Prepare Emergency Water Supply

Print

SAFELY STORING YOUR EMERGENCY WATER SUPPLY

emergency-water

Think of all the things you use water for on a daily basis - not just drinking, but also cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, and flushing away waste.

We're prepared to respond quickly in emergencies.  But if a major earthquake or storm damaged the water supply system, it's possible that you could be without water for days.  Stores run out of bottled water fast during emergencies. 

Now is the best time to make sure your home and family are prepared.  Every home should maintain a supply of emergency drinking water - at least 3 gallons per person or pet (If possible, 10 gallons per person is highly recommended).

How do you put together your supply?

1.  Buy commercially bottled water.
This is a convenient and relatively low-cost solution - a case of 40 16.9oz bottles gives you about 5 gallons for around $5.  Rotate through or replace the supply every six months to one year.

2.  Store water in your own reusable containers.
This saves you bottled water waste.  After the one-time investment in reusable containers, it's a no-cost option since tap water is virtually free.  You need to replace the supply at least yearly.


If you decide to store water in your own containers, follow these steps below:

1. Select safe containers like empty 2-Liter soda bottles, 5-gallon water containers or food-grade BPA-free buckets or drums (best with a pour spout), available online from many commercial vendors.  DO NOT USE bleach bottles, detergent bottles or milk jugs.

2. Thoroughly clean containers and caps with dishwashing soap and water.  Rinse completely so there is no residue.  Be sure to remove paper liner in caps. 

3. Sanitize containers with unscented liquid household bleach.  Use a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart or 2-Liter container of water (4 teaspoons per gallon).  Mix the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing, thoroughly rinse sanitizing solution with clean water.

4. Fill containers to the top with regular tap water.  If using Northshore Utility District water, no further treatment is needed.  If using well water or water from a non-treated source, add 2 drops of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water.

5. Tightly close containers being careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger.

6. Date outside of container so you know when to replace the water in the containers.

7. Store in cool, dark place like your garage or storage closet.  Keep away from hazardous materials like paint or chemicals.

8. Replace water supply at least once/yearOld water can be used in your garden/landscape to avoid waste.

If you have any questions about how to store your supply of emergency water, contact us anytime at waterquality@nud.net or (425) 398-4419.