Water is becoming a scarce resource in many parts of the world, as changes to the climate have a greater impact. Whether you worry about potential natural disasters or simply wish to have some form of water storage to ensure an adequate supply, finding the best water storage container is an important decision.
That is why we have made this article about the top 10 best water storage containers on the market right now, along with key information about them that you need to know. Our guide will ensure you move forward with your decision making process in an informed, confident way and get the system that suits your specific requirements.
There is plenty of guidance out there about how much water should be stored for an emergency, with a generally accepted guideline of one gallon per person, per day. In general terms, this is far less than the average use for a person, which stands at 70 gallons but in emergencies, you would ration your water accordingly.
Once you have thought about the water storage per person and multiply this by the size of your household, you will have an idea of the type of water storage container you should go for, with them ranging from small portable systems to large systems capable of storing hundreds of gallons.
Our Top Picks
Best Water Storage Containers of 2021:
Water Storage Containers that are worth mentioning:
We’ve put together a list of the top 10 water storage containers on the market right now, to help guide you to the best product for your specific requirements.
1. iSpring T32M Pre-Pressurized Water Storage Tank
Arriving pre-pressurised and without any need to purge the tank first, you simply set it up, fill it and drain it and you’re ready to go – what could be simpler!
Tested to meet various industry standards and made from metal so you know it will last, anyone buying this storage tank is investing for the long term.
We should note here that one aspect of the installation process does require some care. The shut-off valve doesn’t arrive pre-installed and so when you screw it on, make sure you don’t damage the valve, as its plastic and prone to breaking easily.
2. Saratoga Farms 5-Gallon Stackables
We are big fans of this next model from Saratoga Farms because they’ve really thought about how people will want to use these water storage containers.
Each one is five gallons, so you get a fair amount of water storage but they are stackable, so you can buy multiple containers and fit them nicely into a storage area.
These are made from non-toxic, food-grade plastic that is durable and robust, so you won’t need to worry about damaging them if you move them about or taking them on your travels. On the topic of travel, the design includes a handle for carrying them about, even when full of water and particularly heavy.
An all-round fantastic solution for those wanting water storage at home, in a remote location whilst travelling. Just make sure you keep an eye on the caps, as some have reported them leaking every now and then.
3. LCI Plastic Water Can, Desert Sand, 5-gallon by LCI
Yet another portable water container makes it onto our list and once you’ve read this brief review, you will understand why.
Let’s start off with the obvious – it’s a five-gallon container with a traditionally military-style design, everything about it makes it perfect for those on the move or in an emergency.
Made from durable, BPA-free materials that won’t affect the taste of the water, which is a big plus and a smart screw top system means it is very easy to fill it up. To pour water out, it has a smaller opening on the top so that when you use the handle to pour, it isn’t prone to spillage.
Clearly the major downside with this model is the capacity and for those wanting a larger, more permanent water storage container, then you would do well to look elsewhere. If you want a portable solution, perfect for an emergency then you need to look no further.
4. 15 Gallon Emergency Water Storage Barrel
We’ve stepped up the storage level with this recommendation, going to an impressive 15 gallons, which isn’t enough for families or bigger households, it is perfect for a person wanting an emergency two week supply.
Simple design and made from BPA-free, heavy-duty plastic, you get a simple and yet effective water storage container. An extra bonus is that the plastic used is food grade and so offers safer drinking water.
Whilst it is 15 gallons, it is still portable so you can move it to a different location or transport it in a vehicle in an emergency. The concern with this model mirrors that of previous ones in that it is still really designed for 1 person and so for those who need to prepare for a household, you will need to get multiple containers or one of the larger models on our list.
5. DATREX Emergency Water Pouch for Disaster or Survival
These pouches are offering a slightly different solution to the other water storage containers on our list because these are specifically designed for surviving in an emergency or natural disaster.
Each one is made according to FDA specifications and keeps water fresh and drinkable for five years, so you can rest assured that should the moment come where you need to use them, they will be ready.
Its sturdy materials can be stored in harsh environments and it will still keep the water tasting clean and fresh, without any plastic or chemical taste.
As with anything that gets shipped to your home, they can sometimes be damaged in transit, so make sure you check for leaks when you first get them.
6. WaterBOB Bathtub Emergency Water Storage Container
An interesting option on our list that offers quite a creative solution to those wanting to prepare for an emergency, where water may be scarce.
WaterBOB has created a system that is capable of storing up to 100 gallons of water in your bathtub and it will keep that water fresh and tasting clean for up to an impressive 16 weeks.
Its simplicity is a big bonus, as you lay the plastic liner, which is FDA compliant, in the bathtub and links it up to the faucet. Once full or when you need to dispense water, you use the provided pump without any difficulty.
Whilst it is an impressive solution, it does come with a hefty price tag compared to more traditional barrel containers you will see elsewhere on this list, so think about what you need the water for and whether portability is important.
7. Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container
The team recommends this water storage container from Reliance because it is a simple, effective and long-lasting container designed to do one job – store water safely for the long term and when you need it most.
It is made from durable, heavy-duty plastic, with a rigid design that can be stored relatively easily at home or on the road.
The seven-gallon capacity is great for those that need smaller water supplies or who intend to travel, so whether empty or full, you shouldn’t have too many problems carrying it about.
As with any water container, you want to make sure they are clean from time to time and that is a little difficult with this one, as the only access is quite narrow, which is great for pouring carefully, but not so good for cleaning.
8. Emergency Essentials Water Barrel
The final three on our list really step up the capacity and this one holds 55 gallons, more than enough for a small family to live on for fourteen days in an emergency. That means drinking, cooking and even washing will all be covered by one of these containers when full of water.
We love this product because of its simplicity and its focus on doing its job without any fuss or fancy features. A strong, sturdy construction, with two bungholes that make it both easy to fill and keep secure, you don’t need to worry about any lids or extra parts leaking or allowing contaminants in.
When you first get this model, make sure you follow the instructions to clean it, to remove any initial odours and obviously think about how heavy it will be when full, so make sure you have it in place before filling it up.
9. RomoTech Vertical Polyethylene Reservoir
The heavy hitter on our list comes from RomoTech, in the form of this mighty 550-gallon water reservoir.
For anyone wanting a water storage container, its 550-gallon capacity will sustain you for an extended emergency or period of time, then this is the one for you.
As you would expect, it is built from sturdy, high-quality UV-protected polyethene, which actually makes it approved for other liquids including chemicals, so it offers a multiple purpose solution should you need it. This material is actually translucent so it’s easy to check the levels and marks on the side allow you to measure this easily.
It seems a little redundant to point this out but we do believe in being thorough – the biggest note of caution is how difficult it is to move when full, so if you want to move this, you will need to have the tools to do so. However, it does come with helpful channels for saddle straps.
10. 260 Gallon Emergency Water Storage Tank
The final water storage container on our list offers a very impressive 260-gallon capacity, making it another great solution for households who want to plan for every eventuality.
It weighs a fair amount, so moving it can be challenging but we have tested and it is designed to fit through most doorways, so it can be placed into a storage room, or basement if necessary.
It is a well-made piece of equipment, lasting a very long time and coming with everything needed to provide drinking water that will last at least five years.
A word of caution though, in colder regions of the world, as it could be prone to freezing if you wish to store it outside, although it will be able to deal with high temperatures, for those in warmer climates.
Thank you for taking the time to read our comprehensive guide on water storage containers and we hope you’ve found it helpful in choosing which system to go for. The number one piece of advice we have is to think about what you want to use it for and who you want to use it for because they come in such a variety of sizes that you will be sure to find the one you need.
What to consider when buying a water storage container
There are some key considerations to resolve before making a purchasing decision so that you get the right product for you. This is particularly important when it comes to water storage containers because it will be the source for the single most valuable resource should you be in an emergency situation or your existing water supply fails for some reason.
What is the purpose?
Firstly, ask yourself why you are buying a water container in the first place. It is for a fixed storage solution at your home, in case of a drought, emergency or simply as an addition to your current water supply?
Or do you want something that is portable and can be transferred easily, in case you wish to travel or have to move during an emergency?
Fixed or movable?
Feeding into the first point on our list, deciding whether you wish to move the water storage container or not is important to consider because you could invest in a large container that wouldn’t be easily moved. Some of these containers will weigh hundreds of pounds once filled with water and will require a truck or van to move it.
Likewise, you could invest in a small portable unit and realise you need a far bigger storage system and won’t be moving it at all. There are some fantastic portable options out there for people who want the ability to move around with
Who is it for?
This will single-handedly narrow down your choices because of the range of sizes available on the market right now. For someone who just wants a supply for themselves, there are some fantastic smaller, portable solutions out there. Should you wish to store enough water to support your family in a potential emergency situation for a long period, you will have to look at the other end of the spectrum.
The general guidance from the CDC is that you should have at least one gallon worth of water per person, per day. This is to cover drinking water, cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. As you can see, if you want to ensure your entire family has water to drink, then this can end up being a lot of water to store.
Once you have an idea of what you want the water storage container for, the size and whether it’s portable, you must then consider how it’s built, to ensure it lasts the correct length of time and protects the water collected inside.
You don’t want your container easily damaged, whether in a storm or when you try to move it and so make sure it is built durably, with feedback to suggest it is a long-lasting investment.
The vast majority of containers will be made from plastic that is durable and lightweight, as well as from a food-grade level of plastic for health reasons. If you can find one that is also BPA-free, then you offer even better protection for your health.
In an ideal world, all containers will have effective seals but you should still do your research on the kind of seals they use and feedback from consumers. It only takes one minor issue with the seal for the water to become contaminated and then undrinkable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years, we have noticed patterns when it comes to the kind of questions asked by our readers. As a result, we’ve put together this list of frequently asked questions about the best water storage containers on the market, along with some simple answers that we hope makes the buying process a whole lot easier.
How much water do you need to store per person?
- The official recommended amount of water to store in case of an emergency is a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person, per day. This is for drinking, food preparation, washing and hygiene and is the official amount stated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
In reality, you may want to store more if you have space and budget to do so, or perhaps simply because of restrictions, you can only store less. Think about what your priorities are, as well as budget and storage location. Water storage containers are vital to get right because a source of clean, safe drinking water is the most important thing to have prepared in case of an emergency.
What is the best way to store emergency water?
- It is important that you always store your water in storage containers that have been cleaned, disinfected and checked for faults. Ideally, they should be made of food-grade plastic, enamelled metal or fiberglass.
You must ensure that it is sealed correctly and there are no faults with the seal, as harmful contaminants such as bacteria can find their way into storage containers via this fault, ruining your entire water supply.
How long will water last in these containers?
- Each of the products on our best water storage containers list will have its own manufacturers recommendation, so it is important to check these details before making a purchase. In terms of recommendations by official organisations, they state that you should aim to replace the water in storage containers every 6 months or so, to reduce the chances of it getting contaminated or starting to taste/smell bad.
When you do replace the water, always remember to thoroughly wash, disinfect and check for faults before you refill it with water.
How do you clean water storage containers properly?
- Each container will have slightly different instructions depending on the type of cap, size of the hole and materials used. However, there are some fundamental steps to follow no matter your chosen water storage container.
Before use or after emptying the container, wash it with a mixture of warm water and normal dish soap. Make sure to rinse it properly when finished washing it
Mix together 0.25 gallons of water with a teaspoon of bleach and pour into the water container
Seal up the container and then move it around to ensure the solution covers all parts of the inside.
Pour out the solution and rinse out the container with clean water.
Refill the container with your clean supply of drinking water and seal up correctly.
How much will a storage container cost?
- This very much depends on the capacity, design and portability of the unit you want to go for. Firstly, you need to decide whether it is a container you wish to carry around with you in case of an emergency, or it is going to be kept in a single location. This will determine the capacity you can go for, as well as design features including the materials (such as food-grade plastic), used to make it.
Once you have considered all of the key factors and made sure they meet your requirements, you will be able to narrow down your search and see whether that meets with your budget expectations.
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