Follow WREMOnz on facebookFollow @WREMOinfo on twitter

How to store water and use it safely

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

How to safely store water

You'll need:

  • water storage containers (with enough water for your family for seven days, we recommend having 20 litres per person per day – so 140 litres for every person in your household)
  • water purification tablets or unscented bleach 

What to do:

  • Fill your water storage containers with chlorinated tap water
  • Add purification tablets or bleach (2 drops of bleach per litre) to the water - not essential but this helps it last longer
  • Write the date that you filled your containers on each container - this will help you remember when to replace the water
  • Store your water is a cool dark place – preferably in a place that will be easy to access after an earthquake
  • Replace your water every 12 months

Using your stored water in an emergency

Safe drinking water in an emergency

  • Before use boil water for one minute (or until a full electric jug switches off).
  • Alternatively add ½ teaspoon of plain unperfumed household bleach to10 litres water (a household bucket) and leave for 30 minutes before use. 
    Double the amount of bleach for water that is very dirty.

Use this safe water for drinking, brushing teeth, and food preparation (washing food and cleaning food preparation areas and utensils).

For general cleaning

  • Add 1 tsp (5 ml) of plain unperfumed household bleach to 1 litre water (~4 cups). 
    Or ¼ cup (~50mls) to 10 litres of water (e.g. household bucket).

Things to consider

You may have extra sources of water in your house - your hot water cylinder is a good source. Water from swimming pools or spa pools aren't suitable for drinking but can be used for cleaning and sanitation, including for your emergency toilet.

You may have extra people in your house after a natural disaster as they could be evacuated from their homes. You'll need extra water to support them. Or you yourself may have to move to a friends place (particularly if you live in tsunami zone or in an apartment with limited water storage) – do they have enough water for you as well?