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How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/19/2017 12:28 PM

What do you think? I have a big glass container of water in the kitchen that has the usual chromed abs plastic spigot with silicone seals and a large screw on metal lid at the top.

There is plenty of bright indirect light where it's sitting and in the summer I'll fill it with cold tap and sometimes ice several times per week. In the colder weather it's been sitting for weeks and months without much use.

Is there any reason the water would become a bacterial breeding ground or have any other undesirable characteristics while just sitting there?

I filter the cold water tap and the ice line with a large carbon cartridge in the basement and the city water is full of 'purification' agents.

When I do wash out the glass container or similar ones I add a dose of bleach in the process. ...Still I can't help but wonder if the water is fine and will always be fine for man woman and child no matter how long it sits there?

I just dump it in the plants either way, but even that's work when I'm thirsty and there's a jug of old water just staring at me.

bonus question: would moving to a spot with more direct sun make a real difference?

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#1

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/19/2017 12:52 PM

It should be fine....I would keep it out of direct sunlight, and protect from freezing....

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#2

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/19/2017 3:14 PM

you're fine until these guys show up

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#3

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/19/2017 4:25 PM

It will always remain drinkable. However, the chances of galloping gut-rot developing as a result of drinking it increase as a function of:

  • the temperature
  • the amount of sunlight
  • the amount of bacterial resilience left in the water when it was drawn from the tap
  • whether the top is sealed or not

"Don't do it, Ethel!"

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/19/2017 6:02 PM

-The temperature is always between 65-75

-the sunlight is indirect, but I keep flip flopping on that because There is a school of thought that says to put fetid water INTO bright sunlight to kill waterborne pathogens with direct and intense sunlight. This link says a plastic bottle is ok and a glass one blocks to much UV-A?

-tap water resilience? not sure, but 100 yo pipes still working here and there.

-top is not sealed, but covered..

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 12:10 AM

Bacteria are one thing - algae is another - I would shield the container with a dark "sunshade" to prevent algae growth especially at the higher ambient temps.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 12:13 AM

The direct sunlight does not apply here....this is recommended to tribes who draw their water from questionable sources, and the bottles can be put on the metal roofs of their huts and left for the day hopefully to reach a high enough temperature to kill bacteria....130°F for 30 minutes is the minimum, or 120°F for several hours...In your case the water is already treated and sunlight will degrade the chemicals and promote algae growth...You have already killed the bacteria you want to preserve the contents....

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#5

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/19/2017 10:56 PM

Depends when you need to make the boats and have some fun ....

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#8

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 1:00 AM

Simple and most effective way get a pure potable drinking water is to store it electrolytic copper container. Copper has a unique ability to reduce the threat of disease from waterborne bacteria.

Antimicrobial properties of copper. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Copper and its alloys (brasses, bronzes, cupro nickel, copper-nickel-zinc, and others) are natural antimicrobial materials. Ancient civilizations exploited the antimicrobial properties of copper long before the concept of microbes became understood in the nineteenth century. In addition to several copper medicinal preparations, it was also observed centuries ago that water contained in copper vessels or transported in copper conveyance systems was of better quality (i.e., no or little visible slime formation) than water contained or transported in other materials.

The antimicrobial properties of copper are still under active investigation. Molecular mechanisms responsible for the antibacterial action of copper have been a subject of intensive research. Scientists are also actively demonstrating the intrinsic efficacies of copper alloy "touch surfaces" to destroy a wide range of microorganism that threaten public health.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 4:13 AM

You missed out silver, which apparently has similar properties!

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 9:15 AM

Either copper or silver (as colloids) are typically effective in preventing bacterial growth by impacting cellular growth. Algae are another issue altogether and are dependent on the water chemistry and algae types. UV (from sunlight can inactivate bacteria and by disrupting the DNA ability to replicate it makes viruses less harmful.

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#9

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 1:53 AM

The cat water drinking point has a plastic bottle and chlorinated scheme tap water.
In sits in the shade but shape temps in the last week have exceed 100F /38C.
Note the green growth around the lower neck of the bottle.
The bottle is about 3/4 full and above the scum internal deposits.

And yes, soon after this pic was taken, the bottle was recycled with a new one
and refreshed tap water, plus the bowl was scraped clean. (This is one of 5 such
units positioned around home). The cats were still drinking from this particular unit
just an hour or so before .... and no, they do not urinate in the water.

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#18
In reply to #9

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 12:11 PM

Our cats would rather drink out of a mud puddle than bottled water in a clean bowl. They do drink out of their bowl sometimes, but most times, they eat, skip the water bowl, ask to go out, and drink out of a mud puddle. I think clean drinking water doesn't taste 'right' to them. Turbid water with algae seems to suit them just fine.

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#19
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Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 5:19 PM

Ha.. I wish my cat (rest her soul) had the same taste for water. I can't say who started her on ice in her water, but she would howl if it anybody went to the fridge and didn't grab some cubes to throw into her water. She has a little bit spoiled like that, but what a great cat otherwise. (except when bare toes would peek out from under the bedsheets)

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#21
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Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 7:57 PM

We are allowed to live with 2 Burmese ... Cleo (15 years young) demands heat bead packs to sleep with even when it is a hot night. Her brother Oscar (same age) fortunately does not have the same demands ... except for grated cheese as an entree with all meals or will not eat. The silent arguments (well, the stares) are very pointed. But all is OK, because we know our place at the bottom of the living arrangements management structure! I am stopping here .... time for more grated cheese and a heat pack. Thank goodness for microwave ovens.

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/21/2017 1:04 PM

I know from first hand experience that cats are very good at training their people.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/21/2017 3:55 PM

It's some form of mind control for certain. People that are self-proclaimed as "not a cat person" fall right in line in their presence.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 7:45 PM

Yes. Agree .... and isn't it said that cats have staff?

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#10

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 3:06 AM

Perhaps the only thing more important than food in a long-term emergency is water. Even the food you do have probably needs water to be cooked and eaten – especially dried beans and grains. Seriously, have you ever tried to bite into a dried bean? What is even more concerning is that water can be “bad” without anyone ever knowing it until it is too late. Crystal clear water can have dangerous bacteria growing in it, chemical run-off, high levels of lead, mercury, or even arsenic!

Even if you store perfectly good water, storing it in the wrong way will mean that when you really need it, you will find yourself drinking poison rather than water. Just as critical as knowing how to store water, is knowing how not to store water.

The Link:

http://www.offthegridnews.com/grid-threats/water-water-everywhere-long-term-water-storage/

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#12

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 4:19 AM

Assuming you know your water source has no harmful chemicals in it, why not use the tablets that certain groups of campers use, that sterilize as good as any water source for you?

That way, no algae, for example.

Light dosing with bleach (follow directions carefully) will achieve the same, but do let it "gas off" before drinking.

An activated charcoal filter, will also remove a lot of "nasties" if required.....

Also, maybe you should look at the reasons that you need such a water storage container in the first place, maybe there is a better method.....

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#13

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 8:25 AM

Wow! I was thinking of asking if leaving water in my cycling water bottles on my bikes in a 50 degree F garage for a week was a problem. If you are doing this with no side effects, guess I don't need to ask that question.

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#15

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 10:34 AM

When we had our drought in 2012, I drained the 300 gallon cistern. The water had been there for at least 6 yrs. No moss, nothing. The water tasted fine. This was PR "city" water that has been treated. I've had water from the A/C or dehumidifier stored in dark areas that had no growth after 7 or 8 mos. The 10,000 gallon cisterns I had in USVI had never been cleaned, had no treatment, the water tasted fine and never had any health issues.

It seems as if it is w/o sunlight, there is no growth.

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#16

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 10:37 AM

Some survival coach said it just need a little drop of chlorine and its good to drink, if there are none.

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#17

Re: How Long Will Water Stay Drinkable in a Container?

02/20/2017 11:30 AM

Thanks everyone for all of the replies so far. You're doing a fair job of backing my assumptions that water left in the ~2.5 gallon clear glass jug should become plant water on a weekly basis. Not a problem.

..better safe than sorry.

I'm a little miffed that these containers are for short term water storage.

While I'm tempted to clean a handful of old copper pennies and toss them in the water and call it done ...I think I'll keep my eye open at the auction house and the car boot sales for old copper vessels.

In the long term I plan to run 1/4" flexible copper lines from the carbon filter to drinking water point of use spigots.

phys. I instinctively grab a large jar of fresh water when I head outside to replace any water left in the plastic bottle. When I return home. I (try to remember to)bring the jar back inside.

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