how long does boiled water store? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

i would like to keep my water storage going. i used juice and soda bottles that i cleaned with bleach and then boiled water for about 12 minutes and filled. how long should they be good for? also boiled and filled 55 gal. food grade drums 3 of them. also filled more drums for household and animal use and treated them with bleach. we live in new hampshire and my husband works all week in connecticut. we lose power quite a bit and i need to go on without having to bother anyone to start the generator for me. would like to keep water stored but don't know how long bleached or boiled water lasts. can anyone answer?

-- laura cavallari (, March 07, 2000


I would give it a maximum of two years before I might feel a need to "refresh" the supply. Even so the water may taste a little flat. Pouring (aerating) the water between a couple of containers may help.

Boiling by itself tends to "sterilize" the water and the container and the action of boiling tend to remove dissolved oxygen. Both inhibit severely the growth of "biogens" in the water. Ditto for the trace chorine.

If you're in NH and have a well I would wonder to the need to keep a large quantity of water on hand providing you have some "manual" method of taking water from the well. A hand "shallow" or "deep" well pump might be good insurance and would allow you to dispense with anything but "day water storage."

I have considered putting a manual pump on my well but two things have held me back. 1.) the large inital cost for the manual pump probably near $500. 2.) The fact that the mere act of putting a "pump" on the well cap can lead to problems with "intrusion" by rainwater. (The more expensive "pump heads" are sealed against the entrance of rain or leaves or other "extranious matter.")

For now and in case of TEOTWAWKI (gosh, I haven't seen that phrase around here much recently) I keep a valved "bailer" in the barn that I can drop down the well using a nylon cord. One gallon per bail.

Hope this helps, Joe in NH also.

-- Joe (, March 07, 2000.

Bleached or boiled, if the containers were clean, sealed tightly and the water kept dark it should store indefinitely (which is not to say infinitely). You could leave it for several years and the water would still be safe to drink. That said, I recommend changing it at least yearly or even every six months. Water has a water of leaching flavors out of plastic and the water might not be the most pleasant stuff to drink, even if it is safe, after it's been stored for a couple of years.

Down here in Florida I rotate mine out every six months.


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-- A.T. Hagan (, March 07, 2000.

thank you so much for the info. the"bottled" boiled water is on shelves in my basement(dark corner)and it stays pretty cool down there. the 3 boiled barrels are near the 2baths and the kitchen. the chlorine barrels are in the basement as well. i do have a drilled well and an old dug well. as you said replacing the hand pump is expensive, but do hope to do this soon. because my husband works and stays in conn. from monday to friday, i like to know that i can manage things here myself. we dohave a generator that my husband would hook upto the pump to draw water if we needed. but i'm not comfortable doing that myself. so i want to keep water on hand for emergencys. thanks again, laura

-- laura cavallari (, March 07, 2000.

Those bottles aren't going to last forever either - UV damage, oxidation, evaporation of plasticisers. Depending on their quality, they might not last as long as the water. Could be an idea to take them out every six months or so, treat them roughly (say bounce on the edge of a bench where water won't do any harm) and trash the whole batch if any bottle gives way.

-- Don Armstrong (, March 07, 2000.

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