Custom Pure
The Water Store
1514 NE 179th Street
Seattle,WA 98155

10 am-5 pm Monday thru Friday
Saturday and Sunday Closed

Emergency Water

Having access to an adequate supply of safe water during times of emergency is a must for every home. Your family needs to store enough water or have the right equipment to treat water properly. We have prepared information that will answer these most commonly asked questions:

How much water should I store?

The rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days (for earthquake preparedness). That's 2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation. A family of four should store a minimum of 12 gallons of water. Use the following guidelines when storing water:

  1. Store drinking water in carefully cleaned, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.

  2. Store containers in a cool dark place. DO NOT store in direct sunlight. Polyethylene plastics (prepackaged milk and water bottles) are somewhat permeable to hydrocarbon vapors. Keep away from stored gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances.

  3. Stored tap water should be rotated every 6 months. Prepackaged bottled water should be rotated once a year. Check the pull date on the container. Be sure it didn't sit on the store's shelf for a year before you purchased it. Self Serve Bottled Water should be rotated once a year, as long as the water treatment process includes ozonation.

  4. Rotate your stored water with the water you use on a regular basis. This practice helps insure you don't have water stored longer than one year.

  5. You can extend the life of your stored bottled water by filtering it before use with Aqua Rain.


What treatment methods are safe to use in an emergency? 

Most water filtration devices are designed for use on microbiologically safe water. Don't assume they are safe to use on contaminated water. Check with the manufacturer to be sure. Use the following guidelines to determine if filtration equipment is adequate to use with microbiologically contaminated water:

Filtration Equipment

Safe on Microbiologically
Contaminated Water?

Carbon Filter


Reverse Osmosis


Deionization Filter


Pitcher Filter


Faucet Mount Filter


Steam Distiller

Yes, but requires electricity

UV Sterilizer

Yes, but requires electricity

Ceramic Filter

Some, but only if rated for bacteriological protection

Aqua Rain

Yes, no electricity or water pressure needed

Equipment that is safe to use on contaminated water is often slow, costly, inconvenient and/or high maintenance. It makes the most sense to use the filtration equipment that best meets your normal daily needs and shift to water storage or alternative methods of water treatment in times of emergencies.


How do I make contaminated water safe to drink?

  • Straining: If heavy levels of sediment or floating debris are present, strain water through paper towels, paper coffee filters or several layers of clean cloth into a clean container before boiling, chlorinating or filtering.

  • Boiling Method: Boil water vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes to make it safe from harmful bacterial contamination.

  • Chlorination Method: Chemically treat the water by adding liquid chlorine household bleach. Use only bleach with a label stating that the only active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite. Add 2 drops of bleach to one quart, 8 drops to a gallon, and 1/2 teaspoon to 5 gallons. Double these amounts if the water is cloudy. Mix thoroughly by stirring or shaking water in container. Let stand for 30 minutes. A slight chlorine odor should be detectable in the water.

  • Filtration Method: If electricity is available, consider a steam distiller or a UV sterilizer.  If there is no power and no water pressure, consider Aqua Rain, a ceramic gravity feed system. (link to products in Able Commerce)


How do I sanitize my bottles?

  1. If bottles have been used previously for other than water storage, you should wash them with soapy water, then rinse thoroughly.

  2. Fill the container with potable tap water, then add 1 tablespoon bleach (plain bleach, sodium hypochlorite, without fragrances) for each 1 gallon of water. Remember, this is still the sanitation process, not water fit for drinking.

  3. Shake well, turning bottle upside down a time or two to sanitize the cap.

  4. Let stand for at least one minute, then pour bleach water into the next container. You can use the same bleach water for several containers. Drain the container well and let air dry.

  5. Fill clean bottles with water and tightly close with cap. Label bottles with preparation date.


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