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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
  1. Fill water bottle to the neck
  2. Place diffuser stone into the 5-gallon bottle near the bottom
  3. Turn on the 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 sunlight 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.) are also realized by using ozone gas, except that with ozone, there is no chemical residue 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.
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
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