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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Shouldn't We Store Plastic Water Bottles on Concrete?

Which storage item is cheap, good for you, and so important that you can’t do without it for more than a few days?  WATER!!!  Of course!
THE GOAL:  Store 1 Gallon of Water per day per person for a minimum of 14 days!  This is a recommendation for drinking water.  You will also need much more water for washing, bathing, etc. 
It is best to have at least part of your water storage in portable containers.  If evacuation becomes necessary, you can easily grab these containers and put them in your car.
Several cases of bottled water
Gallon jugs of bottled water (Do not re-use milk cartons, they will leak!)
5-gallon blue water containers, available at WalMart, or camping stores
If you have a large family, you might find it practical to store water in large 30 gallon or 55 gallon water barrels

In an emergency, you may be able to find sources of clean, drinkable water in your home:
Water heater storage tanks – Be sure to turn off the electricity or gas supply to the heater.  Open the drain at the bottom of the tank.
Pipes – Several gallons of water are stored in your pipes at all times.  After shutting off the main, open the lowest faucet in your house (usually either the bathtub on the main floor or an outside water spigot.)
Pools & waterbeds also serve as large reservoirs of water.  However, due to chemicals & dirt, you will need a good filter in order to utilize these sources.

So, why shouldn’t we store plastic water barrels on concrete?  The following statement is from preparedness lecturer, Kenneth Moravec:

“Concrete attracts fluids and ‘bleeds’.  Anything that has been on or in that concrete will find its way into your plastic water barrel.  This includes the lime in the concrete, any hazardous materials (i.e. gasoline, oils, kerosene, or anything a contractor used in construction), algae, etc.  Usually, it is not enough to make the water toxic, but it will taint the water enough to make the taste unbearable.  And no amount of pouring it from container to container will take that taste away.”

This is also the reason why we are cautioned about placing plastic food storage buckets directly onto concrete.

Notice that these barrels were placed on top of 2X4 boards.


Using 2x4’s or plywood under barrel and buckets is an easy solution to the leaching problem.

Water stored in plastic containers should not be stored near gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances.  Vapors from these substances could permeate the plastic and affect the water.

Empty, clean-disinfect, and refill large water storage containers at least once a year.

Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

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