[Everything you ever wanted to know about storing water in recycled bottles but were afraid to ask.]
Two thousand years ago when Christ walked the Holy Land, water for drinking, cooking or home use came from community wells, usually in the center of towns and villages. We have all seen pictures of women carrying large clay jugs of water upon their heads. In some parts of the world this is still being done! This, incidentally, was considered woman's work and beneath the dignity of a man. Well, too bad for all you men now. With drought coming upon the land, man, woman and child might all be toting water about and glad to have some water stored away!
STORING WATER IN RECYCLED BOTTLES
In general, there are three types of recycled bottles which will work for water storage: 2 liter pop bottles, plastic juice containers, and gallon bleach containers. These can be reincarnated as "water jugs."
Unless punctured, these containers will hold water for years if necessary. Milk jugs are not recommended except for an extreme emergency, when nothing else is available, as they are porous and degrade in sunlight. Plastic juice containers are the best of the lot for storing water, as they have a handle on top and a mouth wide enough to permit refilling from a National Guard water tank truck. The small opening on soda bottles and lack of a handle are distinct disadvantages, but filling them does give people a sense of hope, some stored water, and that is important.
CLEANING JUICE BOTTLES
Rinse each 2 liter, half gallon or gallon juice container after use. Fill three quarters full of clean water, add a quarter teaspoon of dishwasher detergent, then shake vigorously and let soak. Shake several times more, then empty and rinse thoroughly with fresh water until completely rinsed and clean.
Refill with fresh tap water, adding 4 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon (2 drops of bleach for 2 liter or ½ gallon). Cap tightly. Store upright in a sturdy box. These water containers will now store for years.
USING WHITE 'PUREX' GALLON JUGS
These jugs are clean and sterilized, and even have a convenient carry handle. Just fill them with water, let soak, empty and fill with fresh water. Enough molecular chlorine remains in the walls of the jug to keep the water safe.
AERATING STORED WATER
No matter which method is used for storing water in plastic bottles, the water will taste flat after prolonged storage. To enliven the quality, oxygen must be restored to the water. This is easily accomplished by pouring the water from one sanitary container into another, back and forth several times. As the water passes through the air and splashes into the other pot, air is absorbed by the water and it again tastes fresh. At the same time, any lingering chlorine aroma is dissipated by aeration.