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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to the site and new to prepping. I'm a military spouse based outside of Ft Bragg, NC and full of millions of questions, but just one for now. We live on base housing off post and there's been a lot of electrical and water shut offs with no warning. Being in the military, money is tight. Can I store water for household cleaning and toilet flushing in a cleaned, heavy duty, 2 gallon detergent container? And how long would the water keep without having to refill?
We have 4 special needs children so we basically need to stay put unless it's absolutely necessary to get out.
 

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Welcome to the forum! What kind of detergent? If you're sure not to use it for drinking or consumption of any kind, including washing dishes (unless it was already dish detergent), I think that would work. It might be more practical to find different ways of doing those things that don't require water, such as a composting toilet instead of keeping water for flushing. For drinking water, I save all of our vinegar and -- when we used to drink it -- juice jugs, but not the flimsier water bottles or lightweight plastics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for such a quick reply! They are laundry detergent containers so they are pretty hefty. And we use no dye, no perfume, everything, so not as many chemicals in it to start. My 4 youngest children are autistic, so using the bathroom anywhere but their own toilet is a struggle in itself. This water would strictly be for flushing. We will purchase containers for drinking. Thanks for the advice.
 

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If you're purchasing water containers, it might work out to be cost effective to get something like these: Shelf Reliance® Deluxe BPA Free 55-gallon Barrel Water Storage System. They include water treatment to keep the water for I think 5 years. A filter to allow you to drink water from pretty much any source might be a good idea too, because it's very difficult to store enough water for long term, especially with a large family.
 

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When you say you have water shut offs without warning, is it completely gone, or do you notice a drop in water pressure until it's gone? Like AquaHull, I too use 1 gallon jugs for drinking water. Don't forget your hot water heater. It has 30 to 50 gallons of drinking water. Just open a faucet in the kitchen sink and open the bottom drain spigot on the water heater. The first water coming out will probably be rusty and if you want you filter it or use if for flushing the toilet. If you have some type of warning (lowering water pressure), fill your bathtub ASAP. I'd get one of those cheap plastic drop clothes and line the bath tub to prevent leakage down the drain. For flushing, you can fill garbage cans with a new plastic bag in it. I keep a few contractor giant size bags just for this purpose. You could also use kiddie pools to store water.
 

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Another thought would be 5 gal. food safe pails from a reliable source. I buy mine for $0.50 each with a lid from a bakery, had frosting in them. I'd stay away from pickle pails due to smell. Do it yourself, home stored water is only good for about 6 months according to everything I read, if it is city water that is chlorinated. If your not sure, you can use household bleach (NO SMELLY PERFUMES). Add 2 drops of bleach per gallon of city chlorinated drinking water, or add 16 drops per gallon of non-chlorinated well water. The source I used also says not to use milk or fruit juice jugs because cleaning the residual proteins is near impossible.
 

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Silverbullet, you haven't noted any problems with the water you stored? How did you clean the jugs? How long did you store it in the jugs? Did you add and bleach? Did you store the water in the dark or in a room with sunlight? Thanks
 
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