Preserving water in mason jars

Discussion in 'Water Filtering & Storage' started by fiberfiend, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. fiberfiend

    fiberfiend Member

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    I'm new here (hi!). I live in a rural area that is prone to power outages and must always be prepared to survive a few days without electricity or running water.

    Here's my question: Is it possible to process and store water in canning jars? That is, put the water in the jars and seal it using a water bath or pressure canner as you would foods? It would be convenient to put up water when I do my fall canning and know the core need is addressed for the coming year.

    Thank you! Great information here.
     
  2. BillM

    BillM BillM

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    Here is your easyest and best bet

    If you have a chest freezer , you probably don't keep it full all the time.

    When the power is lost you can keep your food frozen for 24 to 48 hours if you leave the door shut.

    Your frozen food will keep longer if the freezer is completely full as opposed to partially full.

    Here is how you kill two birds with one stone.

    Save your two liter drink bottles and plastic milk bottles.

    Wash them out and fill with tap water but leave about ten percent space in the bottle.

    Freeze them in your freezer. The frozen mass will keep your frozen food much longer when the power is out and your freezer will require less run time to keep your food frozen normally.

    If you lose your water supply, you simply thaw out your frozen water and cook the food.

    The water will keep indefinitely if it is frozen.
     

  3. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

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    I say it can be done. I am saving my lids as we use up what is in the jars to put on them when we fill with water so I am not using new lids. I figure as I get a dozen or so jars empty that would be a good time to fill them with water. Then when I need the jars again in the fall I just pop the lids off and use them. I will not have wasted any lids because I used old ones. Then I will always have water or food in the jars.
     
  4. fiberfiend

    fiberfiend Member

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    PamsPride, are you just storing water in the jars, or actually processing them? I generally store water in jars using old lids as you say, but then have to empty and refill to keep the water fresh. Bit of a pain. Would be nice to fill, process, and not think about it again.

    Bill, I don't have a chest freezer (maybe someday). I also prefer glass to plastic. The debate continues about the safety of plastic, but no one doubts glass. Besides, I find the water tastes better, and I've never had a leaking problem as with plastic.
     
  5. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    there is absolutely no need to process the jars. This is an excellent way to use the jars you have that are empty. Just fill them and use old lids and rings and keep them upright on a shelf and they will be fine.
     
  6. fiberfiend

    fiberfiend Member

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    Really? I thought gross things would eventually start to grow in the water. It's really safe indefinitely?
     
  7. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    your water (ideally) should be rotated out once or twice a year. However, you can put 1-3 drops of bleach in there, or you could filter it before use, or you could take a chance (if it was good clean water, and clear when you look at it in the jar it hsould be safe), OR you could boil that water before you put it in the jars, but I believe it's more work and a waste of energy to water bath your jars of water. If you are on city water, it already have chlorine in it, so it should be fine. If it is well water, like mine, it should still be ok for 6-12 months. I have water I've had stored for several years and it's still ok. I do recommend that you keep it out of the light (mine is on a back shelf in the basement).
     
  8. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something here :confused: but wouldn't it be safer to store it in 2 liter plastic bottles. I would be concerned about dropping the jars or having them accidentally knocked over and getting broke. Seems like a lot of work when water stores so easily without it. :dunno:
     
  9. Frugal_Farmers

    Frugal_Farmers Good ole country folk

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    We use food-grade 5-gallon buckets, follow bleach guidelines and rotate every 6 months or when we do our monthly voluntary power outages.
     
  10. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    That seems prudent as well; and safe from breakage.
     
  11. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    I have water in juice and 2 liters and all sorts of jugs; some for about two years...they're fine--and I have checked.

    I still store but not as urgently because I bought a Berkey.

    I also was advised by my retired water dept. neighbor to not use store-bought bleach in my drinking water---I have calcium hyprochlorite(pool shock) and it's in granules so there's no need to worry about bleach getting old, no storage space needed and one bag will give me thousands of gallons of bleach, and I saved lots of money---one bag cost $4.

    A win-win!
     
  12. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    And I think I must be poorer than you guys..I just bought 4 dozen jars, they don't go on sale,,,$7.70 each and they are going to be used for veggies, etc..
    That's 65 cents a jar:eek:when 2 liters, and juice jugs are free.

    And I too stored in the 5 gallon buckets before I got the Berkey--those buggers are H-E-A-V-Y!!

    Now, I want my sweetie to put the water from those in garbage cans with wheels we used when we moved and I plan on using those for more flour, cornmeal, and sugar!
     
  13. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    I agree, but the OP said he prefered glass over plastic, and wanted to use his canning jars. Though it IS a good use of canning jars, it's not hugely practical when you consider that each person will need a gallon a day of water in an emergency. :beercheer:
     
  14. fiberfiend

    fiberfiend Member

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    It's a matter of using what I have. I have an abundance of mason jars but don't have a supply of 2-liter plastic bottles since no one here drinks soda. We've also had problems with plastic gallons of water leaking. Those mason jars take up exactly the same amount of space whether full or empty. So I figure I might as well fill them. :) They shouldn't be any more dangerous than all my canned food, right?

    Good to know that water has a longer shelf life than I thought. I thought organisms would start growing a lot sooner. Thanks.
     
  15. fiberfiend

    fiberfiend Member

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    I get mine secondhand. I once bought over 200 for $25. I sometimes see them for 25c at flea markets. Recently someone gave me a boxful for free. Put out the word, keep your eyes open, and generally be patient and you can amass a huge collection for next to nothing. Just check the rims on used jars for cracks and chips before buying or using.
     
  16. Eli-2

    Eli-2 Active Member

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    If you are filling your containers with tap water,that water should already have chlorine in it,adding bleach only increases the amount of chlorine?
     
  17. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Never thought of it that way.

    I have a couple hundred empty jars as well. Hopefully I can have them all filled by the end of this year.
     
  18. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    We have flea market barns in this area...and there are no jars except the ones they think are worth gold...:gaah:

    I already got 6 dozen..I'm good .....and plenty of extra lids both natural and wide; I read the prices on lids were increasing ---so I will BOTL for more of those little buggers.

    Thanks.
     
  19. Kimba

    Kimba Member

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    Fiberfiend, I'm with you on this one.

    Yes, you can fill your jars with water and process them in a hot water bath canner. The water will then be sterile and will last "forever". I used to fill all my empty quart and half-gallon jars this way. Whenever a storm or hurricane rolled through and power was interrupted, I would have to shake my head in amazement at the people spending good $$$ on bottled water- when and IF they could get it. I've got a long list of things I'd rather spend my $$$ on, lol. Plus, I never had to go through a lot of prepping as far as drinking water went every time we had a bad storm.

    Like you said, the empty jars take the same space to store as water filled jars. I think the last time I purchased lids they were around 6 cents apiece. Six cents for a quart or two quarts of water is cheap insurance if you ask me (I only use the regular mouth jars for water because the lids are cheaper than wide mouth lids).

    The only possible downside is that the glass jars are not very portable. That's okay with me because in a SHTF scenario I plan on bugging in, not out.

    Cheers,

    Kimba
     
  20. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

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    You know I hadn't even thought of that. That is an Awesome Idea! I can use my Empty's to store the water and when I need them for regular canning We can use the water for something. Then re fill them as we Empty them. Thanks!

    That Idea ROCKS!!!!:congrat::congrat: