Saturday, November 4, 2023

Is plastic acceptable for water storage?

By Tim Gamble

Q.  Are Plastic Bottles and Containers Safe for Water Storage?

A.  Plastic can leach into water over the long-term, but not all plastic leaches equally. Stick to food grade and BPA-free plastics for your long-term storage. Remember this: You will die of dehydration (in days) long before you'll die from plastic toxicity (after years of consumption, if ever). In a true long-term emergency situation, plastic water containers will be the very least of your problems.

Five Containers to NOT Use for Water Storage
  1. Milk Jugs - not designed for long-term storage and will eventually leak; difficult to completely wash out the fats & proteins from the milk which may promote bacterial growth.
  2. Crystal Glass and Antique Glass Containers - the glass may contain lead.
  3. Bleach Bottles - bleach bottles are treated with a chemical agent that may leach into water over time. 
  4. Containers that previously held toxic substances - impossible to clean thoroughly enough to be made safe.
  5. Ozark Trail 6-gal water jugs - I've written about this before, but the giant X stamped into the sides is a major design flaw that will eventually spring leaks 100% of the time. My experience is with multiple Ozark Trail water jugs bought at different times - ALL eventually leaked along the X.
Containers to Use for Water Storage
  • Water Tanks designed for the purpose of water storage - many types and sizes available on Amazon.
  • Water Containers designed for water storage - I use AquaTainers, and have never had one leak (they are also BPA-free). 
  • Food Grade plastic and glass bottles -  used bottles with tight-fitting screw-on tops that once contained water, juice, soda, or wine can be cleaned and repurposed for water storage; I use 1-gallon table wine bottles. Keep see-trough bottles in a dark room or closet, or otherwise covered to protect from light, to prevent growth of bacteria, algae, or mold.
AD:  Augason Farms Long-Term Food Storage - This is where I get powdered butter, eggs, cheese, milk, and other long-term foods for my Survival Pantry. Shelf-life up to 20+ years. Good quality, good taste, good value. For my money (literally, since I am a paying customer), Augason Farms is the best long-term foods option. 

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