Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Water and Plastic Bottles

I just received your book yesterday and have gotten through half of it so far.  I’m happy that you did the book in that it is of your own experience from a recent economic collapse, realistic, and straight to the point.  I have been trying to get prepared with the more common items to survive at a minimum, very high prices for everything, but some of the lists have so much that it made my head spin trying to figure out what my family really needs.  Not having an endless supply of money to spend either, I have to prioritize what I buy. In reading about the 2 liter bottles for water storage, I don’t drink soda, but was wondering if the 16oz water bottles would be good for water storage also?  The thing I am worried about it how thin the plastic is compared to a bottle of Gatorade or soda.  Do you think these bottles could work for any length of time?
Hi Michael, thanks for your email. Which bottles would those 16oz ones be? If they are store bought water bottles, then they will be good for a year, maybe two. Water wont go bad but it will taste like plastic. While MUCH better than not having water at all, you can avoid that by rotating once a year and keeping it stored in a cool, dark place.
To be sure how good or bad a bottle may be you have to learn a bit about plastics. They will have a triangle in the bottom with a number inside. That number is the type of plastic you have. Check the wiki link to learn some about this. The bottles to avoid would be the ones used for milk. In some cases these degrade fast and will quickly start breaking and leaking. Numbers 2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), 4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or 5 PP (polypropylene) are good options.

Number 1 is PET, and mostly ok for one time use though you can get away with reusing it once or twice if needed. Keep in mind that some HDPE plastics are not “food grade”. The best way to know if the plastic is food grade or not is by using containers that already were sold for such purpose or already contain food. If possible get BPA-free bottles. Don’t reuse containers that have been used to store fuels or chemicals. Remember to throw four or five bottles in the fridge. If the power goes down you can use them to keep your food cool for another couple of days. Simply place your food among the frozen bottles at the bottom of the fridge and cover with either plastic sheathing or several plastic bags for insulation.
Take care!
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Darrell said...

The normal recommendation is 1 gallon per person per day, the 16 oz bottles wont get you very far, I get my containers in san diego here:
I use the 15 gallon with a preservative and refresh the water every few years. One or two fit in a closet easy, I have 6 for a family of four. If you Google food grade barrels you may find a local vendor that you wont have to pay shipping for. The 15 gallon are quite heavy so keep that in mind of you decide to choose them.

Anonymous said...

three hurricanes and one ice storm
taught me about storing water.
1. don't use plastic milk jugs. they will deteriorate quicker than just about anything else.
2. use plastic 2-Liter soft drink
bottles. they are TOUGH, easier to
handle and easier to store.
3. the best free ones i found are
the 5-gallon restaurant pickle buckets. restaurants will give those to you for free. there are
other food 'buckets' that work, too.

Joseph said...

Water weighs a bit more than 8 lbs per gallon; a 5 gallon container is going to weigh about 42-47 lbs, depending on the material of the container.

For sure, DON'T use milk jugs. They split easily.