How to use your bathtub to store clean drinking water in the case of an emergency
Posted September 20
Updated September 21
No one thinks twice about having an extra flashlight or candles around to deal with a power outage, but what about clean water in an emergency? Water shortages can happen as a result of local source contamination, a large storm or other emergencies. After incidents like the Flint, Michigan, water crisis and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, safe water storage might be something on your mind when you think about keeping your family safe when the unexpected happens.
And you probably didn’t know you could turn your bathtub into a clean water storage container. All you need is the WaterBOB, a plastic tub liner and hose system that fits in your bathtub, helping you store up to 100 gallons of water, keeping it fresh for months. The liner is PBA free, is approved by the FDA for food storage, and can keep water clean for up to 16 weeks, according to the maker.
How It Works
The WaterBOB fits into most standard bathtubs. You place the liner (which is completely sealed) into the tub, attach its hose to your bathtub faucet, and fill. When you plug the hose hole after filling, the WaterBOB is completely sealed. You won’t have to worry about dust, mold or other debris getting into your water. Whenever you need water, you simply pump it out into a container using the WaterBOB siphon attachment.
The WaterBOB takes about 30 minutes to fill, so you can store water on short notice, if necessary. It costs $25, and comes in a box that’s about the size of a large purse, so storing it between uses isn’t a problem, even in small living quarters. More than 750 Amazon customers have reviewed the WaterBOB, with 94 percent of reviewers giving it four or five stars.
Other Emergency Water Options
In addition to storing water, you’ll want to be able to purify water in the event of an emergency. You can use charcoal, iodine, chlorine or other water-purification chemicals. Or use a product like the LifeStraw, a$15 tool about the size of a large tube of toothpaste that purifies up to 1,000 liters of water without chemicals.
Consider using rain barrels at your house to store water (you’ll need to purify it for drinking). You can also use the water for your lawn or garden when drought conditions bring watering restrictions. And you may want to learn how to drain your home’s hot water heater for another water source in an emergency.