Water Storage Failure

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As you know I store supplies everywhere I can, and that includes my closet.  I am not new to water storage mishaps, see Clutter is Costly

It seems having a gallon of water nearly fall on your head does not make you immune to the next misadventure.  I just found out those gallon water jugs are not very sturdy and can spring a leak at any time, even when left alone.  Lucky for me I had a plastic grocery bag wrapped around the container.  There was about a cup of water in the bag so my closet was mostly spared.   I still have to check to make sure the carpet is dried up so mold doesn’t grow.  Ackkk!!

I would not want to find out my water storage has leaked all over just when an emergency happens.  Lesson learned:  Gallon water jugs can fail.  I will have to check them more frequently.   I think I will start collecting soda liter bottles; I have read they are more sturdy.

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  1. I discovered this problem when using #2 plastic jugs in our RV. I have since learned from various prepper blogs that #2 is biodegradable so now we use #1 PETE soda bottles for small quantities and for larger quantities the purpose built water containers. Even worse than plastic jugs are the folding “camping” water jugs that are made of very thin #2 plastic. Do not ever try to store water in those.

  2. Those collapsible jugs for camping are great for carrying water, but DO NOT use them for long-term storage. They are the same type of plastic as milk jugs and are biodegradable. They WILL LEAK. Also, the fold lines are weakened if repeatedly opened and collapsed – a failure waiting to happen.

  3. Like the name says… but this is half question, and half semi-advice.

    When it comes to water, you have a lot of untapped resources loafing around the place – some of them almost perfectly situated.

    Most apartments have a big, fat 30-50gal. water heater in it somewhere. Full of water all the time. All of them come with a (mandated?) drain spigot at the bottom, and (usually) also comes with a big ol’ shut off valve somewhere on the infeed pipe (locate the pipe coming out of the top, follow it to the valve…) If you live in a seismic area, the things are required to be strapped to the wall (bonus?)

    Certainly not an infallible thing, but if the proverbial excrement splatters on the rotating air-handler, odds are good that securing it from contamination can be as easy as running to the closet and closing the infeed valve (followed immediately by filling the bathtub and kitchen sink with as much cold water as they can hold).

    If the local community water supply does crap out, you can tap the hot water heater for drinking by placing a shallow pan under the outlet tap (better idea: get a short length of garden hose – the taps almost always have screw-on ends that fit one), open the hot water tap on the nearest shower (to supply air to the tank, since the shower head usually is higher than the tank – and remember to keep the tub spigot closed!), then crack open the tap on the bottom of the heater, taking only what you absolutely need for that moment.

    I figure the tank can be tapped for drinking water after the tub gets empty. You can use the sink and toilet tank (1-3 gal bonus!) water for washing and other grey-water uses (sparingly!)

    Best-case scenario? 50-gal. hot water heater, a full std. sized bathtub (call it 25 gal. more, though some can hold up to 35 gal.), a 3 gal. toilet tank, and a typical double-sink full of water in both sides (call it 10 gal. ?) Grand total – 90 gallons of water: 75 for drinking, 15 for washing stuff (or you can balance it out however you want.. though the kitchen sink is liable to be germy no matter how much you scrub it, so…)

    75 gallons of clean, potable water would hold two people in a non-desert area pretty well – up to 75 days in mild temperatures, maybe 35 in the heat of summer.

    Now – given all of this, why would you want to store, say, 20 individual gallon jugs more? I ask this not because I somehow think that there’s any such thing as “too much”, but because of the space concerns that any apartment dweller faces. A 5-gal bucket or two (with lids!) of water makes more sense (IMHO), if only because it would take up less overall cubic space than 5-10 individual gallon jugs of water would (and as a bonus, I don’t think they would leak as easily). They also have the benefit of being easier to stack. Maybe keep a couple of empty collapsible camping water-jugs around that you can transfer water to if things get bad, in anticipation of a bug-out situation.

    I know – over-thinking things. But as someone who also lives in an apartment (albeit one closer to the woods, and in the Pacific Northwest, where water is *not* a problem if one has portable filtration/tablets/etc…) Anyrate, I think the extra space saved by going this route could be put to better use in storing more food, ammunition, TP, etc.

    Just a thought…

    1. Good advice regarding possible water sources. I am definitely rethinking the water gallon jugs, what with the leaking problem. I do have a couple 5 gallon buckets left over from storing staples, I think I will take your advice and fill them up. Thanks for the helpful comment.

  4. I’ve had over a dozen 2-liter soda bottles (with a teenager in the house, you can collect those FAST!) full of water under the frame of my bed for over a year (it’s a captain’s-style with drawers under the mattress; there’s a nice 6-foot long, 18-inch wide empty space under the center of the bed). Despite having cats who think of that space as their personal fort (and who have knocked over more than a few bottles!), none of them have leaked a bit. It’s not our only water storage, but I consider it a great use of unused space, and I’m now firmly convinced that 2-liter soda bottles are sturdy & practical water storage containers.

    1. That’s great storage space under your bed. I am sure the cats have a different opinion though 🙂

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