Today’s question: How long can I store drinking water?
Plain Talk answer: Drinking water that is thoroughly disinfected, such as water from your public water supplier, can be stored for at least six months in capped containers that will not rust or break, such as plastic. Make sure the storage container is completely cleaned before filling. Water that has been boiled for one minute, or three minutes at high altitudes, can be stored for up to one year.
Bottled water should be stored unopened in a cool place; under warm conditions the water may taste like the plastic it is stored in because plastics sometimes leach chemicals. Replace the water every six months and keep it sealed; this will also minimize the “flat” taste that occurs after extended storage. Keep stored water out of the direct sunlight and away from other stored chemicals.
If possible, store water in a refrigerator to help control bacterial growth. Water is not sterile or devoid of living things, but it should be safe from harmful microorganisms. The chlorine residual from your tap water might only last about a month or less in stored water.
For more information on this and many other water-related topics, check out Plain Talk About Drinking Water by Dr. James M. Symons.