The first order of business in an emergency is to stock fresh drinking water, but how to store it? What are the five best glass water storage containers?
The five best glass water storage containers are listed below.
- ULINE - Glass Jug - 1 gallon
- Learn To Brew - 3 Gallon Glass Jug
- 1790 Wide Mouth 1 Gallon Glass Jar with Lid
- Packaging Options Direct 3 Gallon Glass Italian Carboy
- Berlin Packaging 1 Gallon Growler
The last thing I wanted to do was to spend energy and hard-earned cash on a water storage system, only to find that the water tasted worse than the brown stuff from the tap. Since I have been living in a metroplex with constant boil water alerts, I know firsthand how nasty some of the gunk that is supposed to pass off drinking water can be. That’s what prompted me to consider an emergency water supply. Part of my issue was that I wanted to do this project as eco-friendly as possible (I don’t like adding to the local landfill more than I have to). So, after some intense research, I decided to explore glass containers. The more I poked around the Internet, the more I found many reasons to include glass jugs in a long-term emergency storage plan.
What are the Five Best Glass Water Storage Containers?
Here are my choices for the best glass water storage containers.
ULINE - Carboy - 1 Gallon Jug
Uline is one of the leading distributors of packaging materials in the US. Founded in 1980 in a garage, the company has grown to expand into producing any kind of storage container possible. They make cardboard boxes, bags, containers, and jugs for various industries. Uline has a bottle for everything. They are a one-stop shop for all things container.
I wanted to find a company that offered multiple-size glass jugs, so I was pleased to have options. (The company offers ½ gallon as well as 1-gallon sizes). The jugs are sealed with a screw-on/off the phenolic cap and have a finger hook to ease pouring.
- Weight - One Gallon of water = 8.33 lbs. (not counting the glass jug).½ gallon of water = 4.16 lbs (not counting glass container)
Best Storage Option -
I debated about using smaller containers I could keep cold in a 2nd fridge in the utility room. (Many preppers have a dedicated older fridge in their emergency pantry area filled with their emergency water supply so that if the power grid is still in place, the water stays cold).
Ultimately I rejected that size in favor of shelving.
- Clear glass
- Various sizes
- Easy to Handle and Store
- Cost is reasonable - order in the package of four
- Made in the USA
- Fast Shipping Direct to Home
- Can be stored on the side or upright
- The narrow opening makes cleaning harder
- Glass jugs need stable storage shelving.
For more information see the manufacturer's website for Today’s Price.
Learn To Brew 3 Gallon Glass Carboy
Typically, home breweries use glass containers for all kinds of craft beer, but they can also be used for water storage. Learn To Brew is based in Italy, and they have been fermenting alcoholic wine and beer for years. This is an Amazon bestseller with a favorable rating of 4.9 out of 5.
This clear, glass carboy holds three gallons, about what the average family uses daily. I was disappointed that I would have to buy the lids separately.
- Weight: Three gallons of water = 25 lbs (not counting the glass container)
(The only concern was the weight of the water jug. I stressed that the 3-gallon might be too heavy for my wife to lug into the kitchen or to use effectively in meal preparation. I wanted her to be able to utilize the water if I wasn’t available).
Best Storage Options
- Shelving or racks that will hold three - five-gallon containers.
- Made from Italian Glass
- Easy to Handle and Store
- Adaptable for beer or wine brewing.
- Functional size for family
- Caps sold separately
- Expensive option @ $49.00 each
For more information, see Amazon website for Today’s Price.
1790 Wide Mouth 1 Gallon Glass Jar with Lid
This company makes a wide variety of glass storage containers, and the jars come with wide-mouth lids, making them usable for other items besides water. While they suggest using the jars for sun tea, they are small enough to refrigerate and yet large enough not to be a storage burden.
- A wide-mouth gallon glass jar with an air-tight screw-on lid.
- They are one of Amazon’s top sellers and have a high rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
- Weight: The wide-mouth jar will weigh about 8 - 9 lbs filled with water
Note: Best of all, I could buy these items in bulk quantity and have all my storage needs satisfied. (Many preppers also use this type of glassware for dry goods storage). These jars are a much cheaper option than other brewing jugs.
Best Storage Options
- It weighs over 8 lbs, so shelving is best.
- A wide mouth makes stacking easier;
- Best not stored on the side due to height.
- Largemouth jars make cleaning easier
- It can be used for dry storage
- Cost is reasonable - order in a package of four
- Made in the USA
- Can be adapted to dry goods
- Buy these in bulk for a lower price.
- Plastic Lids seal fine, but still, they are plastic.
For more information, see the website on Amazon for Today’s Price.
TricorBraun 3 Gallon Glass Carboy
TricorBraun has been around for over 120 years since its inception in St. Louis. The company has grown to serve over 90 countries. While TricorBraun has expanded into almost every kind of food and beverage storage you can imagine, its glass containers have been a staple in the business for quite some time. Craft beer makers buy the jug, which can be easily converted into a practical water storage container.
- The jugs are made of Italian glass,
- Hold three gallons are durable.
- There is no ring hook, meaning the bottle could be used in a drinking stand or dispenser.
- Weight: 25 - 28 lbs when full of water.
Best Storage Option
- Shelving that is strong enough to handle heavy items.
- It can be used with the dispenser
- Cost is reasonable -
- Durable glass - won’t leach odors or taste
- Italian Glass can be Expensive
For more information, see the manufacturer’s website on Amazon for Today’s Price.
Berlin Packaging - 1 Gallon Clear Glass Growler
Berlin Packaging is a Chicago-based firm specializing in all kinds of packaging for over a hundred years. There are many divisions (they are also a significant supplier of scientific beakers and jars for pharmaceutical, medical, industrial, and educational organizations).
- Smaller One Gallon Size makes transport easier
- Weight: 9 lbs.
Best Storage Options
- Sturdy Shelving
- Smaller, easier to transport and store
- Cost is reasonable -
- The USA made
- White cap easy to mark with a date
- Reasonably priced
- The company has lots of storage options
- They need a larger gallon option
For more information, see the manufacturer’s website for Today’s Price.
Why Is Glass Better for Water Storage?
There are various reasons why a glass container is the best way to store water.
Glass is Chemical-Free
Glass is the safest container to use for water storage. Unlike plastics or other jugs, glass does not impart any chemical or cancer-causing substance into the liquid.
The Problem With Plastic
Plastics often contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to manufacture hard plastics. Exposure to BPA can create problems in the endocrine system. Doctors warned about BPAs for years, and manufacturers quickly created plastic bottles without them. I just don’t like the plastic taste.
Metal Is Not Better Than Glass
Metal can also be an issue when it comes to water storage. Because metal cans are manufactured with seals, usually tops and bottoms, moisture seeps out of the seams, and the exposure to water weakens the can’s integrity. Water can rust or oxidize depending on the type of metal used. Most preppers have abandoned the idea of metal water storage.
Glass Containers Are Eco-Friendly
One of the advantages of the glass storage container is that glass can be cleaned and reused. As far as the environment is concerned, a plastic bottle will find its way into a local landfill faster than a glass container. Considering that Americans alone dispose of 1,500 water bottles a second, I wanted to do my part in reducing my carbon footprint.
Glass Containers are Transparent
I knew that the opaque nature of a metal and plastic unit would not allow me to spot trouble areas like mold or insect infestation should a problem occur. A big part of the job of creating an emergency food storage system isn’t just creating it but protecting the items that are sitting on the shelves. A glass container will allow me to see any cloudiness or sediment that might suggest a faulty seal, so that content can be replaced before the emergency happens and it is too late.
Glass Containers are Sturdy
My biggest fear about using glass was that it was breakable. But as I researched, I was surprised to learn that most glass storage containers are made of tempered glass, which is much stronger than just ordinary glass containers. While that doesn’t mean they won’t break or crack if dropped on a concrete floor, metal cans can also dent or break their seals.
Glass Containers Can Handle Hot or Cold Liquid
Glass is versatile in that it can usually handle hot and cold liquids. Not many plastics should be used for hot foods, as the heat breaks down the harmful chemicals a plastic container might linger in the compounds. Glass is different in that it has a better ability to perform under heat or cold.
Regardless of what kind of container is used, any stored water should be held in a dark, dry location where heat and direct sunlight cannot affect the integrity of the liquid.
How Much Water Should be Stored?
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) suggests that an emergency pantry should plan on a gallon of daily drinking water per person. Their formula is based on allocating a ½ gallon of drinking water and ½ gallon for cooking and hygiene per individual. In addition, they recommend stockpiling a three-day supply. If you do the math, that means that a family of three would need about 9 - 10 gallons stored up at a minimum for a three-day supply. Because an extreme event could cut off utilities for weeks, most preppers believe that a two-week supply is a better preparation goal.
What Are Some Things to Consider When Storing Water
There are several things that any prepper needs to consider when storing water.
Keep Water Separated from Other FoodStuffs.
Do not store water on the same shelving as primary food survival items. Even if the food you are hoarding is sealed, any water condensation from a broken jar could create a potential for other problems. (Insects and mice are always more prevalent under moist conditions). Many preppers utilize one set of shelving to store bulk water and another area for dry materials. If you can afford a water cooler dispenser for the home, then the 3 - 5 gallon containers could be used. A dispenser would allow anyone in the family access to the water, making it easier for meal preparation and portion control. As mentioned, some long-term food storage enthusiasts have adapted refrigerators to house their containers of purified water.
Do Not Touch The Water
Since I had no idea what kind of extreme event would happen, I knew that my hands could not come into direct contact with the water my family was to consume. In my head, I could see bacteria or other particles infecting the water if I wasn’t extra careful. There may be no fresh water to wash your hands during an emergency. At that moment, I decided to stock up on sanitizer so that everyone eating with us could prep their hands before handling food or water.
Replace Stored Water Every Six Months
While glass containers do a great job of keeping drinking water fresh, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that non-store bought water be kept for no longer than six months. I had already decided to date every other item in the pantry so that I could practice a FIFO (First in, First out) system, and right then, I decided to mark the water bottles as well.
Use Your Food Storage Even When There is No Emergency
Maintaining an emergency food store takes a bit of work to keep up with it. I knew that if I could get in the habit of drawing from my emergency stash, I could force myself to keep up with it. The truth is if I use it, I won’t lose it. What that means is that I can check for problems like the presence of moisture or mold, or insect infestation and intervene before the problem spreads.
Remember, Pets Will Need Fresh Drinking Water
If a catastrophe happens, store enough water for any pets. If you don’t, they will seek a water source from anywhere they can get it, which could mean that they ingest contaminated water from rain runoff or nearby streams. I suspected that my family might be under a lot of stress just dealing with the emergency, and the idea of watching a pet suffer was not something I could allow.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker