Water Storage Container

Best Water Storage Containers

Written by: Dave NartinOctober 30, 2019Updated: March 20, 2020

Guide Overview

Anyone who has found themselves in an emergency knows that having a clean source of drinking water is essential. After all, the human body can only survive three days without water. On the other hand, most American households store water that can only last less than 12 hours, so it’s best to save up.

While water doesn’t expire, the usability of its container can change over time. You need a vessel that’s safe to use even after prolonged usage. This article will help you narrow down your options by reviewing the five best long-term water storage containers, tackling features to consider, and answering the most asked questions about the product.

What You Must Know

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When looking for the best water storage containers, you’d want a product that’s clean, durable, yet affordable. Here are some key features that could help you find the right type to accommodate you and your family.

Food Grade

Food grade refers to a type of plastic that can remain in contact with food for longer time periods. Food grade plastic prevents chemicals from leaking out, which is important when you need to keep water in refrigerators or cool rooms.

Not all plastics are food grade. To determine whether your water storage container is safe, check the bottom of your item where there are appropriate symbols for product use. Food grade plastics usually fall underneath the high-density polyethylene or HDPE category.

Home Use

At home, it’s important to store water in case of emergencies, like natural calamities. The best water storage containers for home use are cheap and durable. You would want these containers to survive earthquakes and simple accidental drops. You would also want to keep them in packs at home.

Stackable storage waters are ideal for home, as they save up space and are easy to carry and transport. Take note as well of the shapes that would sit well on countertops. Cubical shapes are ideal on flat surfaces, for example. Some water storage containers also have reversible water spigots on the bottom side, which makes drinking more accessible.

Long Term Use

The general rule of thumb is that each person would only need one gallon of water a day. One half is typically reserved for hygiene, while the other half is for drinking. FEMA recommends households to store at least three days’ worth of water in case of water interruption. That’s three gallons of water for a single person or 12 gallons for a family of four.

Long term water storage solutions include food-grade plastic containers. Another material that’s good for long term use is glass, provided that the bottles hadn’t been used to store non-food items. Stainless steel is also ideal, provided that you don’t use corrosive cleaning materials like chlorine. No matter the material, make sure that it always has a lid or cap to seal the container and keep bacteria away.

Portability

Emergencies would inevitably require you to transfer from one place to another. You would want a smaller sized container for easier transport. A portable water storage container is not only easy to carry, it also saves on storage space.

Camping Use

Water vessels that are ideal for camping usually come in the form of five to seven-gallon jugs. These are usually dark blue in color to prevent algae growth and restrict light. These are also portable, durable, and made from food grade material. Small and stackable, these containers can fit in just about any space. You can even carry them with you while trekking.

Rainwater Storage Containers

While some people aren’t fond of the idea of storing rainwater, it’s essential in an emergency. Rainwater tanks collect rainwater runoff from rooftops or pipes. Stored rainwater reduces main water use and can be used for flushing toilets, washing cars, filling up washing machines, and watering gardens. Stored rainwater may also be used for drinking, provided that the water is adequately filtered or isn’t contaminated.

Plastic Material

When it comes to water storages, plastic is the go-to material. It’s light and portable, for one. Plastic water storage containers also sit well on any flat surface and can even be placed underground.

Plastic water storages, which are largely made from food grade and BPA-free plastic, come in different shapes and sizes. This makes it perfect for any background, whether in a rural or urban setting. Other than that, they’re also durable and non-corrosive, which makes them last longer.

Sizes

With varying purposes, water storage containers also come in diverse sizes.

5-gallon containers are ideal for camping. These guarantee durability and are most likely made from food-grade material. These are quick to transport, stackable, perfect for tight spaces, and easy to store.

30-gallon containers are also called emergency tubs. While smaller than other water storage solutions, these containers are strong and can even have a shelf life of up to five years.

50-gallon tanks can already store water for three people up to 15 days. They conveniently fit into cars or RVs, making them handy either in camp or emergency evacuations. Their stackable function also allows them to be stored anywhere.

A 55-gallon water barrel is an ideal size for a one month’s worth of water supply. This container usually has bungs at the top for tight sealing, protecting water from contamination. In addition to its durability and food-grade material, it’s also UV-resistant and BPA-free. But since you would need a bigger space for storage, this container isn’t ideal for apartments.

A 250-gallon water storage container is also called individual bulk containers or IBC. It provides a thick wall that prevents it from bulging when filled with water. While it holds around five barrels’ worth of water, it only takes up the same footprint as a 55-gallon water jug. It’s quick to use, safe for storing water, and easy to pack.

275-gallon water storage containers are often reserved for cabin sites. Another type of IBC, they typically substitute for wells during water crises. Stackable, reusable, and multi-usable, they’re typically used for mass handling, storage, and transport of both liquids and solids.

Water Storage Containers

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Reliance Aqua-Tainer Water ContainerReliance Aqua-Tainer Water Container (1)Reliance Aqua-Tainer Water Container (1)Reliance Aqua-Tainer Water Container

While a cheap water storage container, Reliance Aqua-Tainer maintains its high quality. It has a cubical shape that sits well on tabletop edges and can store up to seven gallons, which is more water than other storage tanks its size.

While its affordability compromises the quality of its plastic, this water storage container still exceeds expectations. For one, it is made up of polyethylene and includes a reversible spigot on its bottom side, which makes it ideal for home and emergency use. For intermittent use, the spigot also switches on and off.

It also includes a liquid level indicator to let you know how much water you still have left. When empty, the containers can be stacked to save on storage space. Its special contour grip makes for easy transport as well. It only takes up around 11.5 x 12 x 16 inches, so you can store it anywhere.

Pros:

  • Five-year warranty.
  • BPA-free.
  • Includes additional features like spigot.
  • Affordable.
  • Saves up on space and stores more water.

Cons:

  • Less durable material, which makes it prone to denting and cracking.
  • Has the tendency to leak but can easily be fixed or replaced.
  • Spigot threading may still be improved.
  • Five-year warranty.
  • BPA-free.
  • Includes additional features like spigot.
  • Affordable.
  • Saves up on space and stores more water.
  • Less durable material, which makes it prone to denting and cracking.
  • Has the tendency to leak but can easily be fixed or replaced.
  • Spigot threading may still be improved.
GSI Outdoors Folding Water CubeGSI Outdoors Folding Water CubeGSI Outdoors Folding Water CubeGSI Outdoors Folding Water Cube

A foldable water container, the GSI Outdoors Folding Water Cube can hold 5.3 gallons of water. In addition to its food grade and polyethylene material, it is also made with a blow molding method that accounts for its superior strength and durability.

This water container only takes up around 10.5 x 10.5 x 2.5 inches of dimension. Its cube form, along with its spout, makes this container ideal for dispensing water at any surface. It even has an integrated handle, which makes for easier lifting and pouring.

The vessel’s collapsible feature makes it ideal for camping trips. It easily folds back up into the packaged form so that campers can pack lighter and not worry about being short on space.

Pros:

  • Heavy duty and durable.
  • Collapsible water storage.
  • Easy to use spigot.
  • Creates more camping space and storage.
  • Carries a lot of water.

Cons:

  • Folding points may appear softer.
  • Tends to be unbalanced when water empties out but can easily be secured.
  • No drain and air vent.
  • Heavy duty and durable.
  • Collapsible water storage.
  • Easy to use spigot.
  • Creates more camping space and storage.
  • Carries a lot of water.
  • Folding points may appear softer.
  • Tends to be unbalanced when water empties out but can easily be secured.
  • No drain and air vent.
Billet 4×4 Water CanBillet 4x4 Water CanBillet 4x4 Water CanBillet 4×4 Water Can

The Billet 4×4 Water Can is a lightweight product that helps you carry water with you on any adventure. It has the dimensions of 13.3 x 18.4 x 7.6 inches and can carry around five gallons of water. Moreover, its military specifications ensure years of durability.

With the Billet 4×4 Water Can, you don’t have to worry about weird tastes, chemicals, or odors when transferring water to this storage container. For one, it is made up of food-grade and BPA-free material. Its all-plastic construction is tough, seamless, and puncture-resistant. Its colors don’t change, and the unit itself guarantees zero rust.

The 2.95-pound unit also includes a single carrying handle, a flexible reversible spout, and a leak-resistant cap. It’s easy to use a siphon pump to remove water from the container. Its molded stability feet also make this unit a stable feature on any surface.

Pros:

  • Air vents ensure smooth flow.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Heavy duty with large fill hole.
  • Dent resistant and can withstand bumps.
  • Includes great spigot accessories.

Cons:

  • Vent caps tend to leak but can easily be modified DIY style.
  • Not stackable.
  • More expensive than other water containers.
  • Air vents ensure smooth flow.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Heavy duty with large fill hole.
  • Dent resistant and can withstand bumps.
  • Includes great spigot accessories.
  • Vent caps tend to leak but can easily be modified DIY style.
  • Not stackable.
  • More expensive than other water containers.
Reliance Jumbo-Tainer Water ContainerReliance Jumbo-Tainer Water ContainerReliance Jumbo-Tainer Water ContainerReliance Jumbo-Tainer Water Container

Reliance offers yet another excellent water storage container with its Jumbo-Tainer model. Made up of high-density polyethylene plastic, this storage container guarantees to be 100% BPA-free. It’s tough, yet affordable and takes the dimensions of 21.75 x 15 x 7.25 inches.

The vessel’s unique narrow shape also makes it easy to strap in convenient places, such as rear bumpers and back seats of jeeps. It’s convenient, easy to load, and does the job for simply storing water for emergency use, camping, and gardening. Even when filled with seven gallons of water, the plastic is tough enough to carry weight.

One of the Reliance Jumbo-Tainer’s most notable features is its dual handles. These make lifting and pouring a simple process rather than a chore. The product also includes a tap-style spigot that is convenient for filling not just cups but also water bottles. When in transit, you can even turn the spigot into the container.

Pros:

  • Large volume capacity.
  • Takes up very little space.
  • Includes a handy spigot.
  • Stackable.
  • Easy to lift and carry.

Cons:

  • While spout tends to leak or break when tightened, it can easily be fixed.
  • Air hole may be difficult to push back in after it has been pulled out.
  • Cheaper material makes the jug susceptible to leaks over time.
  • Large volume capacity.
  • Takes up very little space.
  • Includes a handy spigot.
  • Stackable.
  • Easy to lift and carry.
  • While spout tends to leak or break when tightened, it can easily be fixed.
  • Air hole may be difficult to push back in after it has been pulled out.
  • Cheaper material makes the jug susceptible to leaks over time.
AquaBrick Emergency Water and Food Storage ContainerAquaBrick Emergency Water & Food Storage ContainerAquaBrick Emergency Water & Food Storage ContainerAquaBrick Emergency Water and Food Storage Container

A multi-use storage container, AquaBrick holds three gallons of water yet can withstand 250 pounds of weight. This stackable container is made up of BPA-free high density and high impact polyethylene plastic and has the dimensions of 18 x 9 x 6 inches. The brand guarantees your money back should the unit fail its durability test.

UV resistant, the unit is designed for emergencies. It notably includes configurations that keep it locked in place during disasters. Its rubber gasket caps also make the unit airtight and watertight, so there won’t be a problem with harmful chemicals that might contaminate the water inside.

Other than that, the storage is easy to use. Its wide opening makes it easy to fill, while double handles make it easy to carry. Moreover, the unit’s small footprint can fit into any storage area. It’s also easy to clean and provides enough space for other camping equipment.

Pros:

  • Compact and takes up minimal space.
  • Durable and heavy-duty.
  • No weird chemical tastes or odors.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great for emergencies.

Cons:

  • Tends to leak when laid on the side but can be prevented if cap is tightened correctly.
  • Limited water capacity.
  • Pricier than other products.
  • Compact and takes up minimal space.
  • Durable and heavy-duty.
  • No weird chemical tastes or odors.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great for emergencies.
  • Tends to leak when laid on the side but can be prevented if cap is tightened correctly.
  • Limited water capacity.
  • Pricier than other products.

Our Pick

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Our best pick is the Reliance Jumbo-Tainer Water Container. Among other containers, it simply checks many of the product features that we need to consider when selecting a storage container.

  • It’s made up of food grade material and is BPA-free, which makes it a safe water container that’s almost impenetrable by chemicals and bacterial growth.
  • Its stacking ability also saves up space, whether at home or during a camping trip.
  • Its dual handles make it portable, and easy to carry and transport.
  • It uses a non-corrosive polyethylene plastic, which makes it durable and ideal for long-term use.
  • Finally, it has a large water capacity, which is ideal for emergency situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I cycle water through storage containers?

A:

The standard practice is to rotate stored water every six months by cleaning, pouring, and then storing. Siphon filters are great emergency filters, as they prevent bacteria, operate with minimal equipment, work without water pressure, and function outside energy source.

First, sterilize the container where you’ll transfer the water. Then using a siphon, transfer water from one container to another. Make sure that the source liquid is elevated above the other container. Suck on the end of the tube to establish a flow, then lower it. The siphoning action will pull the water through the tube, while the second container catches the product water. The filter will produce water until the upper container is empty.

Q: What type of water do I put in my storage containers?

A:

Make sure that stored water is pure and disinfected to prevent bacterial and algae growth. They should also be protected from heat, so place a small platform underneath the container so that the concrete temperature doesn’t change the water temperature.

The most common way to treat water is by boiling it for three to five minutes. This will kill pathogens but not necessarily chemicals. On the other hand, UV light treatment can kill pathogens but not viruses. Iodine tablets, meanwhile, can correct the water’s color and taste and protect against microbes. Finally, some households install filtration devices to remove harmful contaminants. While these are expensive, they’re effective ways to treat water.

Q: How do I sterilize water storage containers?

A:

Depending on the type that you’re using, there are various methods to sterilize water containers.

For one, bottled water is typically disinfected with ozone and can stay safe provided that the container is well-kept and remains intact. On the other hand, jugs need more attention. Wash and rinse them manually with hot water, or sanitize them by immersion.

Immersive sanitation requires you to soak the container for one minute in a sanitizing solution that contains 50 to 200 ppm of available chlorine. Make sure that the water temperature isn’t more than 75°F.

Q: How do I connect two plastic storage containers with one water source?

A:

There are water distribution systems that make it easy to transport from the water source to plastic storage containers. Large water tanks typically use a piping method. Most people simply use two-way spigots to make the most out of a water source.

Q: How to clean water storage containers?

A:

As with all containers, you first need to sterilize or disinfect water storage containers.

  • Wash and rinse the container with water.
  • Mix one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water to sanitize the container.
  • Shake the container well after covering.
  • It’s important that the solution coats everything inside.
  • Let the solution sit for 30 seconds then pour the contents into the container.
  • Air dry the container.
  • Pour clean water into the container and seal tight.
Dave Nartin
Founder at Mountain Leon
Hi. Im Dave. Mountain Lion is the name of this travel blog. It came from my love for both the English and Spanish language, my favourite animal (Lion), and my favourite activity (mountain climbing). Enjoy!