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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:43 PM
Original message
Bottled Water - How long can you keep it stored?
Someone started a thread recently about "disaster preparedness" (that I can't find now) but it started me to think more about the issue. I've thought about it some and am slightly/somewhat prepared. In case of a disaster/emergency, the water issue I can solve IF I KNOW SOMETHING's COMING (like a storm, say) because I have saved some clean containers/bottles that I can fill before the event. But if something totally unexpected happens, I will probably only have the water in my hot water tank.

So, I saw in the paper that a local merchant has 5 gal. bottled water going on sale at a really great price and thought I might pick up 2 or 4 (10 or 20 gals.) of them. I guess if I ever had to evacuate at least I could throw a few of those bottles in my car and go.

My question is: How long can you keep/store that kind of bottled water and still use it for food/drinking purposes? Does it ever "go bad" or bacteria, etc. starts growing in it? Hope this isn't a "stupid question".

Thanks in advance to all who will answer :hi:
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. good question
I always assumed that it kept forever if it was unopened

can water go bad?

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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. No, water can go bad. Most commercially prepared water has
an expiration date on it.
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I need to go look at the water in my fridge
I know some of it's been in there a while

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. that is more for liability than actually going bad.
has to have an exp date on it for liability.
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SeveneightyWhoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-05-06 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. But does that mean anything?
Other than it being an attempt to sell more water? If there's an 'expiration date', people have to buy more water when it goes 'bad'..
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gkdmaths Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-14-06 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. wtf?
an expiration date doesnt mean it goes "bad" (whatever that means).

Your bottled water wont go bad. Want proof? Put some bottled water in your shelter and wait for the next apocalypse. When your choices of water consumption is a decision between feces infused rot-water from the puddle with the chemical sheen on it or the expired bottled water in your bomb-shelter you'll understand that bottled water doesnt go bad.

And there's the idea that bottled water generally doesnt go bad.

:o
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here's the thread on "Disaster Preparedness"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

...and, depending on how it's bottled, water should be rotated every 6 months to a year. Using opaque bottles and keeping them cool and out of the sun will help. That said, the 5-gallon water cooler jugs work just fine...just watch for algae growth (that's your concern, not bacteria).
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Billy Ruffian Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. I had problems with the opaque bottles
We had several gallon jugs in the closet, some were the 'milk jug' plastic, and some were a very clear plastic. All of the milk jug plastic containers developed pinhole leaks, not enough to make the floor of the closet noticeably wet, but enough to allow 1/2 or more of the jug to empty out over the year. The clear plastic jugs were fine.

We replaced all of them with clear plastic jugs. We keep the jugs until expiration date, then use the water.

I also have six 5 gallon collapsible water containers in the same closet. For the events that give us warning (ice storms, hurricanes) I can fill those easily.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. If you buy containers full, good "forever", if fill youself,stuff can grow
To sell it it has to be sterile. Filling bottles yourself with tap water, not sterile. You can sterilize it with chlorine before drinking (bleach) with fill it yourself bottles. Also good to rotate fill it yourself every couple months, empty/refill. Store bought unopened will last.
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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. According to this site... indefinitely if stored properly
Edited on Tue Aug-08-06 06:51 PM by cyberpj
How long can I store bottled water?
FDA has not established a shelf life for bottled water. IBWA advises consumers to store bottled water at room temperature (or cooler), out of direct sunlight and away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinners and dry cleaning chemicals. Bottled water can be used indefinitely if stored properly.

http://www.bottledwater.org/public/faqs.htm#9

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LiberalArkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. I buy the 5 gallon jugs and rotate them to the fridge,
keeping 2 jugs (10 Gallons) in my pantry at all times..
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. There are no stupid questions.
Edited on Tue Aug-08-06 06:56 PM by mcscajun
Like all disaster supplies, they should be used and replaced in rotation. Nothing edible or potable stays fresh forever, not even water, especially not water in clear containers, subjected to light. It may last forever, but it won't smell or taste good forever.

Tap water is even less stable than bottled water for long-term storage, and that's if it tasted good to begin with.
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gkdmaths Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-14-06 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #9
23. what happens to tap water?
what happens to tap water that doesnt happen to distilled water if exposed to light? does it go through photolysis into a pair of hydrigens and a free oxygen? jesus, if that were the truth we'd all be seriously DEAD right about now from all the detonations around the world.

or did you just make that up?

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zoeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. I bought 2 cases of 20oz water from Sam's club
in June '05 and it has an expiration date for June '07. Enhanced minerals added for a purer taste. Maybe the minerals go bad. :spray:
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
11. From the tap, add 2 drops of bleach per quart.
And just to be safe, I dump it after hurricane season.

I also keep 12-15 cases of Zepherhills finest on hand, just for drinking.
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Jaydog Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
12. It won't go bad, might taste a little stale.
Bacteria, etc, don't have anything to grow on in water so they will not proliferate. Old water tastes a little stale but it is still water. I think it can be stored indefinitely.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here you go
I think this is the thread you mean...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Bottled water should have a "use by" date on it: if not, assume it's good for a year at most. You can get bugs in it, even though there doesn't seem much to live off in there. :)

What you could do is get some in, and when the time runs out open it up and drop in some water treatment tablets (you can get them from most camping shops) which might leave it tasting a bit odd but it should stay safe indefinitely afterwards.

Of course, if you've got the bottles already, you could just fill them from the tap and treat them straight off.

(It's actually a very good question... :D)
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
14. Not directly on topic but
I would suggest filling your empty freezer space with bottled water (the 16.9 ounce size). If you lose power, the frozen water will assist with the continued refrigeration. As you open up space in the freezer, fill it with bottles, if you need the freezer space to put in those big old hog choking T-bones, enjoy the ice water (instant and cosmic rotation.) This insanity brought to you by a gulf coast resident who knows that water is priority number one come hurricane season. Good luck!

May I also suggest that you check with the local merchant about any rebate for returning the 5 gallon containers when you are finished with them.

Not a stupid question at all. Only I ask those. And notice how I conveniently didn't answer your question but rambled on the topic line after line.
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's dated, look on the bottle
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. Instructions for purifying/sterlizing water
This gives you four different options:

http://www.ci.poquoson.va.us/to_sterilize_water.htm

1. Boil for 3-5 minutes or;

2. Add 12 drops of 2% tincture of iodine per gallon or;

3. Add 8 drops of household bleach per gallon or;

4. Use water purification tablets. (easily available on any number of websites or places that specialize in outdoor equipment)
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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
18. Water from your own tap
put into empty reused containers and capped may eventually turn green if it is not stored in a dark and cool spot. Once had some water we had stored on the porch for a hurricane. We forgot about it and after several months it turned green. It was not in the sun, but there was plenty of light, and it was plenty warm.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
19. Dangers of storing water in plastic
http://www.mercola.com/2005/apr/27/plastic_bottles.htm

More Dangers of Plastic Water Containers


Drinking from brass water containers could help protect against water-borne bacteria such as E. coli. This is because, according to researchers, bacteria are less likely to flourish in brass water containers than in earthenware or plastic ones. These findings are especially prominent for poor regions of the world where water-born diseases continue to be a serious health threat. In these areas, 2 million children die each year from diarrhea.

Thus, in an effort to determine if brass truly is superior to other forms of water containers, researchers conducted a series of experiments.

Is Brass the Better Choice?

Brass and earthenware containers were filled with a diluted culture of E. coli bacteria. After six, 24 and 48 hours, researchers counted the surviving bacteria and found:

* The amount of E. coli in the brass containers dropped significantly over time.
* After 48 hours they fell to undetectable levels.

Why does brass eliminate bacteria? For starters, brass is an alloy of zinc and copper. Containers made of brass shed copper particles into the water and the copper acts by interfering with the membranes and enzymes of cells -- meaning death for bacteria. The amount of copper a human would drink in 10 liters of water stored in a brass container wouldn't even account for the daily recommended level of that mineral in a healthy diet.

Also, brass water containers proved to be better than cheaper, plastic ones. In light of this evidence, researchers hope people with make the healthy switch to brass containers.

Nature April 8, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The results of this study are incredibly important, considering that millions of children in third-world countries are dying each year from diarrhea caused by contaminated drinking water. Providing families of these children with brass containers to store their water could save many lives.

Of course, in the western world, gastrointestinal infections are less frequent and rarely cause death. Nonetheless, bacterial contamination of your water is an important issue.

This recent study is important not only because it could lead to lives being saved in other parts of the world, but also because it provides further evidence that using plastic bottles may not be in your best interest.

Using plastic containers to store your water can not only increase your exposure to bisphenol A, this study suggests that doing so could also increase your exposure to potentially harmful bacteria. Since many plastic bottles are also difficult to clean, this could worsen the problem even more. So if you are reusing the water bottles that come in soda-like containers you are particularly at risk as the only way to clean those bottles is in a dishwasher.

The answer here is not to start storing your water in brass bottles, however. In the long run, the metallic ions that leach from these brass containers and kill bacteria could actually disturb your zinc/copper ratios and contribute to problems like Alzheimer's disease.

Of course, if your main concern were dying from diarrhea induced by contaminated water, using brass containers to store it in would qualify as the lesser of two evils and be a sensible choice.

Consuming pure water is an important part of overall health, as is making sure you are drinking enough of it. Since we can't all find pure glacier water, the next best choice is to use your own tap water, along with the best water filter you can find.

My first choice for water containers is glass, and I only use plastic bottles when I travel. I used to use colored high-density Nalgene bottles, but some recent information I came across suggests they are unsafe.

Plastics that are safer to use for storing food and beverages, none of which are known to leach harmful substances, include:

* Polypropylene, designated "#5 PP"
* High-density polyethylene, designated "#2HDPE"
* Low-density polyethylene, designated "#4 LDPE"

Now I use the wide-mouth Nalgene bottles that are made from the safe plastic. I found them at www.campmor.com and just purchased a dozen so I don't have to worry about replacing them when they invariably get lost or left behind on my many trips. The wide mouth allows them to be easily cleaned so they don't accumulate bacteria. I bring my water to my office with me in a glass container, as that is better. It is just difficult to travel with glass due to the obvious safety reasons.


Finally, please remember another important reason to avoid plastic water bottles. While toxin exposure from plastic water bottles and potential bacterial growth can certainly harm your health, our overuse of them is pushing the health of planet earth in the wrong direction.
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oscar111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Cocoon found inside bottled water jug
ten years ago.

jug was unopened, from the major company in my area.

clear type of plastic i think, tho might have been glass.

Lesson: do not trust commercial greedheads to do things right. Only good governments do things right. gop government, does things badly.

Recommendation: before storing water, use distiller.

Maximum safety: IMO, create water from burning elemental oxygen and hydrogen. Kids, do not try this at home. LOL.
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