You should have some water stored in case of emergency. You should have at least one gallon of water per person per day. FEMA recommends having a 3-day supply of water per person. I would personally recommend storing at least one to three weeks of water per person. Much conflicting information exists regarding water storage. While this article is subject to change here are key points that I found.
- Water Rotation: Should you rotate your water every year to keep it fresh? I read conflicting information on water rotation but I prefer to err on the side of caution. Well sealed containers should protect water against contamination for many years. However, rotating your water is fast and easy. Just wait until you have warm weather, empty your containers in your garden (recycle the water), and refill.
- Water Treatment: Some sites recommend treating water with chlorine or other chemicals to prevent growth of algae and microorganisms. I read that nearly all city water is treated with enough chlorine to kill microorganisms and keep the water stable. I would still filter stored water before using it. Filtering removes microorganisms and chemicals to make the water safer and better tasting. If you insist on treating the water then use tablets or 1/8 teaspoon of chlorine per gallon of water.
- Water Use: Should you boil or treat water before drinking it? If you have good, sealed containers then the water should be ready to drink directly from the container. The water may have a funny taste due to chemicals or lack of oxygen. I recommend filtering the water before drinking it (err on the side of caution) to remove microorganisms, chemicals, and to make the water taste better.
When storing water I recommend storing it slightly above the ground. This prevents issues caused by ground contact. Stacking water containers on a recycled wooden pallet is a nice option. Do NOT store water containers anywhere where leakage could cause a problem. If a container leaks will the water cause other damage? For example, never store water above equipment such as a generator or around an electrical panel. Assume that a container will leak (it probably won’t but be prepared) and situate the container accordingly.