Storing Water in Musty Basement

by Lisa
(Salem, Ohio, US)

Collapsible Water Carrier

Collapsible Water Carrier

I know it sounds like a simple question, but I cannot find an answer, anywhere. Can I store jugs of water in my basement? It gets damp, but I keep cans and jars down there. I just worry plastic will absorb the mustiness. I do a little prep work at a time, buying what I can here and there. So sometimes I grab packs of water bottles or gallon jugs to keep around. Any suggestions? Thank you!

RESPONSE:

Is there any chance you can put a dehumidifier in your basement? That would probably help no matter what you store there.

If that's not possible, it would probably be best if you could occasionally buy an inexpensive container made especially for water storage - the collapsible kind (as above) is the least expensive. They come in 2.5 gallon or 5 gallon; then fill with tap water and store. Watch for these to go on sale to save money - they do from time to time. Even Walmart carries them most of the time (look in their camping department).

It would probably be less expensive to buy the containers and fill them yourself than to continue buying bottled water at the store. The plastic in those bottles was not made for long term storage. Over time they have been known to crack and leak.

Then, if possible, store the water containers on shelves or even 2x4's - as long as they are up off the cement floors.

As to your main question about plastics absorbing musty smells, the thinner the plastic the greater chance of absorbing smells. Water containers made for long term water storage are PET plastic and are thicker so they don't deteriorate and are less likely to absorb smells, if any. If smelled musty, you could purify the water before drinking it, in case you have to use it. That would give you peace of mind in using it for drinking.

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