Anyone who is interested in food for storage understands the importance of clean water storage. Water can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation and needs to be addressed first when planning for long-term food storage. Many everyday water situations make it difficult to keep a supply of clean water stored for a length of time without problems.
Our issue was the well water. It was full of sulfur and other chemicals that made it taste bad. Additionally, we noticed that anytime we left the water out for even a few hours, bacteria would grow and the water would become slimy. We did a lot of research to find out how to purify the water we already had.
Of course, the most obvious course of YETI ONE GALLON action was to add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of our well water. Unfortunately and surprisingly, even these jugs grew algae and floating particles after a month in our storage. We thought they got too warm or were exposed to the sun, so we stored them in a dark, cool cabinet, but had the same results. It was flabbergasting that even bleach water could grow bacteria so quickly.
Our second plan was to boil our well water and strain it through a coffee filter to separate the large sediment particles. The water kept in the refrigerator and tasted all right, but more sediment would settle after time, leaving the water murky looking. We didn’t feel safe drinking any murky water, especially in a crisis.
There had to be a way to store water in our Aqua-Tainer jugs instead of one gallon jugs. They stacked easier and took up less space. After extinguishing many water filtration processes, we did more research.
Obviously, when you fill a jug of water for storage, the water needs to start as pure and clean as possible. Secondly, the jug needs to have been rinsed in a dilute bleach water solution (very dilute) right before filling. Next, the jug needs to be filled until it overflows – So as close to the top as possible. The lid should be dipped into a very dilute bleach solution and placed on the jug. This should inhibit much of the bacteria from developing from a dirty jug or airspace inside.
The last hurdle was the purity of our water. I wasn’t comfortable with the amount of sediment, minerals or possibly bacteria that was lurking inside. While boiling is safe to purify water for immediate consumption, storing boiled water in another container can re-contaminate and start to grow bacteria as we found several times previously.
Finally, we added a small amount of dilute bleach water to our jug and rinsed it well. We took a gallon zip-lock bag and added very dilute bleach solution to that and dipped the lid before placing it on the water container. We took the jug to the local market and filled it at the Culligan water station. It was only $2.00 to fill 7 gallons! We filled the jug to the brim, even letting it flow over just a bit, then we re-dipped the cap into the zip-lock of dilute bleach water and placed it immediately onto the jug, inhibiting bacterial growth in the top of the water container