Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.
If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pre-treat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks.Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
Water Storage Guidelines
Commercially bottled water in PETE (or PET) plastic containers may be purchased. Follow the container’s “best if used by” dates as a rotation guideline. Avoid plastic containers that are not PETE plastic.
If you choose to package water yourself, consider the following guidelines:
Water Purification Guidelines
If your water supply is not known to be safe or has become polluted, it should be purified before use. Water purification is generally a two-step process.
Cloudy or dirty water must first be made clear. It may be passed through filter paper, fine cloth, or other filter. It may be allowed to settle and the clear water on top carefully drawn. Filtered or clear settled water should always be disinfected before use.
Bringing water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes will kill most water-borne microorganisms. However, prolonged boiling of small quantities of water may concentrate toxic contaminants if present.
Adding 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of fresh liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to every gallon (4 liters) of water will kill most microorganisms. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used. The use of bleach does not address toxic contamination.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site provides additional information about water purification.
Commercial water filters can effectively filter and purify water contaminated with microorganisms, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. Their effectiveness depends on design, condition, and proper use.