Water storage in used milk jugs?

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Hi! A friend has told me that he will be storing water in used milk jugs (cleaned before-hand with bleach), and treated with a few drops of bleach. Is this a safe manner to store water? I thought I remember reading not to utilized used milk jugs, since the previous product would permeate the plastic jug.

Please give recommendation. Many thanks in advance!

Bayou Boy

-- Bayou Boy (bayou@boy.com), September 23, 1999


Used milk jugs are biodegradable and will disintigrate over a period of time. The plastic also tends to crack and split in freezing temperatures. Tell your friend to use clear plastic soda liter bottles for long term storage or containers bought specifically for water storage.

-- FOX (ardrinc@aol.com), September 23, 1999.

Milk jugs....no
liter soda bottles or plastic fruit containers....yes

The milk jugs will crack wilh a little age.

-- tc (trashcan-man@webtv.net), September 23, 1999.

I also heard that it's bad to use them for health reasons too. Probably one of those things that give lab-rats cancer.

-- Gus (y2kk@usa.net), September 23, 1999.

Bayou Boy,

The gallon jugs made of polycarbonate plastic will last as long or longer than the soda bottles. These are the jugs that are usually clear or blue and are very stiff compared to milk jugs. I get mine from a local water distiller. You can tell it is polycarbonate by the number 7 in the triangle on the bottom.


-- rishi (vedaguy@mediaone.net), September 23, 1999.

Only my two cents worth, but I've found that water can be stored for a loooong time in milk bottles, as long as they are kept in the dark. They do break down very rapidly in ultraviolet light. Al

-- Al K. Lloyd (all@ready.now), September 23, 1999.

I'm planning to fill up several dozen plastic milk bottles wit water for washing hands, toilet, etc. etc.

-- freddie (freddie@thefreeloader.com), September 24, 1999.

I have had water stored in milk jugs for over a year. Some of the jugs collaped and some didn't. Just store the jugs of water someplace where water will not hurt anything. Milk jugs are free and water is plentiful now. You are not going to lose anything if a few jugs collapse. And all of them will not.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), September 24, 1999.

We've stored water in empty milk jugs for hurricanes for YEARS (long before knowing about Y2K) - and, as others have said, no problem! Many, including the Red Cross, have said not to do this, but we've had no problem (we do keep them in the dark just 'cause that's where we have space.) I like the idea of using for washing etc. unless you have a filter to use but, honest, we've had no problem!!

-- Jen (happy@myisland.com), September 24, 1999.

We too have stored back-up water supplies- for frozen pipe scenarios-in milk jugs- no problem found. we store them in the dark tho-

-- farmer (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), September 24, 1999.

Gallon plastic milk bottles will work in the short term. Fill them last. Use them first... Store in the dark, preferably in a place where there is little danger from a ruptured bottle. We will be using them for additional storage...

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), September 24, 1999.

Bayou Boy,

We used milk jugs for many years, daily, as we lived off the grid for some time. Believe me, when you are using them to obtain water at spring, bring to house, barn, etc., they see some pretty rough use, and we still use them at the barn till gutters set up for catching rain water.

So considering daily rough use, some seem to leak after a week. Some last indefinitly, until they are misshaped and dirty...go figure? Moving them when they are full and setting down on an edge cracks them faster than anything, as does throwing them when empty...which kids will do.

About the issue of using drinking water out of them, we did, but then rarely was water kept in one longer than one day, and fresh drinking water was often gotten more than one time a day. And for this we used the newest, and the cleanest. Bleach all of them occasionally if using them, only initally for storage.

If you have nothing else to store water in, use them, they are much better than not having any water stored at all. If you are concerned about the drinking water from them, use soda bottles for that.

Best to all...

-- Lilly (homesteader145@yahoo.com), September 25, 1999.

No one has mentioned using bleach bottles. When you pour the last of it out, don't let it drain & you will have 5-10 drops remaining in the jug. I only reuse the jugs that have synthetic gasket in lid instead of pastboard gasket. Using these did not seem illogical & they are tough.

-- Larry (B4loe@msn.com), November 03, 1999.

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