For How Long Is Tap Water Safe in a Refrigerator?

Theoretically, tap water should be stored in a clean container and then refrigerated forever. However, just because you can drink old water doesn’t mean you will want to. Over time, small air bubbles burst out of stored water, leaving behind an unsustainable taste. To avoid this problem, drain your stored tap water supply and replace it every six months.

Preparing storage

When storing tap water, it is important to use a suitable container. Glass, enameled metal and fiberglass containers are suitable for all work. You can also use plastic bottles, but make sure they are food grade. These containers are often labeled “HDPE 2”.
Thoroughly clean the bottles before filling them with water and make sure they are in good condition. Avoid the temptation to recycle old milk bottles or water bottles. You are unlikely to keep them clean and these thin plastics are quickly irritated, possibly leaking or allowing bacteria to enter your water stores. Once your cans are ready, you have to prepare your own water.
In most areas, tap water is safe and does not require special attention. If your water needs filtering or if you just prefer it that way, filter the water before filling the bottles. Even tap water should contain at least two to four parts per million (ppm) to kill bacteria. If your water supplier does not add chlorine (mostly), you will need to do this yourself.

Storing filtered water

After filling the water bottles, you will need to find a safe place to store them. It is acceptable to store water in the fridge and cold water is available. Refrigeration also helps reduce the risk of bacterial overgrowth in water. Refrigeration is not strictly necessary. You can keep your water in any cool, dark place. Basements, garages, crawl spaces and cellars all serve as good places to store water. If you are storing too much water in case your water supply is disrupted, remember to store your water in more than one place. If something destroys or contaminates your stored water, doing so will become your backup plan.

Length of water storage

While it is true that properly stored water should never expire, even filtered water tastes bad after sitting for a long time. The United States Department of Homeland Security recommends refreshing your emergency water supply every six months. When refreshing your water supply, remember that you will need at least one gallon of water each day. If you are storing water in the fridge for daily drinking, you may want to change it more often to make it taste better. In this case, change the remaining water once a month. You can also freeze water, and this prevents any plastic chemicals from entering it.

Once you have opened a container of stored water, try to use it in two to three days. It will stay in the refrigerator for a little longer and you can extend its shelf life there for about three to five days. After that, the water will be safe to drink but it will not taste so good.

When in doubt, throw it away

Unless you are in a situation of survival and you have no choice, avoid drinking water that you are not sure about. Do not drink stored tap water if it looks cloudy or has particles floating in it. It is also better to avoid pollution in sunlight and water when algae have started to grow. Even if the water smells good, if it smells weird, discard it. If you are still unsure, taste a little. If you have any doubts, waste water instead of using it. When the water supply is low and it is unwise to abandon it, be sure to boil or purify it before drinking suspicious water.

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