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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Can/Bottle Water

This is not a parsimonious means to have water storage. But, it appeals to me, lots. I was following rabbit trails from blog to blog and found a video. When I went to the next several videos, hopping from site to site, I could not find my way back. Therefore, I don't have the details.

Basically, this woman was canning water just like we would can produce--in canning jars, processed on the stove. People add an extra jar full of water to their canning process in order to have a full canner--water bath or pressure canner. So, this does not seem too far-fetched. I suppose if a person has plenty of jars, the extra to fill the canner could be saved for drinking water, making the cost of canning water negligible.

Since I always have canning jars empty for months, I think this provides a means to have water that is 100%, guaranteed BPA free. I do drink from plastic water bottles on occasion. However, I don't want to depend on those and they are expensive. And, they do leak. Ask me how I know. I really cannot afford the larger water storage methods, nor do I want to handle three gallon containers, the smallest storage container especially made for water storage.

I know glass bottles can break more easily than plastic containers and could fall off a shelf during an earthquake. I don't have earthquakes, and I will not have anyone handling these besides me. They will be stored, four to a box with partitions.

I can justify buying more canning jars since the cost of the jar is not much more than the cost of bottle water.
The poster boiled the water, put the boiling water in hot, sterilized jars, used new lids and rings she had. Then, she processed it for 15 minutes. While this seems straightforward enough, I still have questions.

*First, have any of you canned water or know anyone who has?
*Second, would canning tap water, as is, but boiled, be prudent? There is chlorine and fluoride, at least. I do not want to purchase distilled water to can nor do I want to buy commercial drinking water to can.
*Third, I don't know whether water bath or pressure cooker would be best. Do you?
*Fourth, Would filtering the water first through a Brita filter with a pitcher be good to do before water is boiled? I don't have a Brita filtering system on the sink.

Problems: Will light still cause stuff to grow in the water? I can store in absolute darkness. Glass is breakable, but I am willing to chance that since I probably won't be leaving my home. Small amounts=lots of glasses jars of water. Water stored in small amounts=something I can handle. So, I don't consider lots of jars  a problem. If I put it in a box, it can be dark and contained, not liable to fall from a shelf, and no more problem than home-canned produce.

Even if I poured this finished product in a bucket to flush the commode, I would have wasted/spent only the cost of processing on the stove. Actually, I would not consider it a waste of electricity. I could just store the water I can, still add Clorox or pool shock (which I am still looking for)  to water after storage to make it potable if necessary.

Another thought--for those wondering how to store water, you could always store it, unprocessed, in glass canning jars to use for non-potable water. Just put in bleach and store in the dark. If you need the jars to can food, you can open the jars or buy new ones. A person can never have too many canning jars! Of course, I would use quarts, but it seems that half-gallon jars would work, too.

Update: Lorie led me to her post and her take on water in canning jars. It is not the video where the jars are processed. However, it is an excellent idea that involves no processing. Thanks, Lorie.

Your turn
Your thoughts about this whole process? Do you see any further considerations that I am missing? Was this a wacky idea she had?  Do you know where that woman and her video is on the Internet???


  1. I store water in canning jars. I did a post about it a while back that explains it:

    You don't need to waste new lids or energy processing. My way is more parsimonous. lol

    The water remains fine as long as you rotate it as you normally would rotate any water in storage.

    I use filtered water in my daily cooking and drinking so that is what I store. I would say that if you are comfortable drinking tap water you can store it.

    I store food in glass jars that might break, why not water? I just do my best to keep it safe. That's all we can do anyway right?

    Yes, if you are concerned about the water after storage you can add a drop of bleach. But if you are starting with sterile jars and boiled water and rotating regularly, it is not a problem.

  2. Lorie,
    Thanks. I commented on your blog post and updated my blog post to include a link to your blog. It is not the processed water storage I saw, but is a good way to store water. It works for me. I have had the leaky plastic bottles, so this has to be better. I have never broken a jar of canned food, so I figure the water is safe in glass. I may just store it, unprocessed and add th bleach upon opening. Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for the link. You didn't need to do that but I appreciate it.

      I never saw the video but I have read about storing water this way. So far it works for me.

  3. Yours was the voice of experience on this method. I wanted people to know what you did along the same line--storing water in canning jars! I wasn't just going to post what you did without giving you credit! I still want to find the video. I clicked right past it, on the trail of a video I wanted to see.

  4. I like Lories method but I wouldn't go through the trouble of actual processing for waste of fuel and time. I store water in jars though and this water gets cycled. Ultimately for us, we are looking at ways to operate our well pump in case of power failure but I have scoped out public potable hand pumped water nearby as well.I still Leto water on hand.

  5. I like Lorie's method, too. Since I sometimes have to put a jar of water in the canner to even it out, that water actually could be processed. When you feel like it, maybe you could do a "water post" on your blog and explain it all. It's good to see you are back in form,

  6. Processing water in a boiled canner with sealed lids can last years. All you need to do is make sure the lid is sealed when you are going to use it and they have to be stored in dark and cool place like all canned goods should.

    To make water taste good again after a long time of being stored pour it from one container to another a few times. This adds oxygen back into it and gets the taste we like back.

    Because it is in glass made to contain food, then you don't need to rotate the stock every six months like plastic contained water. There is no leakage or leeching from the plastic.

    If you live in earthquake area, store them in their box on the floor. Another solution is large rubber bands wrapped around the jars to keep a bumper, bolt shelves to a few studs in the walls, and make a secure railing to hold them in their shelf.


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