What material should your water storage container be made of?
When deciding what your water container should be made of, take into account your environment and how much you’re willing to invest in water storage. Glass, steel and plastic containers will all be great at storing water, and each one will have their own set of pros and cons. Whichever material your container is made of, they all need to be easy to use. It shouldn’t take too much difficulty for you to fill and withdraw from the containers. (Related: How long do you have to boil water for it to be drinkable?)
- Glass – Glass containers, usually jars, are great containers if they’re kept airtight. They can even be useful for home canning to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables. The downside of using glass containers is that they’re extremely heavy and they come with a hefty price tag. Furthermore, the glass doesn’t block out heat, which can lead to your water evaporating.
- Steel – Steel may be your safest bet for long-term water storage. You don’t have to worry about chemicals leaking into your water supply and the container can protect water from sunlight, preventing evaporation. Unfortunately, steel is both extremely heavy and expensive. You also can’t treat your water supply with chlorine, as the chemical will erode the steel, turning your water supply into a pool of poison.
- Plastic – The greatest advantage of plastic containers isn’t that it’s cheap, it’s the fact that plastic water storage options will most likely be lightweight, portable and easy to come by. However, before you rule out glass or steel containers, know that it may be difficult to find the right plastic container because it may contain the toxin known as bisphenol A (BPA), which is linked to numerous health risks.
Criteria for the best water storage containers
BPA is an industrial chemical that’s been used for decades to make certain plastics. Many polycarbonate plastic products used to store food and beverages are made with BPA. Studies have shown that the BPA in plastic containers over time leaks into its contents, which is why many beverages stored in plastic bottles will have expiration dates. Drinking from plastic beverage bottles after the expiration date puts at risk of BPA poisoning, which can cause, among other symptoms, infertility, diabetes, impaired brain and liver function and heart disease.
Don’t forget to consider the size of your home and how much space you’re willing to give for water storage. If you have a large refrigerator, then dedicating a shelf to BPA-free plastic water bottles may be enough. If you’re living with a family, then perhaps consider investing in a steel tank in your backyard or basement that can hold a hundred gallons of water. Don’t forget that you also need to make space for other emergency supplies, such as food, medicine and self-defense items.
Having an adequate supply of water will go a long way towards helping you survive during a disaster, whether that container is several glass jars sitting on your pantry, a large steel water tank in your backyard or a handful of reusable BPA-free water bottles in your refrigerator. Consider your personal circumstances and buy the container that best suits your needs.