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How Long do 5-Gallon Water Jugs Last

Whether you want to prepare for an emergency or overstocked your supply, it is important to know how long 5-gallon water jugs last. After all, you do not want to drink tainted water or waste your hard-earned money. 

The good news is these jugs last quite a long time. But, there are a few caveats you should know. We will teach you how to store water, which types of bottles to choose, and how much you will need. 

How Long do 5-Gallon Water Jugs Last?

The Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration govern bottled water companies. Neither list a regulation for the shelf life of 5-gallon water bottles. In their eyes, or according to their guidelines, water does not expire. This is true only if it is professionally packaged in food-grade bottles. We recommend that you use your water within two years of the manufacturing date. The use-by date is printed on the neck of the bottle. 

How Long Does Water Keep in a 5-gallon Jug?

First, let’s be clear – when we refer to “water” we are not talking about tap. Only use spring, distilled, reverse osmosis, or filtered water in 5-gallon water jugs. Do not refill them with tap water. The bottles must be sanitized and sealed to prevent contamination. 

As stated, the shelf life of 5-gallon bottles is up to two years. The water will not go bad at that point. Yet, it may develop a stale taste. The jug itself lasts indefinitely as it is made from food-grade plastic or glass. As we describe in our article, “The Life of a 5-gallon Water Bottle”, they are often reused up to 50 times! 

5 gallon water jug on cooler

How Many 5-gallon Water Jugs do I Need Monthly?

Most households and businesses will use about 1 gallon of water per person per day. This amount can vary. When you consider how much water you will need, answer these questions:

  • Will you use the water to make coffee and tea?
  • Will visitors have access to your water cooler?
  • Will you give the water to your pets?
  • Do you or any members of your household exercise?
  • Will you use the water for cooking?

For each of these questions you answer yes, you should increase your monthly delivery.

Storing Water in 5-gallon Containers

It is always a good idea to store water for emergencies. And, 5-gallon bottles are an excellent choice. We recommend keeping at least four gallons of emergency water per person. A three-day supply is great.  But in certain situations, two weeks is optimal. Follow these guidelines for proper storage of 5-gallon containers: 

  • Store in a cool, dry, and dark place.
  • Do not keep them on a concrete floor. 
  • Do not stack the bottles on top of each other. 
  • Use a storage rack
  • Rotate your bottles using the oldest ones first.

As you can see, you do not need to worry about how long 5-gallon water jugs last. Distillata provides only the highest quality food-grade bottles filled with properly treated water. 

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