How long does Bottled Water Last?
Bottled water that is free from contaminants when it is stored does not have an expiration date. This is reinforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who do not require expiration dates on bottled water in the US. However, many sources recommend a two year shelf life for most bottled waters.
Keep in mind this recommendation is for water that was either filtered or purified before storage and thus was contaminant free when packaged. Most often this is encountered as bottled water you purchased from the store.
While it does remain safe to drink for an indefinite amount of time, extended storage times will likely cause some taste issues. The water is likely to take on a stale or plastic like taste after an extended time. Despite this taste as long as the water does not have a strange odor it should remain safe to drink.
Bottling Tap Water, and How Long Can I Store Tap Water
Regardless whether you buy it or obtain the water from some other means, the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA both recommend that you have at least three gallons of water stored per person in your household at any given time.
This 6 pack of food grade emergency water cans feature six five gallon cans with lids and spouts allowing you to store 30 gallons of water. These are available on Amazon (Ad) and are a great way to store your emergency water.
This recommendation may lead you to ask yourself, “Can I bottle my tap water for emergency use?”
Yes you can bottle your own tap or well water for later use instead of purchasing bottled water. It is recommended by FEMA that you store your emergency water in a clean glass, plastic or enameled metal container. Keep these containers of water in a cool dark location.
Depending on the purity of your tap or well water you may encounter some slight algae growth after several months. By keeping the containers in a cool and dark location you will reduce the likelihood of this formation.
Check out our Article : 6 Ways to Purify Water
Due to the possibility of algae growth it is recommended that tap water be rotated out of storage every six months. While it is not technically unsafe to drink at this point, this would minimize any possible exposures to bacterial growth that may have formed.
Is It Safe to Use Bottled Water after Six Months or after the Expiration Date?
While the FDA does not require expiration dates on bottled water produced in the US manufacturers often include one. This is to avoid stale tasting water. With that being said the water is still safe to drink after that point.
In the case of home bottled tap water and expired bottled water after an extended time you may notice signs of green algae growth. In an emergency situation it would still be safe to drink.
However, to be safe you should probably just use that water for plants or discard it. Clean your containers and replace your stockpile.