Thursday, March 26, 2009

55 Gallon Water Barrel Water Rotation Question

"I hope you can help me with this because I cannot find two answers that are the same. If you store your water in 55 gallon dark blue containers that have been filled with filtered water, kept off the floor in a dark cool room do you still have to change it every 6 months? It seems to me that it should be good for a lot longer than that and would just need to be set out for a few hours/days to freshen up. Do you know the latest on this?"
Here is my response -
Here are some quotes from the book "Preparedness Principles" by Barbara Salsbury.
"A full fifty-five gallon water barrel weighs 440 pounds. Once you fill it, it is not portable. A siphon hose pump is the easiest and most logical way to access the water." pg. 143
"You do not have to add any purifiers to the water. Water from your tap is safe and good. It does not need to be purified when you put it in the containers, and probably not when you end up using it, unless it has not been cared for properly, or unless something has polluted it. According to the Utah State University Extension, you purify water only if the purity of the water is in doubt." pg. 146
"Store in as dark and cool a place as possible, and preferably not directly on a cement floor. (Lay down some slats before you set your containers down.)" pg. 146
"Check your water a couple times a year. If it's not slimy or cloudy, and if there are no frogs in it, leave it alone. Change it out for fresh every year or so to make sure it is still good." pg. 146
In the back of the book it explains how to get rid of algae in your barrels.
Also, here is the link to the LDS church information on water storage. I think your answer is to CHECK your water every 6 months. Not necessarily change it. Hope that helps! This book is a great resource. Buy it or check it out from a library. It is currently on back order from the publisher so check around in other bookstores.
I just received a wonderful handout on Water Storage/Purification by Connor Boyack. You will learn the Pros and Cons of various storage containers, and see their pictures. And he also explains water purification methods. Thank you, Connor.


  1. I've collected information on water storage and purification and created this six page PDF that you can freely share if you find useful.

  2. Wow, Connor! You have done a lot of research. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I have an option of well water or city water. As a precaution,I was told that it is advised to put a teaspoon of ordinary clorine bleach into a 55 gal tank and seal it. Please advise. I am aware that this small amount of bleach may have some taste but minimal but that would be acceptable if the purity was enhanced, John Griffith PS: I lam not with the LDS church but admire and follow may principles that you practice.

  4. I want to save water in my 55 gal tanks for food storage, but think that changing it out every year is wasteful. Is there anything that could be added to the water every so often to avoid wasting so much water?

    1. Personally I don't change mine very often. I would use that water for bathing, and keep drinking water in smaller containers. You could water your lawn or garden with it. :)


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!