Water Storage

Did you know that after three days with no water your kidneys can have irreversible damage. Start saving your water! I have had two 55 gallon water drums for about three years… and… they were still empty up until last week. Yes, I am a slacker!

I never filled them because I simply just kept putting it off and also because I wasn’t sure what I needed to add to it so that it didn’t grow mold or what not.   I finally decided to figure out how to store the 55 gallon emergency water containers.  It’s surprisingly rather simple. Go figure!
Although I had never filled the water drums, I have been saving water a different way.  Every time we have empty 2 litter sodas, I save the 2 liter bottles and thoroughly clean them out. I fill them with water and seal the cap tightly.  I also do this with empty Clorox bottles.  However, with the Clorox bottles, I don’t rinse them out because the bleach that is left in the bottles helps to keep it disinfected. The treated water can be used for washing dishes, brushing teeth, bathing and so on . The water in the 2 liters can be used for flushing toilets, watering plants among other things.

The 55 gallon water drums cost about $60+ each for a new one.  If you do a web search, you can buy the 55 gallon water drums cheaper if you buy them used.  The most I’ve ever paid for these water drums is $16. Yippee!!

Anyhow, here’s the easiest way I found to purify water storage.
  • Clean the drums to disinfect the inside of them by filling the water drum about 1/4 of the way with water and 1/2 cup of unscented bleach.


  • After adding the bleach, roll the water drum back and forth so that the entire inside of the drum gets cleaned. (Great fun chore for kids, at least my kid enjoyed it )
  • Let the water solution sit in there for about 24 hrs (in the sun) then dump that water out.
  • Add 1 cup of unscented bleach and then fill the drum with water using a water hose BUT first find the spot where you will store the water drums, because when it’s full of water, it will weigh about 400 lbs and unless you’re a super hero, you won’t be able to move it. (learn from my mistake. I did this in my previous home). Also, make sure the water drum is not sitting on hot concrete. A pallet, 2×4’s or something that can sit between the hot concrete and the drums would be ideal.
  • Once it’s full, tighten the cap to close the water drum. If possible, try not to leave it in direct sunlight. (Living in Phoenix, it’s kind of difficult) E
  • Make sure to rotate the water supply out every 2 – 3 years.



You can look online for a water siphon for about $10 – $12. Yes, you need something like this. In case you need to use your water, you have to have a plan to be able to siphon it out.

How do you store your water?