Bleach in Drinking Water

Bleach in Drinking Water


When to use bleach to treat Emergency Water for storage

Do not listen to common household 'wisdom' and myths!

The most commonly recommended method to preserve water for long term storage is by adding bleach to it. However following those suggestions could endanger you.
The warning labels on bleach containers clearly indicate that
Bleach is not for human consumption.


Emergency Water that has been stored in clean plastic bottles or larger containers such as 30, 40 or 55 gallon drums should be treated per the following;

FEMA recommendation:
Rinse the containers thoroughly to remove any contaminants.
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so that you know when you filled it. Store in a cool, dark place. Replace the water every six months if not using commercially bottled water.

If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.

If storing water in plastic soda bottles, follow these steps Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.

Source: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/water.shtm