water rotation

Do you already have your water storage?

Then it's a great time to rotate your water storage! I try to think about things around spring and fall General Conference. If you connect these tasks to General Conference, then you'll find yourself assessing your fire-alarm batteries, 72-hour kits, and water storage regularly.

Rotating a good-sized water storage can be a pretty big task. You should rotate your water regularly. I rotate my water every few years. Water looses its oxygen and can taste stale. The taste can be improved by pouring water back and forth between two water pitchers. Rotation also makes your water more likely to be clean and drinkable right out of the containers if you ever need it.

Some store their large drums of water on sturdy wheel carts which makes them easier to move. Some people also store their water near drains to aid rotation. My large drums are in my garage and I usually carefully tip the barrel and roll it out onto my lawn to drain. You can also siphon the water out using a siphon pump. Smaller containers can be moved using a wagon or wheel barrel and then emptied. Soda bottles are easy to carry and dump. All of the discarded water could be used to water a lawn, plants or garden.

You can pull a hose almost anywhere to refill most of your containers. A hose can even be pulled through basement windows if that is where you keep your water storage (connect a hose sprayer with a handle that you press to turn the water on/off to ensure that you don't get water everywhere). I have had some concern about using my normal garden hose (which has the "California: this has chemicals which can cause cancer" label). I did see recently that Emergency Essentials has a 25 foot "drinking water safe" hose. It costs about $16. I haven't been concerned enough to actually purchase this hose, but it is an option. Soda bottles can be refilled easily in a sink.


Roger said...

I recently purchased some 1 gallon PETE clear plastic water bottles with water already in them. If I keep them sealed out of sunlight how long will their shelf life be?

Also, we have a swimming pool that uses a salt chlorinating system. What will I need to do to make that water drinkable in time of need?

Wendy said...

Roger - Water is typically stamped for two years, but that is more for inventory rotation purposes. This link: http://www.finewaters.com/Newsletter/February_2005/Shelf_live_of_water.asp states that "the product's shelf life should remain intact for an indefinite period of time."

As far as the swimming pool question, I don't think I can answer with confidence. I do know that a typically chlorinated pool should not be used for drinking water, but rather for cleaning. There are some claims that a salt-water system is safe for pets to drink. I can not verify this fact, nor can I determine if it would also be safe for human consumption. Check with your system manufacturer for specifics. Let us know what you find.

Anonymous said...

I found blue 25 ft drinking water hoses at Walmart earlier this summer for about $12. I just went back to buy another and they have no hoses, but I bet they'll be back next spring. I do worry about the chemicals and lead in the hoses, especially when it says right on the label the chemicals can cause cancer.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll look for the hose at Walmart next spring.

Wendy said...

Roger -

I found this comment on the Red Cross//CDC website: "Avoid Using: Store-bought water past the expiration or "use by" date on the container."

That contradicts the FDA quote that I used earlier -- so I don't know what to tell you.