What about using and storing distilled water?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I was just thinking about this today. By the time I spend $50 a piece for 55 gal.(need at least 3) water storage containers and then more money on a pump and purification process, what about using store bought distilled water? They are sold in sealed one gallon jugs at Wal-Mart for .58 each. I could by 300 gals. of distilled water for about what it will cost to buy just the containers. Is distilled water fine for cooking and drinking? Does it have a funny taste? I was just curious and to whether anyone else had given alternative thoughts to water storage. Thanks Mary

-- Mary Howe (shy@thistime.com), October 14, 1998


Distilled water is tastless, odorless and will keep forever IF it is in proper containers and has not been contaminated during filling or some such. I put in the if because I have seen store bought distilled water fail simple tests miserably. If you use distilled water for drinking, add something to it for flavor (a little season salt or something) because it tastes funny to the palate as it really is tasteless. We don't expect water to have no taste at all.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 14, 1998.

A carefuls here -

- I've seen the one gallon jugs fail after a period of time. A relative had stored a number of them in a closet, went to get one out and found an empty jug and a damp floor. Seems the quality control on the jugs leaves something to be desired over time.

I don't know if you could do any kind of check on the container but it might not hurt.

Otherwise, have you considered a water delivery service? Yes, it will run you about $5-6 per five gallons but the quality control would be much better, IMHO. Then just transfer it into your containers. I suspect the total cost would be less than the costs of buying the processing equipment yourself...

-- j (hemwat@bellsouth.net), October 14, 1998.

Distilled water is very dangerous for long term storage for drinking:

The distillation process removes chemicals and foreign particles right?

So there is nothing to stop "new" baterium, algea, mold, and other "stuff" from multiplying in a dark, warm enclosed area - like the storage bottle in the basement.

If there is ANY contamination in the bottle, if the bottle is ever opened, or if the water itself had been contaminated while packing, shipping, storing, waiting for use, those biologics will grow unimpeded with no Cl to kill kill them.

Its good water for using in the iron, or for a chemistry lab, but not for ling term storage.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 14, 1998.

Hi Mary! I buy the natural spring water from Wal-Mart. It is also .58 cents a gallon. It tastes a lot better than the distilled water. It also has an expiration date on it- the ones I just bought expire in Oct. 2000. I don't think the water will actually go bad at that time, but maybe they take into account that the jugs eventually weaken. I have a very sensitive system when it comes to drinking water. I can't drink our local water, so I've been drinking the water from Wal-Mart for a long time. I've never had any problem with it. The only difficulty I see with your plan is WHERE will you put 300 gallons?! :-) Good luck!

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), October 14, 1998.

While we are on the topic of drinking water, please offer your opinions on my back up plan for water when and if I use up the water I have stored. I have close access to a large river near the mouth to the bay. I intend to first, filter river water through disposable coffee filters. Then boil it. Then put it through a Katadyn carbon filter and then through a Katadyn ceramic filter. I imagine it will taste like nothing, but will it kill me? I know that virus will go through a ceramic filter, but I am also told that virus will attach itself to microbes that can be filtered out. Your comments please.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), October 14, 1998.

Boiling for half an hour or so will kill any biological threat in your water. It may look bad - dirt and so on - but will be safe as far as the bacteria or viruses go. Filtering through paper filters will remove dirt and make it prettier, but do nothing toward safety. Trouble is that you don't know what is in there in the way of chemical contaminants. If you don't have a filter that can remove chemicals you are taking a chance. Think about drilling a well, or look around for an old well you can clean. Many people use cisterns they fill with rain water from the roof. BTW - I assume that if you are getting water near the ocean/mouth of a river - you know to do it when the tide is going out. Think about a well.

HAH - just remembered a story an old fellow told me at a hardware store in coal country when I had to take a chit from a mine and pick up some minor things I needed in the lab. He lived on top of a hill back in the 20's, deep in coal country, and had a very good well a little higher up the hill than his house. (very good practice - no yard dirt or chicken house drainage going down to the well. also you get to carry full buckets DOWN hill.) Anyway, one day the well went dry. When he had time, he went up the slope to see why the well had quit. When he looked into the hole he heard voices and saw a flicker of fire. This scared him a bit, but then he realized the local coal mine had dug up under his well and the bottom had fallen out of the well!!! He was mad at first, but then thought about how all the well water would have flushed the men along the mine tunnels, and decided it was pretty funny. They were using his well as an air shaft, and had to pay to dig him a new well.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 14, 1998.

Mary, it might be even better to look at the 'bags' available at:


[No, I don't work for them, but this seems to be the cheapest storage method I've seen]

A 200 gallon bag is $89, including shipping. It can be stored in a basement, under the bed (don't step on it with spike heels, though), and some people have put them in the attic (right above load bearing walls) with a hose coming down.

Just a thought. To me it makes sense.......even though I have a few barrels (which I bought before the bags were available).


-- rocky (rknolls@hotmail.com), October 14, 1998.

The "watertanks" way is the best solution I've found, but I haven't decided on a size yet. Anybody used them yet, ordered from them yet?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), October 14, 1998.

Guys & Gals:

Water weighs 8.333 lbs per gallon. Be sure that you put your 200 gallon bladder bags where you want them before you fill them. And be sure that the supports are there too. That's about 1667 lbs plus bag weight you know.

-- sweetolebob(La) (buffgun@hotmail.com), October 14, 1998.

Mary, here's and old idea, if you have water beds,then you know the size of the frames, why not purchase several water bed bladder tanks and place 2x6xwith of bed frame on top, then place another water bed bladder bag on top of that , get the idea??? So you conserve space and still have water,hope this works for you .

-- Furie (furieart@gte.net), October 15, 1998.

55 gallon food grade plastic drums at $15.00 BUCKS

-- smith (paranoid@ofgov.com), October 15, 1998.

plastic drum url www.rcbequip.com/prod4.htm

-- smith (paranoid@ofgov.com), October 15, 1998.

sweetolbob --

That's why I said "over a load bearing wall."

-- rocky (rknolls@hotmail.com), October 15, 1998.

I said it before and I'll say it again - I have used vinyl water storage while camping and in a couple days the water tastes like h**l. If you use vinyl you need a filter to get the taste out.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), October 15, 1998.

distilled water is great! it kelates the toxins and heavy metals out of the body. but distilled water lacks the trace minerals your body should have, so I would not recomend it for long term use,unless of course you supplement your diet with some trace minerals with good bioavailability. but when it comes down to water or no water ill take it!. As far as containers go , go for the ones with hard clear plastic rather then the clouded one's. Glass is even better. If one is worried about water going spoil from contaminates one might look into putting enzymes into the water www.primenet.com/~starlab check this stuff out! Ive been using them for lots of things in the last couple of years. some people even substitute enzymes for clorine with greater results and they are non-toxic. star lab (602) 381-3235

-- david (pingpongdave@dreamsoft.com), October 17, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ