Storing water is not as easy as it sounds. Algae and mold are two of the most common problems. They may seem like they’re not a big deal; just a funky taste and smell. But in fact they can threaten your health.
There’s also norovirus which an extremely common pitfall for disaster response as well as small group camping situations.
Luckily all of these problems have one simple solution; bleach. Plain old regular household liquid bleach will prevent algae, bacteria, and viruses from growing in your water.
According to the CDC, all potable water containers should be sterilized before use. You should also add a small amount of bleach to the water that’s being stored in order to keep it safe.
I have personally always done this whether I’m camping by myself or together with my camp at Burning Man. Check out the CDC flyer for all the details about the proper amount to use.