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  #1  
Old 08/28/11, 10:15 AM
 
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Shelf life of water in sealed plastic jugs?

How long can water be stored in the gallon and 2 and 1/2 gallon translucent plastic jugs if they've never been opened? I would be storing them in a basement closet away from light in an area where the average temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees.

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Old 08/28/11, 10:26 AM
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan, USA
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Originally Posted by cbcansurvive View Post
How long can water be stored in the gallon and 2 and 1/2 gallon translucent plastic jugs if they've never been opened? I would be storing them in a basement closet away from light in an area where the average temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees.
Distilled water lasts longer than spring, up to about 2 years, spring 1 year. The containers tend to fail about 2 -3 years for the clear, only 1 year for the milk jug cloudy style. You can reuse 2 liter pop bottles, or they do make water storage totes (about $10 for 7gallon size at WM). The cloudy milk jug water bottles WILL fail and you will get water leaks from them if you store them long term. I know firsthand
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Old 08/28/11, 10:37 AM
 
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Totally agree. Never use the cloudy plastic for anything longer than a few weeks. I've had the same experience. Two liter soda bottles are interesting. If you store water in them (especially distilled water, which is chemically more active) they eventually leach out a smoky-tasting chemical. If you have ever had a garbage bag burn, that is the odor/flavor. Glass is still the most reliable long term storage container.

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Old 08/28/11, 10:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Harry Chickpea View Post
Glass is still the most reliable long term storage container.
Hmmm...my dad comes across the old 5 gallon glass containers that used to go on water coolers before the advent of plastics. I like to keep at least 24 gallons on hand at any given time (two weeks worth of drinking water for us) so that would be a lot of those. How about the plastic used in food grade 275 gallon totes?
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Old 08/28/11, 01:12 PM
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Glass breaks! Not a good option for places that get earthquakes.

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Old 08/28/11, 01:42 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: north Alabama
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I have no personal experience with the totes, but would suspect that the plastic might have similar issues. If you can figure out a good capping system, the bag-in-a-box that soda syrups come in are fairly reliable 5 gal containers.

Glass in earthquakes - certainly something to be aware of in storage, but glass bottles constantly get safely shipped around the globe, which can be a lot more shaky. Look at the design of a liquor carton for ideas on how to handle the storage.

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Old 08/28/11, 02:04 PM
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Michigan, USA
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Originally Posted by cbcansurvive View Post
Hmmm...my dad comes across the old 5 gallon glass containers that used to go on water coolers before the advent of plastics. I like to keep at least 24 gallons on hand at any given time (two weeks worth of drinking water for us) so that would be a lot of those. How about the plastic used in food grade 275 gallon totes?
We use the 275s for rain collection. The biggest issue I have is with that is size(weight), it's not at all portable, and the bottom valve opening is huge and low to the ground, like hydrant size. The top opening is near impossible to reach, and I am 5'10". They work well though, ours are south facing 3 years, no leaks, just some algae growth.
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Old 08/28/11, 03:08 PM
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There are food gradable containers out there which are heavy plastic. As to how long to keep, from experience there are no guidelines by any agency (knowledge obtained from profession). However, larger containers should be emptied and refilled anywhere from 6 mos to a year. It also depends on where it is kept - climate. Chlorine added will help with algae. Rotation of water can be used many ways, which we all have need in garden, flowers beds, etc. Better safe than sorry, I prefer every 6-8 months, but mine is not in a good climate controlled area.

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Old 08/28/11, 04:35 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Standard storage rule (for everything): store in a cool dry dark place.
For water, a little chlorine will help extend storage life A LOT, and when times comes to use it you just let it air out for a few hours, 24 hours at most, and the chlorine will have evaporated away.
Most reliable containers are soft-drink bottles (2 litre is good), juice bottles, or bottles that have contained water when sold - de-mineralised or distilled water containers is what I use, but then I don't buy drinking water.
I'm drinking my standard, which is rainwater. Because we needed to truck in some town water a couple of years ago during drought, I got in the habit of running it through a Brita filter and then boiling it. No chlorine, but what I'm drinking now (winter) is about four months old. Summer rotation is a LOT shorter, maybe a week, because we drink a lot more water. However, we've got an 45,000 litre (say US quart) underground cistern and an above-ground 9,000 litre water tank.
DO NOT USE plastic milk containers. They WILL break down in just a few months - they are only made to last a little longer than the shelf-life of milk.

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