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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering how many people reuse items to store water? My husband and I are trying to be creative in how we store our water. (Meaning cheapest route) I'm sure 55 gal drums are the most efficient but are sometimes hard to come by and expensive. We've looked at the water "bricks" which are also a little high. I'm a cheapskate lol.

That being said, my husband and I both work in surgery. Hospitals use 1 L bottles of saline and sterile water during surgeries. When a case is done the bottles are thrown in the trash...unless we get them first. We have been saving them, as they are clean, bringing them home and washing them then storing tap water. Prepping and recycling all at once :)! In the past 2 months alone we have collected about 55, 1 L bottles. That between the 2 of us isn't much water...but it's hasn't cost us 1 cent! We are toying with the rainwater collecting idea but haven't done anything like that yet. None the less this is a great way for us to "precure" water on top of what we have stored.

Anyone else got creative cheap ideas?
 

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Drinking water, or general use water?

Drinking water, I'm down to about 21 days of water. I stored them in their original gallon jugs, rotating as necessary. First in, first out.

General use water I'm luck enough to have 4 55 gallon barrels. But I'm expanding next week/month. Here's my plan:

Four 55 gallon barrels on each gutter/side of house. Each set of four are independent of each other, but all four in each set will be connected using the manifold setup. The over flow on each set of four will be directed into separate 330 totes. Each tote will water a separat part of the yard. One for garden and one for trees. The set of four will have one empty for collection, one with the gravel/sand/carbon filter, and the other 2 will be for storage. If funds permit, then there will be a 5 micron filter at the overflow, so that all water going into the 330 can be drinkable.

The sets of four will still be responsible for watering the front/side yard. And as money permits, I will be adding 330's to the fronts of the house also. I have roses for not only smelling good, but attracting bees to pollinate my trees, and also to eat when everything else is gone, if it gets that far.

I have read (here I think) about tying the 55g drums into the water heater inlet. That way you have 55 gallons of water stored and its always fresh. My house/yard is not set up for this, or I would do this.

A friend of mine fills 5 gallon buckets (food quality) adds a few drops of bleach, and seals them with the lids. I'm not sure how long this would last.

Me personally, I just buy gallons at a time. I drink less than a gallon a day since I've been able to make lemonade, limeade, and such. So I don't store drinking water in large amounts.

Your idea is great. It's like having bottled water. That way if you don't drink a gallon quick enough, it won't spoil. I'd drink a liter at a time :) Kinda like when you store a large can of spam. You don't eat it all, no way to store it, and it goes bad. Wasted.

Sorry about rambling on, but water storage is something I need work on too. So any and all ideas are a learning chance :)
 

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Absolutely love the saline bottles. my grandfather and I used them to "jug fish" with, and I like the way they stack due to being rectangular in shape.
Also could possibly find a place that bottles water, they usually have the 5 gallon refillable bottles that they have rejected laying around everywhere. I know before our company switched to "bottleless filter machines", any damaged or leaky bottles were tagged and discarded, so some epoxy would make them watertight again, maybe to be used as "nondrinking water". Just a few thoughts..
 

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Any water stored is a big step in the right direction. Most of us underestimate just how much water is needed. Just my wife and I are at home now. A few years ago we had the water supply line from the street break and we were without water for a week. In a total grid down situation it would not be as important to be bathing and using the toilet every day. But we were still working and socializing so we needed to use water for the toilet and for washing and at least sponge baths. We had a lot of 2L pop bottles of water and several 5 gal plastic cans. even with that we went through a lot of water.

Lessons learned: find ways to reduce need for water, keep stored water mostly for consumption, and store way more water than you can imagine using.

REDUCE NEED
The biggest usage for water was toilets. So I have set up two "portable loos". 5 Gal pails with the toilet seat lid, and inside I have hand wipes, sanitizer, toilet paper, cat litter, and kitchen garbage bags, and ziplock bags. For bathing we stocked up many more body wipes like we use for dry camping.

USE STORED WATER FOR CONSUMPTION
I don't worry too much about the longevity of stored water. City water has plenty of chlorine in it and I will filter all stored water before using it for cooking or drinking. I have increased the number of hiking filters, bout a couple of plastic pail filter systems, and just recently got a Big Berkey system.

STORE MORE WATER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE NEEDING
We still have our 2L bottles, 1 gal jugs, and 5 gal cans. But I added two 55 gal barrels from Costco (about $100 ea delivered by UPS, pretty light) . I plan to get a couple more barrels in a few a couple of months and then look into getting a couple of 330 gal tanks. I will be building a work and storage shed next summer and plan to design it for rain catchment. You can't have too much water. I wish we could do a swimming pool but no room for that. Perhaps a small fish pond in the back yard. I think water and sanitation will be the biggest and most immediate needs in a grid down situation. For us the most likely threat is earthquake breaking the water mains, or construction workers digging one up.
 

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I clean my old milk jugs and fill them with tap water and a few drops of bleach in each one. 55 gallon drums are hard to move.
Will be good water for washing dishes flushing toilets you need water for a lot more than just drinking . And if you need a few gallons to go,,,, there ready
 

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Just a hint that I use, I store 1 gallon jugs of water in my chest freezer. It keeps the water indefinitely and if the power goes out it will keep food cool for a few extra days in the power goes out. It isn't enough to meet all of our needs, but the amount does serve a dual purpose.
three purposes, the more full a freezer is the more efficient it operates. Less electricity use.
 

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You might want to look into using old hot water heaters for storage. These have reasonable capacity, are often glass lined, and should be available free. Talk to your local plumbing contractors who often replace electric ones with gas models, replace smaller ones with big ones, or whatever.

<shrug> Just a thought. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! Just logged back on to check and love the other ideas. My great-grandmother use to wash milk jugs and freeze water in them. We don't have a large freezer as of yet but I will probably do this, just to help keep food cold I case of a power outage. I also found an article online about "digging" your own well, to put in a hand pump. This is something we are going to do in the near future as we already have a well but no hand pump. It's not storage but will be extremely useful with no power. As for the saline bottles, my husband has used them for jugging as well :) (so many uses). As soon as we get gutters installed we are going to set 2 (behind the house) up for rain collection. We don't really want everyone to know about us collecting or we would do all 4 corners. That water will be used for bathing, toilets etc. not drinking unless we have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Even more good stuff. From the Red Cross people no less.

http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDI...40181_Food_and_Water-English.revised_7-09.pdf

Page. 8 "no milk or juice jugs"

Check out the sale papers for you local CVS. About every other week, all summer long bottled water goes on sale so cheap that with their "extra bucks" (in store discounts) it's VERY close to FREE! :)
I've never thought about stores like CVS as I don't get a newspaper to look at sale ads. We usually buy packs of bottled waters in 24 or more. The cheapest place I've found so far (out of places we shop for preps) is Aldis. If I remember correctly a 24 pack is $2.19 or $2.29.
 

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Thanks! Just logged back on to check and love the other ideas. My great-grandmother use to wash milk jugs and freeze water in them. We don't have a large freezer as of yet but I will probably do this, just to help keep food cold I case of a power outage. I also found an article online about "digging" your own well, to put in a hand pump. This is something we are going to do in the near future as we already have a well but no hand pump. It's not storage but will be extremely useful with no power. As for the saline bottles, my husband has used them for jugging as well :) (so many uses). As soon as we get gutters installed we are going to set 2 (behind the house) up for rain collection. We don't really want everyone to know about us collecting or we would do all 4 corners. That water will be used for bathing, toilets etc. not drinking unless we have to.
Neat thing that diverts the water into a hose you could extend behind your house, into a barrel in a shed, or something like that. You can check them out at Home Depot, but their twice the price as amazon. Amazon.com: Fiskars 5962 Rain Barrel DiverterPro Kit, Black: Patio, Lawn & Garden
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah I've seen those but think it would only be handy if you knew a power outage was coming (like a severe storm or in my case in KY an ice storm) We had an ice storm back in '09 where I was without power for little over a week. I was lucky, some of my family was without it for over a month!
 
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