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13 Best Water Storage Containers -- (Review\ Guide 2021)

Few people acknowledge that water is a finite resource. But even if we believe that water is a resource that we will always have access to, there are no guarantees in this regard. Natural disasters can happen without notice, not to mention that man-made conflicts can also lead to water shortages. This is why you can consider looking for the best water storage containers. Water is a precious resource that we cannot live without because it supports life.

With this in mind, what is the purpose of a water storage container? Will it really help in case of water shortage? What should you consider when purchasing such a product? These are some of the questions we'll address in our comprehensive guide. We will also present you with reviews of water storage containers to make your decision making process easier.

How much water do I need to store?

When planning to store water for emergencies, an important consideration is deciding on the correct amount of water. There are several considerations about water worth noting in this regard. For example, the EPA recommends one gallon of water per person. Half a gallon is for drinking, while half a gallon is for cooking and washing. In the event of a natural disaster or national emergency, authorities recommend having enough water for two weeks.

At this point, a person should store 14 gallons of water. Basically, depending on the size of your family, you may need to store a considerable amount of water. Although on a daily basis, we consume 70 gallons of water per person. However, in the event of a disaster or emergency, it makes sense that water must be conserved and used wisely.

In addition to how much water you should store, depending on the size of your household, there is another important consideration. That is relocation -- is it necessary in your situation? If the answer is yes, then you should take into account the weight of the container when it is filled with water. While a 55-gallon drum weighs about 23 pounds when empty, it can weigh up to 484 pounds when filled with water.

With this in mind, you should consider some basic aspects such as accessibility and location. This is why some people choose to purchase several smaller reservoirs or containers for portability reasons. More specifically, a 5-gallon container may weigh up to 45 pounds when filled with water.

The most important water storage container features

Durability

When shopping for a water storage container, durability is an important consideration because you want the water to be properly preserved. This is why you should consider the construction of the item.

Manufacturing materials

This is just as important. Most water reservoirs are made of food-grade plastic, which is durable, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to move. However, it is important that the container be made of BPA-free plastic.

Proper sealing

Even if the container you buy is the best on the market, if you can't seal it perfectly, the water will be contaminated. This is why you should take into account the quality of the closure system.

Things to consider when choosing a water storage container

At first, you may think that the concept of storing water for emergencies is simple. However, since water is an indispensable item that supports life, you should make sure that your water source is free of contaminants and is clean. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a water reservoir.

Is the water reservoir just for one person or for the whole family?

Depending on the answer to this question, this will affect the amount of water you actually store. If you are considering storing enough water for your entire family, then choosing a larger, 55-gallon bucket may be the right choice for you. That way, if something unexpected happens, you'll have plenty of water. As for larger homes, obviously, the amount of water should be larger. It is equally important to get a pump in order to get water from a reservoir or barrel.

Easy transportation

If you need to relocate quickly in an emergency, maneuverability and transportability are of the utmost importance. For example, suppose there is a wildfire. In this case, a 5-7 gallon tank is probably your best bet. You should always choose what works best for your needs. If adding weight may complicate your situation, be sensible when shopping for a container.

Why do I need to store water?

First of all, while it's true that water has no expiration date, the environment in which it is stored will inevitably affect its quality and performance. That's why it's recommended that you replace your emergency water once a year if it hasn't been used. As a rule of thumb, always consider the specifics of similar emergencies and be prepared for them.

Best water storage containers reviews - preferred

1. iSpring T32M Pre-Pressurized Water Storage Tank

With a capacity of 3,2 gallons, the iSpring T32M is not the largest water storage container, but it is a reliable container that can be placed under a sink. Depending on the space, this tank can work perfectly in both vertical and horizontal positions.

The advantage of this product is that the metal body has a special surface that prevents rusting. It is sturdy metal, but will not contaminate your water. You won't feel a metallic aftertaste in your water, which is wonderful, but unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many products.

It can be used with reverse osmosis systems. So if you are looking for a smaller residential water storage and already have a reverse osmosis system installed in your home, you may want to consider this product because it is priced well for its features and size.

It can be pressurized to 5-7 PSI. in addition, if you want to connect to a tube like this, you can switch to a 3/8" quick connect fitting before you purchase the tank. Just call the customer service team.

Pros

Tested and approved to NSF/ANSI standards.

The unit arrives pre-pressurized to your door.

No cleaning of this tank is required. Just fill it up the first time, drain it, and it's ready to use.

Cons

The cut-off valve is not pre-assembled. Be careful not to break the valve when you twist it because it is made of plastic.

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2. Saratoga Farms 5-Gallon Stackables

If you want a durable water container for emergency storage, boating, camping, road trips, and the list may go on and on, these 5-gallon stackables may be a good choice for you. These containers are intended for easy maneuverability and transport. That's why you'll find built-in handles very useful.

The main concern you may have when purchasing a water storage container is the material used to manufacture it. This makes sense since you intend to store drinking water. The good thing is that the material used is a non-toxic food grade plastic.

This is a water container that can withstand heavy use because it is more durable compared to other plastics.

It is worth noting that you should not store the plastic container directly on the concrete floor. This is basically because the lye in the cement, over time, is likely to seep into the plastic. In other words, this will lead to water contamination, although this may take some time.

Pros

It is a convenient solution

Easy to stack and store

Well made and sturdy

Cons

The cap tends to leak, which can be quite inconvenient

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3. LCI Plastic Water Can, Desert Sand, 5 Gallons by LCI

Moving on, this is a military water canister. Its original purpose was to maintain the initial quality of drinking water. One of the reasons you might consider investing in one is that it is a good option for unexpected situations and emergencies.

Thanks to the screw-top closure, you'll find that filling it with water is fairly easy. As for pouring water, you can do it through a small opening with a lid. There is also a vented lid for easy pouring. Since the jars have handles, this makes it easy for you to maneuver them, even in the dark.

Another good thing to mention is that once the water is stored in the jar, there is no nasty aftertaste. This means that you can enjoy great tasting drinking water even in the event of a water shortage. All in all, it is a good product as far as its designated use is concerned.

Pros

BPA-free water canister

It has a handle for easy pouring and handling.

There is a vent cap which is convenient.

Cons

It can only hold 5 gallons of water, which may be an inconvenience for some buyers.

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4. 55 gallons of concentrated water retention

If you are prepared for an emergency, then you should definitely consider purchasing a proper concentrated water preserver. This is just as important as getting an adequate water storage container. By doing this, you can be sure that you will enjoy drinkable water.

This particular product will ensure that your water is stored safely for up to five years. You may be able to use it for tap water or bottled water.

Most importantly, this kills and stops the re-growth of harmful bacteria. Over time, the potential for drinking water to become undrinkable is quite high. Serious health problems may occur, including dysentery and typhoid, and the list could go on.

On the other hand, a slight inconvenience may be that once you treat the water, there will be a hint of chlorine in the water. Nevertheless, there is no change in concentration or texture.

Pros

Maintains the quality of your drinking water

Stops the growth of bacteria

Eliminates the possibility of threatening diseases

Cons

It causes a slight chlorine taste.

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5. DATREX Emergency Water Bag for Disaster or Survival

This is another product that belongs on the list of items you should invest in if you want to be prepared for a national emergency or anything like that.

The good news is that these water bags provide safe, drinkable drinking water. Of course, the packaging is PBA-free. It's also worth noting that the water is already filtered and meets FDA specifications.

Also, another reassuring aspect is that the water is still safe to use even when stored in harsh environments. The taste of the water stays the same. It doesn't have the slightest hint of plastic taste.

On another note, some customers who ordered these water bags noted that some of the water bags they received leaked. Even so, this has not happened to most people, so these are isolated cases.

Pros

It keeps water fresh and drinkable for up to five years.

It can be stored in harsh environments

The taste of the water will not be compromised

Cons

The packaging could be improved, as some customers' bags leak.

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6. WaterBOB Bathtub Emergency Water Storage Container

Now, we would like to introduce you to a water seal system. More specifically, this can be used to store up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water in a standard bathtub. In a life-threatening situation, this could be life-saving. If you don't have the space in your house to store large containers, this could be a great option.

If you're looking for a temporary water storage solution, this could be it. This system can keep water fresh for up to 16 weeks. Nonetheless, your water source will also play a role in it.

Using this system is fairly easy. All you have to do is to lay the liner in the tub. After that, you should connect the filler to the faucet. There is an attached siphon pump that facilitates the use of the water distribution system.

Pros

Made of durable, FDA-compliant plastic

Easy to use

Provides a versatile solution that most people can use

Cons

It is an expensive option compared to other options.

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7. Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7-Gallon Rigid Water Container

And our next recommended water storage container will be this rigid water tank. The quality of the item is guaranteed as the plastic is thick and durable. If you are looking for a viable bulk drinking water storage solution, this is a great choice.

Looking again at the shape and size of the container, it ensures adequate capacity. In terms of practicality, this is something to consider. When empty, the container is relatively light, which means you will not encounter many challenges when moving it around.

Aside from that, storing it should not be risky as the possibility of rusting will be diminished. With that in mind, this could be a good option if you have limited space in your house to store this reservoir, but you still want to have access to water in case of an emergency.

Pros

Versatile container

Sturdy and practical design

Durable

Cons

As previous customers have noted, leaks can be a problem.

Cleaning the inside of the container can be a challenge due to the narrow opening.

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8. Emergency supply water bucket

This would be our first recommendation for a reliable water storage container. Why? First of all, this bucket has a capacity of 55 gallons. This means you can get enough water for cooking, drinking, and basic sanitation for a small family. In other words, you can get about 14 days worth of water in an emergency situation.

Please note that the bucket does not come with a lid. Instead, it has two small holes with screw-on lids. In addition, the barrel comes with a list of instructions. When you open the barrel for the first time, there is a slightly unpleasant smell. But if you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, this smell will easily disappear.

As for the cleaning procedure, it is quite simple. You have to rinse it, add some bleach, and let it do its job. Then, you rinse it again and that's it. The bucket is well made and durable, which means it will stand the test of time.

Pros

Durable, sturdy construction

Provides enough water for a family of four for 14 days

Easy to fill and empty

Cons

At first, the barrel has an unpleasant odor. But with proper cleaning, it disappears.

Difficult to move.

9. 15-gallon emergency water storage bucket

This is another product that might be worth your attention. First, it is made of durable, BPA-free, heavy-duty plastic. Also, the material is food-grade, which means it's designed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

As for the capacity of this bucket, it's not as large as our first recommendation. This would make it suitable for only one person.

But the main advantage of this model is that it is portable. Therefore, you will not find it challenging to transport it from one place to another in case of emergency preparedness. We can say that it provides enough water for one person for up to 2 weeks.

Being so easy to manage, it might be a good idea to buy a few small buckets instead of one large one. But it's entirely up to you, depending on what works best for your situation.

Pros

Durable construction

Materials that inhibit bacterial growth

Easy to move and manage

Cons

Small capacity - provides enough water for only one person

10. RomoTech Vertical Polyethylene Reservoir

If you like to invest in a reservoir that provides enough water for an extended period of time, this may be a good choice. It has a capacity of 550 gallons. Because of its durable, sturdy construction, it is not only approved for storing water. But it can also be used for dispensing or storing chemicals.

Thanks to the large fill cap and drain, you'll find that emptying and filling the reservoir isn't really that difficult. As for the material used, it is heavy-duty, UV-protected medium-density polyethylene. Another nice feature is that the material is translucent. There are also some useful molded scale markings that indicate the level of the liquid.

Obviously, because of its high capacity, moving it when it is full is not the easiest task. That's why unless you have the possibility to move it, this is probably not a good purchase.

Pros

Large fill cap and drain makes filling and emptying easy

Made of high-quality, UV-protected polyethylene

Provides useful molded access for saddle straps

Cons

Can be a challenge to move and manage the tank when it is full of water

11. 250-gallon rainwater collection tank, red brick

Next up is another high-capacity water storage container, this one boasting a capacity of 250 gallons. But this is a different kind because it is made to collect rainwater. Unfortunately, rainwater is a valuable resource that we don't usually utilize.

For this reason, as opposed to using potable water to flush toilets or to provide water for livestock (especially in rural areas), a collection tank is a worthwhile investment in the event of water shortages.

This product is also made of non-toxic plastic - namely polyethylene - which means you don't have to worry about this. Also, the material is FDA-approved and features zero BPA.

On the flip side, this particular model is designed to collect rainwater. Therefore, it comes with all the accessories you need in this regard. There is an additional stainless steel strainer whose purpose is to keep debris such as leaves or branches out. It is also designed to keep out mosquitoes or pests.

Pros

If you want to make use of rainwater, this is a good choice.

Sturdy construction

Made of non-toxic plastic

Cons

For home consumption, a proper filtration system is a must.

12. 260-gallon emergency water storage tank

The capacity of this water storage tank - 260 gallons - can make it an attractive option for larger homes. The nice thing is that no matter how large its capacity, it can easily fit through most door frames. The water tank weighs 70 pounds and it takes up some space.

However, even if you don't have a basement to store the tank in, it can be stored outdoors because it is stable. One problem may be the freezing issue. But this will depend on the area you live in. Note that the maximum temperature that this tank can handle is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the flip side, the water storage tank is well made and durable. This means it is a one-time investment. It's really easy to rinse the tank before filling it with fresh water to make sure the water is of good quality.

Pros

The tank is equipped with the necessary chemicals to provide at least five years of drinkable water.

Durability

It is suitable for use in tight places

Cons

Due to its size, finding a suitable place to store it can be a challenge.

13. Norwesco 45223 35-gallon horizontal water tank

This is an excellent multi-purpose water tank. That is, it can be used for a variety of purposes: emergencies, unexpected water shortages, camping, irrigation, and more. On top of that, you can get the size that best fits your needs.

Most importantly, the manufacturing techniques and materials used meet FDA specifications. This is usually the main area of interest when storing water.

Since there are two notches on the tank, you will find it relatively easy to tie it down or attach it. However, since the tank does not come with any accessories, you will need to purchase what you need separately. More specifically, it does not come with a lid.

Notably, since it is sturdy and well-made, you don't have to worry about leaks or anything like that.

Pros

Sturdy construction

It works as designed

Versatility

Cons

You will need to purchase additional accessories.

Water purification methods you can use

If you are not that knowledgeable about the subject of survival or emergency preparedness, you may not know much about the various water purification methods. But the truth is, there are several options. Technology has certainly come a long way, which is noteworthy in all areas - including this one. While some methods are relatively new, others are as old as time - boiling water, for example. But let's take a closer look at the most popular methods, shall we?

water purification pills and drops

When it comes to purifying large amounts of water, then one of the most effective ways is to buy water purification tablets or drops. This may be a practical option for some people, which is why it's worth considering.

Depending on the type of product you purchase, you will have to follow different steps to ensure that the water is safe to drink. Often, the product packaging has comprehensive instructions on how many drops of water or tablets you should include to get the best results.

Also, there is a waiting period after adding the tablets or drops. Typically, after this waiting period (which may be up to 60 minutes), the water should be safe to drink. However, if you intend to store the water after purification for a long period of time, in the event of an emergency or disaster, you should simply add the drops or tablets, seal the container and store it adequately.

Generally, water purification drops and tablets include chlorine, iodine or chlorine dioxide. Each chemical has different properties in terms of taste and efficiency.

Boiled water

While it is true that boiling water may not be as efficient as utilizing tablets or drops, it is still worth considering. Boiling will kill viruses, bacteria and parasites. As for the unpleasant taste of boiled water, this usually goes away if you let the water sit for a while.

Distillation

This is considered to be one of the most effective ways to purify water. This is because it successfully removes viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals and heavy metals. Nevertheless, it is a relatively slow process, which is the main inconvenience factor.

But what does this process actually entail? Basically, it collects condensate from the boiling process. Once condensed, the water vapor is released from all the impurities that were originally present inside the water. There are countertop stills to choose from, and of course you can use a DIY water distiller.

Water filters

Water filters are also very effective in this regard. What do they do? Essentially, water filters quickly eliminate parasites, microorganisms, trace heavy metals, etc. But this will ultimately depend on the type of water purifier. For example, portable water purifiers are not as effective as whole house water purifiers. When it comes to tankless water heaters, it is important to include a sediment filter. Often, this optimizes the efficacy and durability of the heater.

Depending on the amount of sediment present in your water source, you may need to change the filter more or less often. Also, if you're concerned about filtering out bacteria, then experts recommend investing in an absolute filter.

Water Storage Preparation. Key Considerations

We've already mentioned that the safest material for long-term water storage is polyethylene-based, food-grade plastic. This should be the first thing you check before filling your reservoir or container.

It is also important to eliminate the possibility of contaminating the water through contact with the outside environment or skin. In addition, it is best to utilize translucent or opaque reservoirs rather than clear ones, which are taboo.

Potential water sources

Admittedly, you can collect water from a variety of sources, including rainwater. However, you should carefully evaluate the quality of these water sources before using them. For example, when it comes to municipal tap water, this is usually treated accordingly with chlorine. For this reason, you don't have to worry about further disinfection, as this will mean increasing the acceptable levels of chlorine and other disinfection chemicals.

On the other hand, if you use water from a stream or lake, you should treat it adequately before storing it. Here's a list of potential water sources to consider

Melted ice cubes

Water from swimming pools (recommended for sanitation, not for cooking or drinking)

Water from a water heater tank

Rainwater

Natural spring water

Water from wells

Streams and ponds

How to clean the water storage container. Important guidelines

After reading our review, you may have concluded that containers should be adequately prepared before they are filled with drinking water. And this makes sense. So does filling a container or reservoir with juice, milk, chemicals or other substances. Here are the steps you should follow when cleaning and preparing your personal water storage containers.

First, you must thoroughly clean and rinse the tank. After opening the tank for the first time, you may notice a slight unpleasant odor. But this is normal and will go away.

Next, you should proceed to make a bleach cleaning solution. Add one teaspoon of unscented liquid bleach for every quart/liter of water.

Third, you should pour the mixture into the water tank and close it accordingly. Continue and shake well until you are sure that all areas of the bucket are well coated with the cleaning solution.

Let it sit for about 30 seconds, then pour the mixture out.

You should allow the reservoir to air dry.

Once you have completed all these steps, you can pour the clean water into the container and seal it with the lid accordingly.

How not to store water?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to storing water. One of them is that if the water is clear, this means that it is portable and safe to drink. But the truth is that some of the most harmful contaminants are colorless. Therefore, if the water is clear, this does not guarantee that it is free of parasites.

Another important aspect to note is that water does not have an actual expiration date. While this is true, after the water has been sitting for a period of time, it may not taste the same. This has nothing to do with the water, but rather with the packaging. That said, you can't rely on a container forever because it doesn't allow water to be stored in perfect conditions for very long.

Therefore, as already mentioned, you should never store water in a container that is not advertised as a food-grade water storage container. There are plenty of buckets or barrels you can purchase -- that's for sure. They may be more affordable and look just as good as the more expensive alternatives, so you may feel tempted to choose them.

However, you shouldn't store water in such containers unless they are designed for that purpose. The material of the container is of utmost importance to your health and general well being. More specifically, there are several types of plastic on the market. 1, 2, 4 and 7 are advertised as safe for food-grade container manufacturing. You can see this number by looking at the bottom of the container. This number is usually in a triangle with a recycling symbol.

Another important piece of information you will find by looking at the bottom of the container is whether or not the container is safe to freeze. You will also determine if the container can be stored in a storage room.

You should not store water in a container that has been previously stored with a different liquid. For example, some of the barrels and containers included in the review section can be used for storing chemicals and other substances. If the reservoir has previously been used for a different purpose, this will make it unsafe to store drinking water over a longer time frame. Even after cleaning that reservoir several times, this would still not make it a safe alternative for you. It is difficult, if not impossible, to completely remove the chemicals, sugar, traces of bacteria, so on and so forth.

You also shouldn't put the water in a cardboard container. While this may seem like common sense, some people have resorted to this alternative and it is not safe. The reason you should avoid doing this is that cardboard is not a long-term, safe solution.

You should not put drinking water in metal containers unless they are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is the only type of metal container that will not corrode. In the case of corrosion, water can easily and quickly go bad. By all means, you should avoid drinking rusty water.

You should not store water in containers that cannot be sealed. While there may be some exceptions to this, the basic rule is that this will expose your water to contamination. Particles may enter the water and jeopardize its quality.

You should not store water in containers that have the slightest possibility of contamination. If you have any doubts, you should simply choose a different type of reservoir and that's it.

You should not put the reservoir in direct sunlight or high temperatures. The ideal situation is to have a temperature-controlled, shaded room such as a storage room - preferably without windows, a basement, an underground wine cellar, etc. This is important, especially in the case of long-term water storage, as temperature changes can immediately affect the quality of the water.

Frequently asked questions

Does the stored water have a strange smell?

Once water has been stored for a considerable period of time, it can have a strange taste, even if it is drinkable. This is related to the fact that over time the water loses the oxygen particles in it - which means it becomes bland. But you shouldn't be too concerned about this, unless it tastes pungent, swampy or very strange. In that case, if it doesn't taste like water, you shouldn't drink it.

Should I also have a filtration or purification system on hand?

Maybe you plan to store enough water for fourteen days. In that case, should you also consider investing in a proper filtration or purification system? The problem is that even if your basement is completely stocked with enough purified water, you should still have access to a way to purify it.

Emergencies, as the name implies, are unpredictable. That's why you should prepare for the worst-case scenario. If you have a proper, capable filtration or purification system, it means you can extend your survival time to days or weeks.

If my water storage containers haven't been used, do I still need to replace them?

Let's say that you followed all the safety guidelines for adequate water storage. In this case, should you still be concerned that the water must be replaced? This is necessary because you have no way to completely deter tiny bugs. As a rule of thumb, you should replace your water supply annually. While you won't necessarily be exposed to deadly diseases if you drink the water, it's better to be safe than sorry. In a survival situation, your first priority should be to get safe drinkable water.

This doesn't mean you should waste that water. When you replace your water, simply reuse it for a different purpose.

Wrapping up

In fact, water storage is a topic you shouldn't ignore because unpredictable situations are bound to happen - and being prepared for whatever may arise will make all the difference in the world. With this in mind, the best water storage containers can literally save your life, but of course, you'll have to choose according to your needs and specifications. Hopefully, our comprehensive guide and our water storage container reviews have served their purpose and eased your preparation process.

Authorities recommend storing water for at least two weeks. As for the average person, you will need approximately one gallon of water per day. By considering these key factors, you will maximize the safety of your family. Thank you for reading this and stay safe!

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