Here is what you need to know about water rotation. When you decide to be a prepper, you‘ve already taken a step forward for catastrophic disaster management, and when it comes to making active preparations for it, water storage is a must.

Once you’ve figured out a way to store water for emergencies, you have to ensure that it remains safe for drinking purposes too. One of the steps that you need to take to ensure safe drinking water is water rotation.

Now, how often you’ll need to rotate your stored water depends on the way you store it but to give you a broad idea, it can be anywhere between six months to five years. 

There are many nuances when it comes to water rotation due to which it may look like an intimidating concept at first, but once you understand how it works, believe us, it’ll become simple.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything related to water rotation – the whys, and the hows. So, let’s begin!

How Much Water do You Need to Store for Prepping?

Before we talk about water rotation, you need to have an idea of how much water should you store in case of emergencies or calamities.

As per FEMA standards, every individual should have enough drinking water to last for at least three days. Keeping this in mind, it is better to store 1 gallon of drinking water per person, per day. This amount will double when we take into consideration sanitation needs. Don’t forget your pets too!

For emergency water storage, you’ll need water options that are both, potable as well as non-potable. While it’s a great practice to store all water as potable, it might take up a lot of space making it infeasible in the long run.

Always remember, having more than enough water is better than having a water shortage. You can always share it with your neighbors or loved ones.

Why Do You Need to Rotate Your Stored Water?

First and foremost, when you store your water, you have to ensure that you are storing it correctly. Otherwise, bacteria and algae can start growing inside the container, contaminating the stored water. This will make the stored water unsafe, and let’s not forget unpleasant, for drinking.

While it is true that if you store water with the utmost care, you might not need to rotate your water at all, it’s still a risk that you shouldn’t take.

If you’re using store-bought water, you need to rotate it as per the expiration date that is given on it. This is mainly because the plastic used to store the water contains BPA. With time, the plastic used in making your container can break down and start releasing harmful chemicals into the water.

If you are reusing containers that had been lying around your house, there might be a possibility of it containing remnants of previously stored food or water in it. This can, in turn, contaminate your water.

If you think you’re safe since you’re using brand-new containers with water purifiers, we regret to inform you that you aren’t. This is because any contaminants in our natural environment may enter the container without you having the slightest clue.

Also, when water is stored for a longer period of time, it may taste funny. The primary reason for this taste is the stored water having no contact with oxygen.

It is due to all these reasons, that rotating your stored water becomes a necessity.

How Often do You Need to Rotate Your Water Storage?

As mentioned above, the frequency of water rotation mainly depends on how you store it. This makes the time period open to interpretation.

You’ll hear people telling you to rotate every month to every year or every five years. Some might even advise to not rotate your water at all! With so many varying recommendations, it can become very confusing to reach a conclusion.

Here, we’ll assume that you have taken every step to ensure your water is properly stored and is free from contamination. In such cases, you need to check your water every 6 to 7 months with the emphasis being on the word ‘check.’

By this we mean you need to open the container and observe if any contaminants like bacteria or algae are growing in it. While you’re at it, check whether the water has become cloudy or has developed a foul smell too. In other words, determine whether the water is still safe for drinking or not.

As for water rotation, it is better to stick to at least once a year. If you can do it more frequently then that’s great too! After all, it’s your and your family‘s health at risk here.

Here are a few helpful tips to prolong your water rotation routine.

  • Sterilize the container that you’ve selected for storing water. Remember to clean it thoroughly and with care. This step becomes even more important if you’re using old containers for storage.
  • Store water in open containers that are either green or blue in color.
  • Store your water containers in a cool and dark place without it being exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Try opting for a good water purifier that will treat your water every time before you use it.
  • Install a special water treatment for your stored water.

You can also make your life easier by straightaway opting for a water storage system that is self-rotating.

How Should You Clean Your non-rotated Water Storage?

Cleaning water storage containers is not as difficult as it’s made out to be. It’s actually so simple that anyone can do it.

Place your water storage in a place that is open and spacious. Start cleaning the storage container using a mild soap and water solution, inside out. You can use a cleaning brush with a long handle as well to reach those hard to access areas. Rinse and then repeat the process, just to be safe.

What you need to ensure is that there is no leftover soap or chemical residue inside the container once you have rinsed it. Failing to do so will defeat the entire purpose of storing water as you will end up with contaminated water.

How can You treat Your Water Storage?

A very important part of emergency water storage is treating your water before storage which, lets us tell you beforehand, can be extremely tricky.

A lot of people suggest treating your water by using chlorine or bleach. But, adding too much of the product can be harmful to your health while using too little will render it ineffective. Keeping this in mind, it’s better to take an expert’s advice or research properly about the correct treating amounts.

How can Rotate Your Stored Emergency Water?

We’ve compiled a few ways in which you can rotate your stored water efficiently. They include the following –

  • Utilize the store water for washing your vehicles such as trucks, cars, bikes and so on.
  • Dump it as a toilet flush.
  • Use it in your garden for watering your plants, flower beds, vegetable patches and so on.
  • Use the water for bathing your pets.
  • Share it with people who you think might need it.

You’ll realize that you can rotate your stored water in a variety of ways. Just take care to not waste it. With the ongoing water shortage in the world, we need to be judicious while using water at all times

Takeaway Thoughts

Rotating your water storage is actually a very useful tool to ensure that, when the time comes, you actually have water that is safe for drinking.

By doing this, not only will you protect your health, but you’ll also save a lot of time and effort that would otherwise be wasted upon the contamination of the stored water.

Although one major con of rotating water storage is that it can be quite a time and effort consuming task. But, there’s a way out.

As mentioned before, there are water storage tanks available in the market that are self-rotating and have an automatic shutoff facility. Through the shutoff feature, water gets stored making it available for use even in times of a water shortage. Nevertheless, you should take rotating your water seriously.

We would also like to stress the importance of always having adequate emergency water storage. You’ll be surprised to know just how much water consumption an average family of four has. Well, it’s 400 gallons per day!

In the end, just remember to store more water than you think you need.

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