Monday, July 12, 2010

Water Storage and Water Barrels

Water is the most important Emergency Preparedness item to store.

You can live without food for several days but you cannot live without water!

After the Honduras, Katrina, Sandy Hurricanes and the Hattie and Chilean earthquakes water was a very precious item. The water was contaminated and it took weeks before fresh safe drinking water could be delivered to the people in those areas hit.

The United States Government and our local community Emergency Preparedness units advise us we should have enough drink water on hand for two weeks. I strongly feel two weeks is not enough, look what happened after Katrina. I think we should have drinking water stored for at least a month, or more if possible.

55 Gallon Food Grade Water Barrels:

I found a great source for the 55 Blue/Green (food grade plastic)Water Barrels for $25 each. (If you buy several he may give them to you for $20, ask him.) In the survival surplus stores they run about $80+ a barrel. The barrels I found for $25 were used for apple juice or Hawaiian Punch concentrate. The fellow gets them from the juice companies and cleans them out.

He is located at:

M&M Containers
1472 Cota Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90813
8am-5pm, Monday-Friday

Ask for Mario Salgado (nice fellow)

Cell: 310-489-4485


I love these. The small ones holds 1.6 gallons of water and the large one holds 3/5 gallons of water. They interlock and stack well, up to 4 feet high. You can even create end tables with them by placing a board on top and covering with a table cloth. Click here to see their website and read more about waterbricks. There phone number is 888-810-3212. If you live in Southern California USA there is a Honeyville in Rancho Cucamonga. Honeyville sells the small ones for $15.00 and the large ones for $19.99.

How to store water:

1. 55 Gallon Water Barrel--If you purchased the water barrels with fruit concentrate in them, and they have not been cleaned out properly, this is how you prepare them to store the water:

a. The fellow above I purchased them from rinses them out. If they have not been rinsed out then rinse them out with a garden hose. It is best when you take them home to put in one-two gallons of bleach (make sure to use an ample amount in the barrel to ensure that the entire interior is cleaned) in them without water, place on the cap, roll them around and stand them on each end to get the top and bottom. Take your time doing this to help remove the taste left from the concentrate. The bleach can be recycled from barrel to barrel. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose and dump out the water.

b. Put the barrels in a place for storage, preferably in a cool shaded place (a side of your house or garage that gets little sun) that will help prevent bacteria from growing. Your garage is to hot. If possible, set the barrels on top of 2x4's or bricks so the air can circulate under them.

c. Add 1/2 teaspoon of bleach in the barrel for each 5 gallons of water (5-6 teaspoons of bleach for a 55 gallon barrel) after filling with water. Fill the barrels to the brim to avoid mold on the top (lid). Water stored this way will keep one year. Without bleach, 6 months. It will store for a shorter period of time if the barrels are in the direct sunlight.

Note on Water Rotation: If you use bleach, you should rotate your water every year. Without bleach you will need to rotate the water every 6 months. If in a hot place, every 1-3 months. When you open the barrel to drink the water and the water taste like bleach, aerate the water by pouring it back and forth. If you use Activated Stabilized Oxygen mentioned below you will not need to do this. The water will keep up to 5 years if stored properly.

Activate Stabilized Oxygen (ASO, 10% strength formula). I purchased a 2 fluid oz bottle at Major Surplus and Survival Discount Warehouse on 435 W. Alondra Blvd in Gardena for $12.95. This bottle will protect two 55 gallon water barrels of water for up to 5 years. The 2oz bottle will take care of two 55 gallon water barrels. Personal I think this is a great deal, not having to rotate the water every year. I found it on for $20 (4 oz.). Click here for information and  to order Activate Stablized Oxygen.

Note: Major Surplus in Gardena, California and has many great items to help with your Emergency Preparedness for great prices. I also purchased a Water Barrel Wrench that opens and closes the 2 small ports or bunyons on top of the water barrel. Duck tape it as close as you can at the bottom behind one of the barrels to conceal it. I also purchased a Water Siphon there for about $15-$16. You will only will need one, put in a secure safe place, not in the direct sunlight. Another great water pump is found at and the The Water Filtration Pump filters 100 gallons. See the links below regarding these two websites.

Seychelle Water Filtration Pump: This pump comes in section and can be put together for the size of water barrel you have. All together it will fit the 55 gallon water barrel. It filters out 99.9999% of bacteria and contaminants. It filters 100 gallons of water. The filter can be replaced as needed. I suggest you have several extra filters on hand. See the Seychelle and Jim Bakker Show links below.

d. If you use bleach, check the water in your barrels twice a year (a good time is at General Conference). If you detect a slight smell or taste of bleach you should be ok. When checking your water twice a year, if no bleach is detected, you may want to add a few drops of bleach until it is detected.

e. If you need to rotate your water it would be a good idea to clean out the barrels with 1-2 gallons of bleach as before.

f. At the time of use, to freshen up the water and help take out the slight taste of bleach, you can pour the water back and forth into pitchers to aerate.

g. Water Siphon Pump--To siphon out the water there are two small ports or bunyons on top of the barrel. Use your water barrel wrench to open the barrel. These siphon pumps should drain the water at 5 gallons per 2 1/2 minutes and are very easy to use. The siphon pump stays running without additional effort until you stop it or it runs out of water. Follow the siphon pump instructions on how to make the pump siphon the water. This type of pump is so simple a child can learn how to use it.

h. Hand Pump--This type of pump is hard to use and will drain you before the water is drained. Parts can also easily break down.

Note: Some online websites that sell the 55 Gallon Water Barrels say to not use the ones that have concentrate or syrup in them, but this is just to get you to buy their expensive $80 water barrels. If you follow the instructions above you will be alright.

Great News! Seychelle Water Filtration Systems (Great to have in your home and 72 Hour Kits):

A few months ago I discovered a great water filtration system for family drinking pitchers and flip top bottles. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has bought thousands of these for their missionaries throughout the world so they will have fresh safe water to drink in case of an emergency, or there is bad water in the area they are serving. These are great to have on hand, especially the individual bottle in your 72 Hour Kits (or at least one per family in your family 72 Hour Kit due to expense). They are expensive but well worth the money to have fresh safe drinking water in case of an emergency and polluted water. They filter out 99.999% of anything bacteria and condiments in the water. The family pitchers will filter 150 gallons, or 6 months of water supply per filter. The Flip Top Water Filtration Bottles filter 100 gallons of water per filter. Your can purchase extra filters.

Below are three links where you can purchase the Seychelle Water Filtration Bottles:

1) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers the same Flip Top Water Filtration Bottles as on the Seychelle website for a lot less in price. See the prices below and the LDS Store link here to order the Flip Top Water Filtration Bottles.  

Seychelle Water Filtration Bottles (individual):             
With one filter $16.50
With two filters $22.00
Extra filters $9.00 each

2) Seychelle: You can also go to to check out their website and information about the different types and prices. They have different types of models and filters. You will find the price for the Flip Top Water Filtration Bottle is higher than the LDS Store link above. Clink on the link here to directly to their website.

3) The Jim Bakker Show: Another website that offers them is the Jim Bakker Show. The Flip Top Water Filtration Bottles are $30 each. Click on the link here to go to their website andscroll through the pages of the different offers. Note: When you purchase from them it is a donate (Love Gift) to their ministry.

There are also Seychelle Water Filtration Pitchers available. See the links above for more information.

Rain Barrels

It does not rain as much here as it does in other parts of the county, but when it does it is a great opportunity to store water. If you have rain gutters on your house, purchase the items in the video to construct a rain barrel. This is an extra good source of "free"water. You can circulate the water by placing a water spout and attach your hose to water your vegetable garden. It is also a great source of water for bathing and cleaning up. Go to YouTube for more video ideas.

Updated 04/2015


  1. Great information! We are very happy with the barrels. Thank you for your help. We still need to get them ready and with water in them!

    Alexia Saunders

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