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Large Water Storage Container (17-1/2 gal.)

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Empty steel drinking water storage container originally manufactured for fallout shelters in the early 1960s. In case of emergency, this 17.5-gallon container could supply one quart of water per day for five people for two weeks (14 days).

The containers were not meant to hold water themselves because the steel would rust. 4-mil polyethylene plastic liners were used inside to hold the water. These were twist-tied shut, and sealed on top with the steel lid.

They could also be used as a portable toilet. Instructions for use are conveniently written right on the container so they can’t be misplaced.

Our inventory is all new, unused containers from old stock. Due to long-term storage, they may have dents, scuffs, scratches, dings, etc.

Large Water Storage Container Includes

  • Olive drab steel container with yellow lettering (16.5″ dia. x 22.5″ tall)
  • Matching steel lid


Instructions and Other Wording on Emergency Water Storage Container

                  Water Fill Line

                  Sanitary Fill Line


Survival Supplies

Furnished by

Office of Civil Defense
Department of Defense


Drinking Water

17-1/2 Gallons


To Fill:

Remove drum cover. Insert plastic bag liner assembly and fill liner with approved tap water by inserting clean hose into bag spout. Do not fill drum without using plastic bag liner. Fill to water fill line. Twist spout and double back on itself and tie tightly with wire tie. Replace drum cover.

To Dispense:

Remove cover. Unfasten spout. Insert siphon tube about 3/4 length into bag liner and pinch siphon tube. Pull tube downward 12 to 18 inches which will start flow of water. Release and fill individual containers.

To Reuse as Commode:

Cut top seam of inner bag for full width of bag. Spread mouth of bags over and down around top opening of drum about 4 inches. Add waste treatment chemical. Place commode seat on drum. When waste is to sanitary fill line, close mouth of bags and tie with wire tie. Do not remove filled bags. Replace drum cover.


This is a storage container and it is not intended to be used for shipping water.

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