Many people keep a reserve supply of drinking water on hand in case of a shortage or an emergency. This is a wise precaution; we all need to drink plenty of water each day in order to stay fit and healthy. Any disruption in our drinking water schedule is hazardous, and it is easy to become dehydrated in a short period of time. One of the most important factors to consider when storing drinking water is how long it will last.
How long does it take for stored water to go bad?
Do you ever drink old water from a glass left on the nightstand and notice how different it tastes?
This occurs as a result of carbon dioxide. After about 12 hours, the carbon dioxide in the air begins to mix with the glass of water. This lowers the pH of the water and gives it an unpleasant taste. Even so, the water is safe to drink. Furthermore, most experts believe that tap water has a six-month shelf life. After this time, the chlorine in the water has dissipated to the point where bacteria and algae can grow in it. Bacterial growth is accelerated when water is stored in a warm environment.
Bottled Drinking Water Storage
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not even require bottled water with a shelf life to be labelled. Bottled water can last for many years without spoiling on its own, but there are some factors that can affect this. It's critical to keep bottled water out of direct sunlight and away from harsh chemicals when storing it. Sunlight can promote algae growth in water, and strong chemicals can contaminate nearby water with unpleasant tastes and odors. If you have a lot of bottled water, resist the urge to stack them; stacking plastic bottles will cause them to leak and burst.
Bottled Drinking Water Freezing
There are some bottled water varieties with a use or sell by date printed on the label. Many people consider buying this type of drinking water for long-term storage, and they want to freeze the bottles to extend their shelf life. This is a bad idea because the chemicals in the plastic bottles do not react well with high and low temperatures. Under these conditions, the chemicals in the container can be released into the drinking water, making it less safe to drink.
How Can You Tell If Your Drinking Water Is Contaminated?
Good hygiene practices and your own senses are your first line of defense in food and drink safety. If the water looks, smells, or tastes bad, don't drink it, regardless of the use or sell by date printed on the label.
When drinking water is contaminated, it is often cloudy or turbid, and it has an unusual taste or odor. However, it's also important to understand that there are bacterial and other contaminants that your senses cannot detect. If in doubt, boil the bottled water for at least a few minutes before using it and allow it to cool before drinking.
HOW LONG CAN WATER BE KEPT BEFORE IT GOES BAD?
To begin with, the length of time potable water can be safely stored ranges from a single day to indefinitely depending on how the water is stored and the purity level of the water. Clean water left in an open cup outside for 1-3 days is likely to go bad (become contaminated).
Water from your tap (assuming it is safe to drink) stored in a sealed container can last up to 6 months or longer; however, it is a good idea to check the water and add a small amount of household chlorine bleach to purify it (do not use bleach that has fresheners or scents). Purified water sealed in a food-grade container will last for at least two years, if not much longer.