How To Store 100 Gallons Of Water Using A WaterBOB

Rich M.
By Rich M. October 1, 2018 08:55

How To Store 100 Gallons Of Water Using A WaterBOB

The WaterBOB is an excellent tool for last-minute emergency preparedness, especially for those who live in an apartment. Designed to hold up to 100 gallons of fresh tap water, it gives you a way to quickly store water in an emergency – even if you don’t have the ability to stockpile large quantities of it on a regular basis.

Basically the WaterBOB is a large, well made plastic bag, with two threaded connections built into it. Made of heavy-duty BPA free plastic, it will keep water fresh and safe for up to 16 weeks. From everything I can see, it is well made, with thermally-sealed seams that are a good half inch across for strength.

Working with the WaterBOB reminded me a lot of filling and emptying a waterbed mattress, although the plastic isn’t as thick or as pliable. But I’m sure that, once filled and sealed, it would be strong enough to lay on (if you had some reason to want to sleep in your bathtub).

I was able to fill the bag in 18 minutes, with the faucet on high. However, I was unable to put 100 gallons of water in it. Rather, according to my calculations, I put only 73 gallons of water in it, during my test. This was no fault of the device, just that the bathtub I was using wasn’t big enough for it. I was working with a standard size apartment bathtub, which measured 54” long, 24” wide and 13” deep. A good foot of the bag was left sticking up at the end without any water in it, and it could have gone another three or four inches higher, if the sides of the tub were higher.How To Store 100 Gallons Of Water Using A WaterbobThis is something to keep in mind if you choose to buy one yourself. While an excellent product in every regard, it is limited by the size of your tub. You really can’t put more water in it than your tub can hold. When you get to the rim of the tub, you’re as full as you can go.

Related: How to Build a Water Purification System in 10 Minutes

Filling was extremely easy. There are two threaded caps on the device, one in the middle and one towards the end. A plastic bag funnel, which comes with it, fits over the tub spigot and attaches onto the nearer threaded fitting. Then you simply open the faucet. I held the funnel in place with a couple of rubber bands, keeping me from having to hold it there with my hand.How To Store 100 Gallons Of Water Using A WaterbobOnce filled, the funnel is removed and the opening capped. The other opening is then used for withdrawing the water. This is done with a simple siphon pump that works fairly well, although slowly. The manufacturer recommends not leaving this pump attached, but rather, removing it and capping the opening when not in use.How To Store 100 Gallons Of Water Using A WaterbobThe siphon pump is fairly cheap and the cap on it wasn’t very high quality –  but it worked, and that’s what matters. I keep a couple of pumps of this type around anyway, for use with other things, so if there was a problem with this one I would just replace it with another.

My biggest problem with the WaterBOB was actually emptying it. But then, I don’t think the manufacturer was thinking that people would fill it up then empty it again a few hours later. The idea is to empty it slowly, by using the water in it.

However, this did lead me to think about reusing the device. I would say that like many types of emergency equipment, this device is intended for a one-time use. Even working at it I found it hard to remove all the water and air, so that I could dry it off and fold it back up. On the other hand, folding wasn’t really all that bad. I have mine folded up and stored, for the next time I need it.

But there’s something else I did besides just empty it and fold it up; I washed it out with a weak solution of chlorine bleach. That way, I don’t have to worry about algae, mildew or anything else growing inside it. A solution with 2% bleach is enough to keep it clean.How To Store 100 Gallons Of Water Using A WaterbobOverall I was impressed with this product, and I would recommend it to anyone, especially to people living in apartments. The ability to store as much as 100 gallons of water in a few minutes, in a way that will protect the water from contamination, is a real plus in an emergency situation. For the price, this product can help anyone be more prepared to face a disaster.

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Rich M.
By Rich M. October 1, 2018 08:55
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29 Comments

  1. EthanHale October 1, 14:26

    Rich, since there are two “ports” on the water bob have you tried blowing it up like a balloon using a hair drier then opening up the second “port” just enough to keep the bob inflated while still allowing the hair drier to push in air until the system is dry?

    Reply to this comment
    • Carla October 2, 03:30

      This was my first thought, too. The concern is then only a matter of not melting it – but most blow dryers do have a ‘cool’ setting now, which should work.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Rooster October 1, 15:11

    Where do you buy them? and how much are they?

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  3. Rooster October 1, 15:13

    Where to buy /how much?

    Reply to this comment
  4. BugIn26 October 1, 15:29

    Amazon has them for about $35.00.

    Reply to this comment
  5. mike October 1, 15:51

    Where can i buy a WaterBOB? I think the idea is terrific.

    Reply to this comment
  6. l.c. October 1, 16:00

    whats the cost and where can a person buy this water bob.This year i thought i was prepared to ride out the stormof Florence i had several cases of drinking water bottles and fourteenone gallon bottles of purified water Electricity went out for twelve continuous days My home generator lid was blown off and about 2:AM the winds and rain ruined the computer on it and alas no power five days later everything seemed ok then i was able to find two local men to help on removing debris clothing sheetrock and furniture as well as mud from garage when they finished demolition i paid them and thanked them within 2 hours i found my remaining water bottles ( seven gallon bottles and all but 12 drinkink size were Stolen as well as my prescription of pain releivers.. Happily the local fire station had just received hel and had water bottles and i had to go ask for help and God bless them they gave me three gallons on that day after that i had to ask again and they graciously gave me three more to get me through… Note i did Turn this over to the authorities and maybe they will be able to proscecut the scoundrels i am 73 and remember back in the fifties my mom would clean the bath tub and fill it as full as it would hold it came in very after Hazel i was nine then but i remembered it well after my preparedness wasnt enough. thank you and i like the idea of the water bob especially for back up

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  7. MT October 1, 16:42

    Thanks Richard M. for the article on WaterBOB. Ordering one from Amazon com. Same price as web site.
    What an excellent invention…….i always mentally fussed over drinking bathtub water……and having water open to ‘all that passes in the bathroom’. Kudos to inventor.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Coach October 1, 18:28

    For emergency’s don’t get this product at all. So you keep this inside the bathtub or other similar container like say a large farm tub?? . sooooo. for farm tub maybe…. bath tub…. NO. … just clean your bathtub…. quickly silicon seal a bag over your drain and your if you want your overflow drain and just fill up the tub? You could even silicon some plastic bags over the top to keep it clean during the storm… some planks of wood over top would be wise rather this bag or home brewed as just described

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 1, 20:34

      I would point out that until it has cured completely, silicon seal has some rather nasty chemicals in it. Unless it is labeled as food grade silicone seal it might be advisable not to use it around water that you hope to be drinking.

      Most applications of silicone seal are not for use around food prep or supple. This also includes water. You use it to seal the bathtub to keep it from leaking behind the tub into the wall, but you ordinarily don’t drink your bath water.

      The water bob is less than $50. It is a simple to use, practical device that is easy to store. I’m certainly not shilling for the water bob company, but to me it seems like a no-brainer. I’ve wasted more than $50 on dumb products that were supposed to be “survival”.

      Reply to this comment
      • Dale October 2, 02:07

        Where did you read this is manufactured from silicone? The edges were heat sealed. Some types of silicone are made for humans and to be around people.

        Reply to this comment
        • CCTer October 2, 04:11

          Even fish tank aquarium silicon needs to dry before sealing. I have other water storage, but I agree with LCC. for the price, its cheap, easy and convenient. I may consider buying it just to add to my preps.

          Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck October 2, 04:24

          Coach recommended just filling a tub and sealing the overflow and main drains with plastic sealed with silicone. That’s where the silicone came from. And, yes, if you have food grade silicone, it can be used in food prep areas or water storage areas. Unless it is labeled as food grade, I would hesitate to use it in areas where food prep was taking place or especially in area where water was going to be stored. If you read the label on most silicone sealants they say to use it in a well-ventilated area. There is a reason for that warning label although it is frequently ignored until the user keels over from fumes and the hazmat team is called out.

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    • Claude Davis October 3, 10:23

      Your tub’s probably in the bathroom, if your home is laid out like most people’s. Every time someone uses the toilet a good crop of tiny droplets gets blasted into the air. Even if the water’s off in an emergency, the contents of those droplets are still hanging around on the walls and ceiling. I quite like the idea of having my emergency water in a sealed bag.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Pinman October 1, 19:41

    Good clean water is a must.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Woozle October 1, 20:19

    You can also buy them on beprepared.com. About $25.00. I have 2 . They are a real peace of mind for those of us with well water that depend on electricity.

    Reply to this comment
  11. left coast chuck October 1, 20:27

    I’ve owned a water bob for more than 5 years now. I also got one and gave it to my daughter for her use. I don’t know if the water bob is sturdy enough and I don’t want to waste $40 finding out, but it has always seemed to me that it could be filed on the bathroom floor if it is too big for the bathtub. It could also go in the shower enclosure if you have what is called a 3/4 bath which is a complete bathroom but with only a shower instead of a shower and tub.

    Those are unresolved questions and will probably remain so unless someone wants to spend the money and do empirical testing to determine the answers.

    I would second the recommendation to acquire a water bob for all the readers. In an EOTW situation you can’t have too much water. Nobody after an emergency ever said, “Gee, I’m sure sorry I had those extra 50 gallons of water on hand.”

    Reply to this comment
  12. HoundDogDave October 1, 23:00

    The lack of sufficient hight of the apartment size tub side can easily be overcome by collecting some of the thousands of corrugated plastic political yard signs that will be popping up everywhere next month. By standing up a few signs against the outside edge inside the tub with the corrugation running up and down before you start filling. As the water rises it will hold them in place. Now add to the outside wall by slipping in more of the plastic sheets with the corrugation running front to back, then another layer of up and down. Overlap the ends and push down as far as you can into the bottom of the tube If you have made sure to overlap the ends, this should be enough to hold up 4″ – 6″ of water above the top of the tub. It may take a dozen of the plastic sheets to get 3 layers thick end to end in the tub. Just wait until AFTER voting is over to grab the signs.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Mia October 2, 01:02

    I built a frame from 2×12’s for my WaterBOB so I can still use the tub during an emergency. The boards have all hardware attached and are in 4 sections in the back of the closet. When needed, it gets placed in the corner of the room, ratchet strapped, lined with a tarp and the WaterBOB placed inside and filled in place with a hose. Luckily, the place where it sits when in use has a slab of concrete under it, so no worries of it causing problems with the floor.

    I would NOT recommend simply laying it on the floor and filling it without it having some sort of support for the sides.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Carla October 2, 04:09

    Thanks for sharing this, Claud! I’ve been wondering if they were true to the hype, or just another sucker trap. I do believe we will be getting one for each bathtub – and maybe one or two in troughs, in the barn, so our livestock won’t be without, either.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Joyce October 2, 13:07

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I have a Water BOB but no bathtub. I do have an enclosed large shower. I’ll just place a board in front of the door area.
    In a prior home I had a large garden tub that I filled with water, during the storm & for several days after, I used the water to flush toilets.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Wannabe October 2, 15:09

    These are great, and Berkey water filters sells them also. Will be getting a couple.

    Reply to this comment
  17. left coast chuck October 2, 18:16

    The comments about farm tubs etc. got me to thinking. I have wading pools that I bought on sale at WallyWorld that I use on those rare occasions when water dribbles down from the sky. A waterbob would work nicely in one or two or three of those. And thinking further, if we have another fire emergency such as last December, those pools could be handy to use.

    While I already had a waterbob, this discussion has opened my eyes to other possibilities for use of those pools other than what I originally thought.

    I will say again that is website is one of the most useful websites, if not the single most useful website, I visit. The exchange of ideas on the various topics posted opens up one’s mind to a whole panoply of new ideas and stimulates thought in areas not previously conceived of. Even if the main article is not particularly useful, so many times the discussion that follows the article is far more useful than the article itself.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Dybando October 2, 19:16

    When I was a kid in South La. with all the hurricanes, dad would just clean the tub, then fill it. Urban survivalist say you can drink the water from the toilet tank. Dad’s way was a lot better. Save the 35 dollars and use it to buy something else (eats)

    Reply to this comment
  19. Deena October 12, 02:46

    Emergency Essentials.com has them on sale this week for under $25.I have had one for several years.

    Reply to this comment
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