Serving over 170,000 water customers in Northern Miami-Dade County, NMB Water is dedicated to managing its natural resources, protecting and preserving the environment for future generations and providing reliable high quality water and related services to its customers. Owned and operated by the City of North Miami Beach, the Department is counseled by the Public Utilities Commission, which acts as an advisory committee to the City's Mayor and Council regarding decisions on water utility rates, expansions and expenditures. For more information, please visit the NMB Water web page.
Have Water Stored Before a Storm
It's recommended that you have at least one gallon of water per person, per day on hand to cover the first 72 hours following a storm or disaster. A family of four would need to have 12 gallons on hand to meet these guidelines.
One of the most frequent questions we receive before a storm is how should tap water be stored? Many people purchase bottled water prior to a storm event, but if you're interested in storing tap water, consider the following...
How to Store Tap Water
Water can be stored in sanitized food-grade plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting screw-on caps. It is important to properly wash, rinse, sanitize, and re-rinse your containers prior to use.
Sanitize Your Container
Containers and lids should be thoroughly washed with hot tap water and dishwashing detergent. Rinse the container in a mild bleach solution (two tablespoons liquid bleach to two gallons of water. A final rinse with hot tap water will prepare your container for proper tap water storage.
Preparing Tap Water for Storage
To treat tap water for storage, use ONLY UNSCENTED liquid household chlorine bleach (5 % - 6% active ingredients). Dosage is recommended at eight drops (1/8 teaspoon) bleach per gallon or 4-liter container of water. Stir the water and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. You should be able to smell a slight chlorine odor after the 30-minute waiting period. If odor is not present, add another dose and let the water stand another 15 minutes. Alternatively, if the water is cloudy, add 16 drops of bleach, stir and let stand for 15 minutes before use. Make sure to leave a small air space at the top of the container to allow for expansion if the water heats up slightly where you store it. Cap containers and label each with the words DRINKING WATER and preparation date.
Containers should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Most plastic beverage containers degrade over time, so store them away from heat and light to prevent leakage. Check periodically to insure that the containers have not cracked or developed leaks.
When treating larger quantities of water, use the following table to convert drops to standard measuring units.
- 8 drops = 1/8 teaspoon
- 16 drops = 1/4 teaspoon
- 32 drops = 1/2 teaspoon
- 64 drops = 1 teaspoon
- 192 drops = 1 tablespoon
- 384 drops = 1/8 cup, which is equal to 2 tablespoons
Water stored in metal containers should not be treated, prior to storage, with chlorine since the chlorine compound is corrosive to most metals.
Therefore, only very pure water should be stored in metal containers.
Time Limit on Storing Tap Water
For emergency purposes, treat only enough water to meet your needs for 48 to 72 hours at a time (at least two gallons of water per person per day for South Florida climate). There is an increased chance of recontamination if the treated water sits for a longer period of time. Refrigeration will also help avoid recontamination. Please note that this water, if properly stored, can last longer. However, if your water storage exceeds 72 hours, add liquid bleach at the recommended dosage listed under preparing tap water for storage and you will have an additional 48 to 72 hours for usage. After the additional time has expired, the water must be thrown away and the entire process repeated.