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Store water

Examples of suitable containers for water - light enough to carry when full

Store at least 20 litres each to last you a week for food and drink. Store more if you want to keep clean. 

How much water to store

You will need at least 20 litres of water for each person in your household. You’ll also need water for pets and personal hygiene. Store as much water as you can.

Storing water is easy

Wash out large, plastic soft drink bottles, or buy plastic water storage containers and fill with cold tap water. Fill until the container is overflowing and then put the lid on tightly. Store the water low down in a cool, dark place like a storage cupboard, garage or shed. Label the bottles with the date and replace the water every 12 months.

Don’t use plastic milk bottles to store water – the trace amounts of milk left will contaminate the stored water.

Why you need to store water

In an emergency the region’s water supply network could be damaged or broken. Storing water allows you to be prepared for any disruptions.

In Porirua, Wellington City and the Hutt Valley, Wellington Water is responsible for the water supply. There is information on their website about the resilience of water supply.

In the Wairapapa and Kapiti, the local councils are responsible for the water supply and resillence of that supply.

Using your stored water in an emergency

  • For tap water or bottled water (still sealed) – hold the container up to the light, if it is clear with nothing floating in it then use it
  • For rainwater or other water then boil water – use a full jug with an automatic switch off or boil for 1 minute by other means.
  • Water can be disinfected with plain, unperfumed household bleach (5 drops per litre, or 1/2 teaspoon per 10 litres). Let the water stand for 30 minutes before drinking

Swimming pool and spa pool water is not suitable for drinking, but can be used to keep yourself and your clothes clean or for your emergency toilet.

Emergency water tanks

WREMO has partnered with a New Zealand water tank manufacturer - The Tank Guy - to make water tanks and kit available for $105. These are available to purchase from your local council, see emergency water tanks for more information.