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How to Store Backup Water in Your Garage in 55 Gallon Barrels

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How to Store Backup Water in Your Garage in 55 Gallon Barrels

When I first started prepping, I knew I needed to store plenty of water, but I didn’t realize how much. Every time I went shopping, I would pick up a case of 32 half-liter water bottles. I did this for a couple months, at which point I was satisfied that I had more than enough water and stopped buying more. How wrong I was.

Later that year, I decided to add up the calories in my pantry to see how long our food would actually last. Although it turned out I had three month’s worth, which is pretty good, I didn’t have nearly as much water.

It looked like I had a lot of water, but when I did the math, it turned out I only had about 34 gallons. And since you’re supposed to store a gallon of water per person per day, that meant the water would only last my wife and I a little over two weeks, far short of the three months worth of food I had.

I thought to myself, “What’s the point of having all this food if we die of thirst?” That’s the day I realized the importance of having a good water storage system. Although now I live somewhere with a reliable source of water, I still have some 55-gallon drums just in case.

If you’ve ever thought about stocking up on enough water to lost a long time–not just a few weeks, but months or even years–this video by City Prepping tells you how to do it. He covers:

  • Where to get 55 gallon drums.
  • What you’ll need to store them.
  • How to disinfect and clean them.
  • How to properly fill them up.
  • How to store them the right way.
  • How to siphon water out of them.

Watch the video below to learn more.

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4 Comments

  1. Leah on November 25, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    If your garage is detached and not heated… could you simply not fill them full to account for the expansion of volume when they freeze?

  2. dz on October 23, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    search WalMart.com for “55 gal water drum barrel” and you should see a few really good ones show up for around $79 to $99 each – the good ones are blue. The problem is they often run out of stock but you can enter an email address to be notified when they have more available. I have two at home and plan on buying at least four more when they are available. Buy some generic liquid bleach (no scent or additives) to use for initial sanitizing and to add 8 drops per gallon when filling up for prevention of microbes such as bacteria and molds. When the barrel is full and you add 8 drops per gallon of generic chlorine, the water should smell like a fresh swimming pool and you should be good for long term storage. When you open the barrels give them a sniff test to see if they still smell like a swimming pool, if so, good to go, if anything smells wrong, it is wrong, so filter / purify again before using. To reduce / remove the chlorine from your stored water just leave some in an open container with a large opening (like a bucket or large pan) for several hours and the chlorine will “evaporate” from the water, leaving sanitized but reduced chlorinated water to use.

  3. Bob on February 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Roughly, what is the storage life when using this method?

    • Alan on February 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Most people suggest checking it every 6 months to a year, but I think if you do everything like he does in the video you could get away with waiting a whole year before rotating.

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