WaterBrick Review: The Best Containers for Long-Term Water Storage?

When I started with disaster preparedness, I kept my emergency water in empty milk jugs and other plastic bottles. Since then, I’ve upgraded to water storage containers – including WaterBrick.

Here’s my opinion of WaterBrick and whether they are worth the cost.

Why Invest in Water Storage Containers?

storing water in plastic bottles
These bottles will start to leak!

A lot of people don’t know that standard plastic bottles are degradable. It takes some time (about 6 months to 1 year), but those plastic bottles will slowly develop pin-size holes. Keep water in them long enough, and they will start to leak.

This is one of the biggest mistakes I made when I started stockpiling water.

One day, I walked into my pantry and found the floor covered in water!

Another issue is that standard plastic bottles will leach chemicals into your water. In the aftermath of a disaster, I doubt you will care that some plastic chemicals are in your water. Read more about it here: Does bottled water go bad?

But if you can avoid it, why not?


  1. Rotate your water: Every 6-12 months, you need to get rid of all the water you’ve stockpiled and get completely new plastic bottles. This is a significant pain in the butt!
  2. Invest in water containers: Water containers (such as those marketed for boats and RVs) are made from non-degradable material. You can keep water in these for a long time, saving you the annoying hassle of rotating water.

WaterBrick Review

The bricks are available from Amazon. Links are included below for your convenience.

There are a lot of different water storage containers available. I’m going to break down how WaterBrick compares to the competitors based on the most important factors:

  • Size
  • Leakage
  • Ease of Use
  • Durability
  • Material

  • Storage
  • Transportation
  • Versatility
  • Price​


The standard WaterBrick is 9 inches wide, 18 inches long, and 6 inches high. It holds 3.5 gallons of water.

This is smaller than most of the other water containers you’ll see for sale (most of which are 5+ gallons). Yes, this means that each WaterBrick holds less water.

However, it also means that the full containers are much easier to carry.

3.5 gallons of water = approximately 29lbs. I’m a small-framed woman and find it easy to carry the WaterBricks. A water container that is 5 gallons is already 41 lbs. As strong as I am, that is pretty tough to carry!

*WaterBrick also has a smaller-sized option. It is 1.6 gallons. I find this one too small for emergency water storage. It is great for keeping in your car or taking with you on picnics, though.


Speaking from experience, it is incredibly frustrating when your water containers spring a leak. Luckily, this has never happened to me in a disaster or while camping.

But I have had many cheap water containers crack because of jostling in my truck.

The WaterBrick is true to its reputation that it won’t leak.

Use caution when twisting the lid to be sure the gasket is positioned correctly. Otherwise, you won’t get an air-tight seal, which could leak.

Ease of Use

If you get WaterBricks, make sure you get the spigot too. Even though they aren’t very heavy, the mouth on them is huge. It is difficult to pour water into a standard bottle without spilling. The spigot solves that problem.

The spigot comes as a separate lid. Just screw the spigot lid in place of the standard cap.

Ventless Design

One cool thing about the spigot is that it is “ventless.” If you haven’t dealt with water jugs before, you might not know that they usually need an air hole on the opposite side of the spigot. Otherwise, a vacuum forms as the water comes out of the spigot.

The WaterBrick spigot design means that a vacuum won’t form, so you don’t have to vent the containers. This helps make them more sturdy and prevents contamination of the water.


Regarding durability, WaterBrick is probably the best container out there. They’ve been drop-tested, crush-tested, frozen….  Nothing seems to destroy these containers.

Some notes about the durability of WaterBricks:

  • A 5-year guarantee backs all WaterBricks
  • Are safe in temperatures from -104 to 230 degrees F
  • Can be frozen – but you must leave some room to account for water expansion

Check out this parachute drop test!


Up until recently, pretty much all water containers were made from some sort of BPA plastic. Lots still are. However, as the public has been made aware of the dangers of BPA, you can now see lots of water containers advertising themselves as “BPA-free.”

But, just because something is “BPA free,” it does NOT mean it is safe!

There are plenty of other chemicals in plastic which can leach into your water or food. According to this source, studies have found that all plastics (even those without BPA) leach chemicals that can affect our hormones.

WaterBricks are made out of High-Density Polyethylene resin (HDPE), and the lids are made of High-Density Polypropylene. The gasket is made from Dynaflex TPE.

Are these 100% safe? Probably not – but they are certainly better than the thin, crappy plastics that cheap water containers are made out of.

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about avoiding the chemicals in plastic. You could store your water in glass containers, but this is impractical. A natural disaster would cause your entire water stockpile to shatter into pieces.

I’ll risk a bit of plastic residue.


stacking WaterBrick containers

This feature makes WaterBrick different from virtually every other water container out there. Each of the bricks has two holes in it. These holes add strength to the bricks and make it possible to interlock with other bricks.

You can stack up the WaterBricks like Legos.

The bricks can safely be stacked up to 4 feet high without tipping over.

I’ve heard reports that they could be stacked up to 7 feet high, but I assume you’d have to have a broader stack to add stability.


WaterBrick handle

Another cool feature of WaterBricks is that they have a handle that folds in/out of a cutout. This means you can stack them without having to remove the handle.

The handle is sturdy and feels good in the hand. There are even grooves for your fingers. It seems to be attached to the container well, so I’m not worried about it tearing out of the plastic. If you lose a handle, you can order replacements.

I also like that WaterBricks are rectangular and not round. They won’t roll around in the bed of a truck. The shape also means they have a lower center of gravity, so they are less likely to topple over than jerry-can styles of water containers.


WaterBrick ice block

Because WaterBricks are made from food-safe plastic and have air-tight seals, you can also use them for storing your emergency foods. The 3-inch mouth means you can reach your entire hand inside to get supplies.

I wouldn’t use WaterBricks to store foods like flour or sugar. Those foods would get stuck to the sides of the containers. But, for items like grains and beans, they should be perfect. Just remember to follow proper long-term food storage procedures before filling them.

The WaterBricks website also has some excellent suggestions about other ways to use their containers:

  • For building a wall or hunting blind
  • As a Trombe wall for heating your home
  • To make ice blocks for keeping food cold during power failures
  • Brewing beer or wine
  • Radiation barrier


Here is the part that sucks about WaterBricks. Compared to other water storage containers, they are pricey.

You can save a lot of money by purchasing WaterBricks in bulk, but the cost is still high compared to other options.

Except that the other options aren’t stackable.

There is this 5-gallon option which is a bit cheaper per gallon. However, they don’t stack nearly as well, aren’t as tough, and are hard to pour (no spigot is available).

Another option would be to get standard 5-gallon water jugs but buy a storage shelf like this one. But remember that those jugs degrade, so you’ll have to get new jugs every couple of years.

There’s also a version called AquaBrick, which is stackable.

We looked at these recently and found them to be a better option for some people. Read Waterbrick vs Aquabrick for an in-depth comparison.

Pros/Cons of WaterBricks


  • Stackable design
  • Air-tight seal
  • Incredibly tough and durable
  • 5-gallon size is easy to carry, even when full
  • Has an optional spigot for easy pouring
  • Comfortable, retractable handle
  • Wide mouth makes it practical to store food
  • Tolerant to freezing and high heat
  • Rectangular shape won’t roll around
  • BPA-free and food-grade plastic


  • High price
  • Wide mouth makes pouring water difficult without spigot
  • Not suitable for storing fuel or oil
  • Might leak if gasket isn’t properly in place when closing

Tips for Using

Even in a container like WaterBricks, you should rotate your emergency water every 1 year or so. However, if you sterilize the WaterBricks before filling them with water and add some water preserver, you can go 5+ years without rotating.

The Bottom Line?

I love the design and durability of WaterBricks. I just wish they didn’t cost so much! However, the investment does pay off when you consider that most cheap water containers will spring leaks within a few years.

If you want to build up a basic stockpile of emergency water and don’t want to worry about rotating, I’d buy WaterBricks.

Just make sure you get the spigot to make your life easier!

If you are serious about stockpiling large amounts of water, WaterBricks aren’t a reasonable solution. Instead, I’d recommend diversifying your water storage containers.

Get some large water storage barrels for complete SHTF situations. And have about 6 to 12 WaterBricks handy for shorter-term emergencies.

What do you think? Are they worth it? Let us know in the comments! 

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Leave a comment

  1. Thanks for the important information, Diane. I would also recommend Scepter water cans, They’re a Canadian company that produces 5 and 2.5 cans in several colors (black, tan, green, and blue). There’s a “US” and capacity size (gallons and liters) impressed on the cans. They also sell a spout and lid wrench. The plastic is BPA-free and heavy duty. External light won’t be an issue.

    Scepter is the long-time contractor for U.S. military water cans. I’ve purchased several of the blue 5 and 2.5 gallon cans from Amazon and Lexington Container Company for home storage.

  2. Isn’t using bleach to sterilize containers and to keep mold from forming in stored water a problem. Bleach is a chemical irritant and I’ve read using vinegar or vinegar and lemon juice is a safer alternative to bleach.

    • Bleach actually degrades and airs off really quickly, so it isn’t going to be an issue. And small amounts of bleach are perfectly fine. It is actually use to purify water! you literally put drops of bleach into the water and drink it.

  3. Thanks for your thoughtful review of this product, Diane. I will definitely check one out and possibly invest in more if I like it.

    I have a small correction to your write-up. When you draw water from the otherwise sealed container, “pressure” doesn’t build up — it’s exactly the opposite: you are actually creating a vacuum. There is no air entering the container to fill the void the exiting water has left behind.

  4. Thanks for the great review. I recently purchased 10 as a deal on overstock.com which is generally pricey. But they were having a sale. That ended up being a lot cheaper than Amazon or Walmart and whoever else sells them. It does pay to shop around for a great price but for some folks being able to afford them is important.

  5. I’m confused. I’ve been told by many people that water, in a container should be emptied every couple of days due to bacteria growth etc. the reason the water bottles are safe is they are sealed. How true is this?

    I think the Berkey water filter company mentions this as well. That once filling up the berkey the water needs to be used or discarded within 4 to 5 days.

    So if you open your water bottles and transfer them into these bricks how long is the water good for?

    • Assuming that the container is completely clean, water should last at least a year in it. The issue with storing water long-term is that most water containers (like recycled soda bottles) are semi-permeable: they will allow in air from the outside and also leach plastic into the water. So, after a while, the water starts tasting musty and gross — even if it is still safe to drink. This isn’t a problem with good water storage containers. There are “water preservation drops” you can buy (or just use a bit of unscented bleach) to put in your water containers. This kills any bacteria/mold which might start to grow.

      As for Berkey, I’m guessing that some dust gets into the water tank each time you open it, so you shouldn’t leave water sitting in it for a long time.

  6. We have 10 of these at the Marin County Red Cross in Stuart, Fl. We use them for camping trips that our youth group take. They fit nicely under an outside faucet. NEVER use a hose to fill any container with water to drink. Those hoses are loaded with germs. We’ve used 6 at the most for 30 of use. Only had to refill once for each two-day camp. Water used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth { using a cup for the water} and washing up. If we had brought cases of 20 oz. bottled water, as in the past, 90% of the water would be wasted. Waste caused by raking a few sips then putting the bottle down. Then forgetting which bottle belongs to who so they open a new one. The bottles also create a huge amount of trash. Never, ever use gallon milk jugs. You can never get rid of all the milk. Even using bleach. Buy these along with an extra spigot and water treatment if you plan to store them. Besides being able to stack these you are able to make some poles to go in the holes then into the ground. We’ve used extra ones to carry sealed food. You can put sand in them and make walls for shelter in an emergency.

    • Fantastic write up recon. Whilst these containers are an upfront cost they will pay for themselves over the long term as your experiences show.

    • I use the gallon Distilled White Vinegar. Since I use so much vinegar for laundry purposes, i recycle the container too for water storage. I also use the Vinegar to help fight off any potential mold growth. So far so good.

  7. Yes they are pricey but good quality is never cheap. Any container that you buy water in from a store can be used, but remember, those containers are designed for one-time use, so don’t expect quality. I like the stacking feature of the waterbrick, and the carry handle is another big plus. The public wells that I’ve seen all use will focus as spigot (Not smooth taps) so the large opening in the waterbrick means less wasted water when you fill at the public well. In cottage country every 4-corners town or village has a public water faucet for the vacationers & Rivers to get their drinking water. An excellent thorough review & writeup. Im on a tight budget but hoping to afford 3 waterbricks every quarter to replace my single-use flimsy supermarket jugs.

  8. these look great and handy I saw nothing on their abrasion resistance or damage that would be a nice feature to post as data a drop test empty and full from places where one might store water like on a camper top or van top from a luggage rack. if no travel would be involved the largest barrel would be the one less likely to be stolen because of its weight. the small bricks are something that is a grab and go item that is easily stolen. I have used the containers from the tea company’s. they seem to be much heavier than normal. because they are designed to carry an acidic product they aren’t as prone to degrade as quickly the product has an expiration date of six months so the container must last longer because this date has a built-in safety calculation and it indicates product degrading not how safe it is to consume. I have had some of these containers for over a year so I am going to take the oldest and check the water for bacteria growth and other problems that would cause harm. I will rig up a cap I can pressurize the bottle and see if we have any leaks. because of my limited mobility, I will need assistance so It will be when I can get my grandson over to help it will be soon, however. I like your website and read it regularly so I hope my data however “unscientific” will be of some use.——Grampa

    • HI Marla – these should work for bleach if stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Please note bleach has a pretty short shelf life approx 3-6 months , after that it starts losing its strength fairly rapidly (approx 20% per year).

  9. What is the best way to refill a waterbrick after discarding the water after 3 years to ensure the next fillup would not be contaminated? Thanks

    • They can be sanitized by adding 1 cup of water with a quarter cup of bleach. Then thoroughly rinse with clean water before refilling.


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