Water Storage

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Old Goat 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #4773

    Jade Jasmine

    Before the town I grew up in had lines for water to my backwoods home, we had a well with a well pump. We stored water because we never knew when we’d lose power and for how long due to the frequent and dangerous tornado producing storms. We’d fill up old moonshine jugs with spring water and had a room dedicated for storing these. My grandmother still does this today at 88 years old because she prefers the spring water to the tap.

    As time went on, we used two and three liter bottles because they were lighter than the glass and they were easier to store, lay them on their sides and roll them under the beds and the room where we stored water was able to be used for other things in addition to storing what didn’t go under furniture. We didn’t have grand set ups for catchment, but the water troths set up around the barn and behind the well pump shed were placed there specifically to catch roof run off. With heavy rains, those troths would fill quickly to overflowing. We didn’t have gutters, we had the tin roof that just poured the run off right into those troths. In a heavy Louisiana rain, filling these was not a problem.

    My great grandparents had 55 gallon drums that sat at the front of their porch and one next to the kitchen door at the back of the house that caught run off their tin roof and even after they got plumbing in their home for the first time, they kept their water barrels. No gutters, no piping systems, nothing like that at all just roof runoff into an open barrel. The water would be boiled before use.

    I still store water even though with modern set ups the tap still has water even when the lights are out. Two liters under the beds and small rain barrels attached to the downspout to catch water for the garden. While this isn’t a terrible lot, I live in a temperate rain forest where we get rain regularly and I live less than 2 miles from a river. Its rare that my barrels run dry but in a pinch we’d have water we could use for drinking and bathing. If we did run our barrels dry, we have purification tablets, life straws and a couple of filter systems to use on river water if we ended up having to haul water as well as laying out the clear bottles in the sun. Between the two liters and carboys I use to make mead and wine, we’d have the capacity for 80 gallons or so.

    How do you all store water?

  • #4798

    OldMt Woman

    Good topic.  We’re on a well…dependent on electricity.  Have eyed the long, tin tubes that have a one-way valve on the bottom end.  They can be let down into your well with rope and bring up well water.  But….I believe one would have to laboriously and carefully bring up the well pump and it’s many pipe sections.  [do NOT drop one of those sections or you might never get the well pump out]  I’ve watched that process X3 and it’s a hard job with a mini-crane truck.  So I’ve never purchased that option.  Besides…wells up here are over 150′ down.

    I do store water in clear plastic juice bottles….I get from a family member who uses that juice a lot.  Stored in many places.  If some get forgotten for a while, I clean thoroughly with bleach and dry before filling again.  I also have mebbe 6 of the big translucent blue containers from the water delivery companies.  I keep them dry and at-the-ready.  I’ve found that I do not remember to empty and refill them often enough to keep them filled.  I’ve never gotten around to adding the correct amount of bleach….and they are heavier than I can manage anyway.  Mostly, I don’t want to waste clean water sanitizing them in a post-stuff-hits-fan.  I’d rather refill them with my water filter from our creek …if it comes to that.

    Creek takes care of livestock year round….mostly.  I do know where to crack the ice and maintain a watering hole…..but I NEVER want to do it that way again.  Not with our severe temperatures.   :roll eyes:


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  OldMt Woman.
  • #4815


    Hand pump, creek by the house.

  • #4816


    We currently have city water. Luckily, I have an absolutely enormous basement in this old house. I store water in everything that is safe to store in. We don’t drink soda pop but our neighbors do so we get their 2-liter bottles. Every week I spend $5 picking up 1-gallon water jugs from the store. I also have a water-bob for the tub and a few larger containers I purchased to test out.

    One thing a person pointed out to me years ago – if you are a canner, instead of storing your jars empty, you should store them filled with water. I do not seal them for this – I just put the lid on my clean jars full of water. When I need them for canning, I dump the water into the pot and use it for the process. If I need them for an emergency, boom, loads and loads of water just sitting here waiting for me.


  • #4825

    Crow Bar

    We have a drilled well.

    But this year I had a dug well installed.  I am going to put a hand pump on it.  It fills constantly, so next year I am going to have a line installed to run it from the well, to a drainage ditch that then leads to the pond.

  • #4891

    Jade Jasmine

    @oldmtwoman I wouldn’t want to be out cracking ice and hauling freezing water in those low temps either. Newp!

    @daisy You know, its interesting you bring up storing water in canning jars. I was just part of a topic in a canning group about canning water for long term verses just storing in jars. Some are of the philosophy that it isn’t ok to store in the jars without going through the pressure canning process. I’m thinking if I can store it in a jug I can store it in a jar without canning.

    @crowbar I don’t know about your set up so I’m curious why you had a 2nd well dug. Would a hand pump installed on the first one not work?

  • #4892

    OldMt Woman

    JadeJ, there are a couple of variables in your question.  One:  is the water coming from your faucet city water or well water?  Urban water has all the chemicals needed to store without additional care.  Well water….tho pure/clean/good tasting/etc  😉  …..might have something in it that could produce algae growth or some such.  So I think storing water from municipal sources should be fine.  From wells….mine gets ‘off’ after months.

    Two:  On the topic of canning water…seriously, it would be a good idea to actually store some sterilized water in canning jars….for First Aid purposes.  I believe that’s one step further than municipal water source quality.  ???  I have had some quarts stored for years.  I assume since they were actually pressure canned, that they will continue to be sterile….if I remember to wash the dust off the lid before opening.

    OldMtWoman  ….my 2 cents

  • #4898

    Crow Bar

    @jade Jasmine,

    When I was first looking for a home/farm, one of the things that was at the top of my list was water.  After a deployment to Afghanistan for a year, I have seen what no water, no life really means.  So, I picked my current home/farm.  I have more water than I know what to do with.  At times, it comes out of the ground like a water fountain.

    The second, dug well, was for water management, to be used for the livestock, and as a back up in case of a prolonged power outage.  I may put a solar pump on it, or just the handpump.  To be determined.

  • #4906


    Here is an excellent book on water storage: Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use–Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks 2nd Edition

    Provides all you need to know to build the do-it-yourself water storage systems. I actually read this one and its all there!

  • #4997

    Jade Jasmine

    @oldmtwoman We’re on a municipal tap. I can see your point on the possible growth from well water.  I’ve never stored well water, only spring and tap. Never had a problem with growth or off tastes from spring water but then again, the trips to the spring were monthly.

    I can see storing canned water for a sterile situation. I think what more of the problem was that folks were storing water in the canning jars with lid and ring without going through the process. The lids will naturally seal over time which can be problematic when you’re talking about the possibility of bad things happening in the jar that wasn’t processed especially if it was just filtered water, spring water, or well water.  In effect, the debate was whether it is or is not safe to just fill the jars and let them sit without processing or if there is some chance of botulism. I haven’t personally tried this because I just store in juice and soda bottles. I would think that out of the tap it would be fine because of the chemicals but many felt not so much even if the chemicals destroy the toxin but I would process spring water or well water.

  • #5970

    Old Goat

    I never thought about doing water in the mason jars, good idea. My ex is always telling me we are all going to die because I keep soda bottles full of water for flushing the toilets (Learn that after having to melt snow for flushing toilets for a week which was tedious.) He can’t seem to wrap his head around flushing water as apposed to drinking water which is in the blue barrels! This from the know it all. Shhhs

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