How do I sterilize the containers before storing my emergency drinking water?
Follow the steps below to properly sterilize your containers before you fill them with the tap water you are storing.
Wash the containers with soapy water.
Fill the container half full with water and add 1 cup of chlorine bleach for each gallon the container holds. NOTE: do not use scented laundry bleach, powdered bleach, or swimming pool chlorine - these contain additional chemicals that are poisonous. Finish filling the container with water (all the way to the top). Put the cap on and lay the bottle on its side for about 3 minutes. This allows you to check if the container leaks while the bleach-water disinfects the cap. If the container leaks, do not use it.
Pour the bleach-water into the next container to be sterilized. The same disinfecting bleach-water can be used for several containers - simply "top off" the new container with water as needed.
*** REMEMBER - this is not drinking water - pour the bleach solution down drain when finished ***
phil wrote:Here are instructions from the Alameda (California) County Water District:... Fill the container half full with water and add 1 cup of chlorine bleach for each gallon the container holds.
falk wrote:phil wrote:Are they insane? That's an incredible amount of bleach. Use teaspoons at most.
skygod wrote:I started learning how to make my own beer this week, and you have to really sterilize the little barrel first, to avoid anything growing in there, (except for the yeast that you add.)
So they say to use 1/4 cup of bleach to 6 quarts of water to sterilize the container. Just slosh the bleach solution around, empty and then rinse with chlorinated tap water.
mdmf007 wrote:A brewer buddy of mine uses UV lights to sterilize stuff. Not your run of the mill blacklight - a 3500 Watt model that kills anything it its including bacteria and viruses.
The information on the website appears to have been adapted from an industry standard which is used for disinfecting pipe after installation. It is far more than would be necessary for a freshly washed container.
In general, iodine has the disadvantage (compared to chlorine) in that it is not as effective over a wide range of pathogens and it imparts taste and a brown tint to the water.
some say iodine works better:Iodine is the preferred chemical treatment for water.
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