Storing emergency water

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200L rainwater tank

200L rainwater tank

Wellington’s water supply network is vulnerable. After a significant earthquake many parts of our region may be without water for more than 100 days.

We've built an emergency water network around the region that will operate from day eight following an earthquake, but for the first seven days you will be relying on the water you have stored at home.

Store water at home and work for emergency situations

  • We recommend you store 20 litres per person per day for seven days (more if you can), or use a 200L rainwater tank for two people for a week
  • Stored water is important if the water goes off for any reason. It could be a burst pipe in your street that takes half a day to fix or an earthquake when the water network could take months to repair
  • You’ll need to be self-sufficient for at least seven days after a big earthquake or other major event. Water will be available for collection from reservoirs or collection points about eight days after a major event
  • You’ll need to store more water if your family includes a bottle-fed baby, a person with high medical needs, or pets

 Store emergency water in cleaned plastic containers

  • Store water in a large outdoor tank, or cleaned, used plastic juice or soft drink bottles. Do not store emergency water in milk bottles because milk proteins are hard to remove and can promote bacterial growth
  • Wash bottles with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly
  • Fill each bottle with tap water until it overflows. Add five drops of plain, unperfumed household bleach per litre of water. Make sure there are no air gaps and place the lids on tightly. Do not drink for at least 30 minutes after disinfecting
  • Label each bottle with the date of when they were filled and when they need to be refilled (12 months later)

 Store emergency water carefully and treat before use

  • Store bottles in a dark, cool place
  • Replace your stored water every 12 months – the beginning of daylight saving is a good time to do it
  • Treat stored water before use by bringing it to the boil

Visit WREMO’s website for more information about getting prepared for an emergency.

Related documents

Making stored water safe to drink

437 KB | pdf | 25/09/18

Get your water storage sorted now

117 KB | pdf | 24/05/17