How Long Does Filtered Water Last?
We take the availability of drinking water for granted. However, the risks of contaminated municipal water are real. Many people have started using any one of a variety of available water filtration systems to protect their families against water-borne diseases. Manufacturers of bottled water, filter and purification systems and those who oversee municipal water safety agree that water is not likely to go bad on its own. If it can remain free of contaminants and pathogens, it can last for years.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) agrees that care with where and in what type of container you store water plays a significant role in its longevity.
How should you store water?
- The IWBA advises consumers to do the following:
- Store water at or below room temperature.
- Store water away from direct sunlight.
- Store water away from areas containing chemicals and solvents like dry cleaning chemicals, household cleaners, paint thinners and gasoline.
- You could also freeze water to keep it fresh for long periods.
Why are these storage instructions important?
Conditions higher than room temperature or exposed to direct sunlight or other heat sources allow the development of mold or algae.
Water stored in plastic containers is perfectly safe. However, they containers are slightly porous. Therefore, vapors from petroleum-based fuels, household solvents, and other ambient air fumes or gases could permeate the plastic and leave you with water smelling and tasting nasty.
What are the four basic safety steps when storing filtered water?
- Start with safe, clean, filtered water.
- Use a container appropriate for safe water or food storage. BPA-free plastic containers are safe to use.
- Ensure the container is sterilized before filling it with water.
- Use a sealable container, and ensure it is resealed after every time it is opened.
What amount of filtered water should you store?
Safety authorities advise that you should allow one gallon of water per person per day. Calculate how much you need for one month and store that amount of water. Furthermore, mark the containers with the date you filled them, and store them in the conditions described above. That should ensure fresh, tasty water for about six months. Even if it seems fine after that time, it might be a good idea to run it through the filter process again to ensure its safety.
To Sum Up
While it might be true that meeting all the storage standards will keep water safe for many years, safety authorities recommend replacing stored water every six months.
Calculate the amount by allowing one gallon per person per day.
Ensure filtered water is poured in sterilized containers that can be sealed.
Refrigerate water for day-to-day use, but make sure open containers or pitchers are refilled at least once per month.
If you keep an open water container or a pitcher on the counter, you’d want to replace the water after two to three days.
However, sealed water containers in the fridge could last for several months.
Water stored elsewhere should not be exposed to heat or household chemicals or solvents.
When in doubt, throw stale water out or run it through the filtration process again.