negative ions bind with dust and molds and cause them to drop to the floor and not remain suspended in air. There are no adverse effects to using the negative ion generator. Studies have shown that exposure to negative ions (such as the sea shore, or near water falls, or in rooms treated with negative ions) increase the levels of seratonin in the bloodstream which leads to mood enhancement and feelings of well-being.
Computers and electronic equipment, heater, central air heating and conditioners and other appliances deplete the air of negative ions. The Ozone 500-i Multi-Functional system can restore these negative ions to the room, making the room feel more comfortable and the air much more enjoyable and healthy.

Q. Does the Ozone 500i have any filters that must be changed or cleaned?

A. No. There are no filters to clean or change. The Ozone 500-i does not filter air or water. It generates ozone gas which can be used to disinfect water and clean air. It also has a negative ion generator which helps to clean air by treating dust and particles in the air, which allows them to more easily fall to the floor for cleaning. However, it does not remove or trap any particles or dust inside the unit.

Q. What is the warranty and how long will the Ozone 500i last?

A. The Ozone 500-i has an 18-month warranty. Under normal use, it will last for 4 to 5 years. There are no replacement or serviceable parts inside the generator and other than keeping the exterior clean, there is no maintenance required.

 Q. Does the Ozone 500i use a lot of electricity?

A. No, the power consumption is very low. When operating it uses less than a 30 watt light bulb.
Additional Links and Resource:
Ready.gov/water is a great resource for learning more about water storage for emergencies.

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  • Clean Water Systems & Stores, Inc., Water Treatment Equipment,Service & Supplies, Santa Cruz, CA