That all depends on what you are storing the water in and the storage location. It is best to store water in a shaded, climate-controlled area, such as a cellar. Heat and sun exposure have the potential to speed up the chemical leeching process from the plastic of the container into the water. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound commonly found in normal plastic water bottles. In recent years, BPA has been linked to growth of breast cancer cells.
Water stored in 1 to 5 gallon containers can generally go without being changed for 2 years, due to the thickness and quality of the plastic. While water stored in 1 gallon or less sized containers is recommended to be changed every 6 months.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests that you change out your stored tap water every 6 months. Likewise, bottled water should be rotated once a year, though you should continuously check the expiration dates. Containers of water should be stored in cool, dark places, because the polythene plastic in the containers can contaminate the water if it is exposed to sunlight. Also, keep water away from hazardous substances such as gasoline, kerosene and pesticides.
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