No human being can survive without water. That’s a given. Where the consumption of this precious liquid is concerned, the average person should drink a gallon of it every day while your pets should consume up to 1/2 gallon per day.
Incidentally, those amounts do not include whatever water is needed to bathe in or cook with. If you’re concerned about the long-term storage of water so that you are covered in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, here are a few pointers that you should consider.
Boil your water for purification purposes – you can heat it for 3 minutes at 185° or for 30 minutes at 160°. Even if you live at a higher altitude, this ensures killing any pathogens that may be present.
Choose the proper containers for storing your water – all containers need to be BPA (Bisphenol A) FREE. This chemical is typically found in epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. You should also use containers that prohibit any light from entering them as this will help you maintain freshness and safety of your water while at the same time reducing the amount of algae growth that occurs. CAUTION: NEVER reuse juice bottles, milk jugs, or soda bottles as they can leach harmful chemicals. Also, you should fill your containers using a “drink safe” water hose.
Clean your containers properly before using them – the rule of thumb is to use a teaspoon of “unscented” bleach for every quart of water. Let the bleach-water mixture sit for 30 seconds then empty the bottle, rinsing thoroughly a few times to ensure you have removed all the bleach and can no longer smell it in the bottle. Most importantly don’t use any containers that have had hazardous or toxic chemicals stored in them.
Preserve or replace your water – you might be surprised to discover that water has a shelf life (well sort of, anyway). It doesn’t really expire like you might be thinking. However, it can get contaminated if the container leaches chemicals into the water or you let an open container stand at room temperature for an extended length of time. In order to prevent either of these from happening, you can use a water preserver to keep it safe for up to 5 years or just replace it every 6 months on a regular basis. And by all means, don’t forget about your cats or dogs where this information is concerned.