Our water canisters are supplied at a food grade readiness level - meaning you can fill them immediately without any additional cleaning/washing. These canisters are specifically produced for this purpose.
Meanwhile sometimes you can get a new plastic smell which you may want to reduce.
The way to do this is to take 1/2 a cup of white vinegar and pour it into the canister, add about a litre of tap water and then just slosh it around. You can tip this into your next canister along with a little more vinegar(about 1/4 cup is OK), and again slosh around ... repeat for all your canisters.
Now just do a simple rinse out all the canisters with some more tap water to remove any vinegar. Don't be concerned if the new plastic smell still lingers a little. This will disappear and not affect your water at all.
Now, you can fill the canisters up.
Tap water - as long as it is clear and clean, is perfectly fine.
Make sure you fill the canisters right up so that there is little or no air left in them. This is the best way to make sure that your stored water will last for up to at least 2 years.
You will still want to use the AquaTabs tablets when you finally need to use the water for drinking - just so that you have absolutely no risk. One AquaTab tablet per full 20L canister or half tablet(1/2) per full 10L canister.
Because our water canisters should be sealed tightly, we recommend the use of a Water Canister Spanner to make it easier to screw on and off the cap or bung.