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Question about "Water Preserver"

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Recommended to me was this product that claims to preserve water for 5 years.

    It apparently works via killing off any bacteria in your stored water.

    My question is, doesn't bleach work exactly the same way?

    If you put clean tap water in a sealed container, and you "nuke" everything that's potentially in it with the appropriate dose of bleach (8-16 drops per gallon) and then keep it sealed up, wouldn't that take care of the bacteria problem also? How could this "water preserver" work any differently that plain ol bleach?

    Notice the shelf life of the product itself is 6-12 months, so the product is clearly not continually "cleaning" your water over 5 years. I assume it's relying on the initial "cleaning" and then being in a sealed container where no additional contamination may enter.

    So...who's to say that bleached water in a sealed container wouldn't last 5 years also?

    (IIRC, the commonly recommended injunction to "rotate your water every 6 months" is for plain old tap water, not tap water that you've bleached.)

    Finally: what is it that makes water "go bad" eventually? If it's merely bacteria creeping in somehow, why couldn't you continually re-treat the same stored water with bleach every year for a decade or more? The bleach merely breaks down into water and a little salt over time; the bleach acts, and then it's gone.

    Or is there something in water that actually "goes bad"? What would it be? They hydrogen goes bad? The oxygen goes bad?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  2. Kieller


    May 18, 2007
    Kansas City
    I didn't see a list of ingredients but I'm guessing that the main active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite or chloramine.

    Essentially it is doing the same thing that the water utilities do, introducing free sodium to the water to help rid it of pathogens. Chlorite versions can create tri-halo-methanes which are carcinogenic but chloramines don't.

    I don't know about this '5 year' bit but if it is properly treated the water could be fine indefinitely. I say 'could' because it depends on how it is stored. Off tastes and a staleness can be attributed to water that is stored for an extended period of time.

    Personally I just use bleach. I thoroughly clean each container with a heavy bleach water mix and rinse multiple times. Then I just add tap water and it is ready to go. I don't add more bleach with the final filling because I have already sanitzed the container and the water that is being added, at least at my locale, has a suitable amount of chlorine disinfectant already in it that I don't require more.

    I like to then administer the smell test and see what the water smells like. Heavy bleach smell can be to much, none can be too little. If you have done it right, IMHO, there should be a very slight bleach smell but the water should not feel 'slimy'.

    Just my $0.02

  3. garyo

    garyo Millennium Member

    Dec 29, 1998
    NC USA
    I have been storing water in plastic juice bottles for over 12 years and have never had a problem. I have a well with some filtration. I rotate (meaning recycle) my stock every 2 years. I do a good taste test when I rotate. I tried bleach one time and did not like it one single bit. Also, my water is stored in the dark, no sun light, and it is temperature controlled. No other chemicals are stored near the water. A lot of the juice bottles are original, meaning 12 years old and look to be in perfect condition, never had one leak. This works very well for me, I have about 90 gallons stored this way.
  4. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Keiller: Thanks for the great info. Off to research sodium hypochlorite, I am. My storage is similar to yours, the heavy bleach rinse first (1 c bleach for each 30 gallon barrel) but then I do add 1-2T of bleach per barrel for the actual stored tap water, out of an excess of caution. That's probably overkill, given that it's clean tap water going in.

    Garyo: I didn't know you could use fruit juice bottles. Somewhere I'd gotten the idea that any remnant of sugar made a bottle ineligible for long term water storage. Maybe I'm confusing with milk jugs. Anyway, 90 gallons, wow!!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  5. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Not familiar with that particular product.

    One easy approach with side benefits is simply two-liter soda bottles 95% filled with tap water (including municipally-added bleach), then laid down - or stood up - in the bottom of a chest freezer, forming an entire bottom layer with them. Besides being treated and frozen both (giving it a potable life-expectancy of decades at least), it also adds a lot of frozen thermal mass to the freezer, substantially extending its frozen time in a power outage; which is our #1 problem here.
  6. Akita

    Akita gone

    Jul 22, 2002
    Its a scam. Stock bleach or Poolshock for about a million times cheaper per gallon of treated water.
    I thought this stuff was thoroughly debunked back before Y2K.
  7. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles

    c a l c i u m h y p o c h l o r i t e to disinfect water.

    Costs about $7 a pound. Print out the government instructions. Put in plastic bag with zip lock and the instructions. Then put in a snap-on clear plastic container.

    Purchase at a pool supply company.

    I think that it will handle about 18,000 gallons for one pound of chemical.:wavey:
  8. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    So...either sodium or calcium hypoch. could be used for water treatment?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  9. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Swim pool shock is calcium hypochlorite.
  10. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Yes. Turns into bleach when dissolved in water. All you need to is master the math for the concentrations.
  11. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    The 2 liter idea is awesome!