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How Long Is Water Potable in My Hydration Bladder?

How long will water stay potable in my hydration bladder? Can I add anything to make it last longer?

Question:

I’m on a search-and-rescue team, and I keep my pack in my vehicle so I can deploy quickly. How long will water stay potable in my hydration bladder? Can I add anything to make it last longer?

Submitted by - Allen, Glen Dale, West Virginia

Answer:

You’ve asked a question that might get different answers from different sources. Here’s mine: If a water container is made for carrying and maintaining the potability of water, such as hydration bladders, water from a reliable source (that is, you’re sure the water is good) will stay good for at least a year. You want to be sure, however, that the bladder is free of contamination. So I recommend a chlorine/household bleach rinse of the bladder. Make the rinse by adding a small amount of bleach to water. If the smell of bleach in the rinse is just noticeable, the concentration is strong enough. That said, I further recommend you change the water in your bladder at least every six months to keep it tasting okay. —Buck

1 Comment

  1. Jus'Passin'Thru

    lawngonzo, that is truly scary. The water may be the pureist under the sun, but that nozzle almost never gets cleaned. No telling what bottle, jug, or pig slop pail was filled just before you came by. Much less the kids who reach up to see what is up there. A few years ago the local TV station tested a few dozen of these dispensers and the results were so bad that the California legislature decided to talk (not do) about it. I think the hot car may be what is saving you.

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