Question about storing water in blue barrels [Archive] - Glock Talk

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glocknusp
08-14-2012, 10:53
Hey Everyone,

I'm thinking of buying a 30 or 55 gallon blue water container. For those of you who have some, do you treat the water thats in there? I'd imagine that if you pour water in there from a hose, that after awhile the water might become stale or possibly grow bacteria in it. I'm not sure if this would be the case but heres why the question came to my mind. I often carry a one of the small stainless steel water bottles in my truck. I keep it in there for the commute to work. Often times if I leave it half filled with water and if its in there for a week or two without being refilled, it starts to taste funny and has an odd smell. Would this same effect happen storing water in a blue water barrel? Does it need to be treated or is the trick to fill it all the way so that there is no air in there? Thanks in advance!

ranger1968
08-14-2012, 11:06
First off, I would be VERY cautious about any barrels that have been pre-used, or are not rated as food grade; the former becuase you simply do not know what was in it before that may have left a possibly toxic residue, the latter because non food grade containers can leach toxic chemicals from the barrel itself....The blue barrels usually hold chemicals, detergents,etc.

If you are storing water, a few drops of bleach per gallon will go a long way to keeping it clean; there is a formula, Google it and you will get a bunch of hits.

Even then, I would filter it, or boil it; you never know.

I am not a big fan of storing water; I find it better to filter from an exisiting source (I like the Berkey products, but there are others), but a lot depends on your circumstances; I have a hand pump shallow well and a bunch of rain barrels, along with a pretty clean river, so I am good shape; if you are in an urban setting, your options may be limited.

if you are set on barrel storage, get a good filter system like the Berkey, and seek out some food grade barrels.

Unistat
08-14-2012, 11:41
8 drops of bleach per gallon of water is the most widely used formula. If you are filling up from a decent source to begin with you should be ok. Personally, I empty and refill my water once a year.

Like all preps, it's not really a "set & forget" thing. You have to check and rotate.

The problem with me is finding a local source of 55 gallon barrels because the shipping on those things is crazy.

G29Reload
08-14-2012, 11:41
since water has a lot of uses besides drinking, a water barrel for rain makes a lot of sense. Rinsing, washing, etc. You can always treat small batches if you have to drink it.

At least you have it. as opposed to traveling to get it from somewhere and hauling it. Rain water is relatively clean, solids will settle out. a light boil will make it drinkable.

UneasyRider
08-14-2012, 12:33
55 Gallon food grade barells are cheap used or $75 new from EE's. If you know what was in there before, like you get them from a pepsi bottler, they would be fine to use. Use a white hose like an RV uses because they don't contain lead. Treat the water with bleach or calcium hypochlorite according to schedule when you store it and again a few hours before you use it. Aerate the water in a pan or even better with a small recirculating pump to let the chlorine evaporate. Filter it if you want to.

bdcochran
08-14-2012, 22:24
Try Craig's List for people who will deliver food grade, used barrels.

Clean the barrel before usage and after confirming prior usage.

I don't rotate. Although I have pumps and siphons, why do I want to bother checking and rotating 30 and 55 gallon drums. I just figure I will purify or filter before usage.

There is no way to store enough water. Learn the difference between a water purifier and a water filter. Most people don't. Then acquire multiple options. One size does not fit all and does not fit all scenarios.

Most materials you will ever read do severely underestimate the amount of water needed for survival. If you can realistically store a couple of weeks of water (highly unlikely), you will probably outlive most of the people in your neighborhood. They will die before you because of a lack of clean water.:faint:

SFCSMITH(RET)
08-15-2012, 06:22
We have 6 barrels in the basement now, from EE bought on sale. On wheeled stands so I can get them out of the way if I need to. We also have 4 rain barrels outside. When I filled the indoor barrels I used our hose from the rv, and added a 1/4 cup of bleach. Nothing else, never rotated. If we ever have to use it, it all goes through the big berkey.. Based on what amount we use when off grid camping in the pod for 10 days or more at a time, we have a couple months supply in storage. The rain barrels will of course refill under normal circumstances.. remember we are in the middle of a drought, and we have had over 30 inches of rain this year at our house..lol. We also have a small artisian spring/well on our property, it would take a bit of work to use it, but could be done.

Now, there won't be any 20 minute showers, and jeans will get worn more than one day, toilet won't get flushed for non-solids.. etc, etc.. But it will be fine.

BTW, assuming your thermos is clean when you start, (might occasionaly give it a mild bleach rinse.. back wash and all that) give it a good shake before opening if it has been sitting. That will help "freshen" the water.

BryanG
08-15-2012, 15:51
I found some 55 gallon blue food grade drums with locking ring top on Craigslist for $20 each. I got four of them for water storage. They were used to ship tomato pieces and had a silver liner in the barrel, so in effect they had never been used.

The locking ring made it easy to remove the top for cleaning. I cleaned them out with a bleach solution, added a spigot, filled with tap water using a food grade hose and added about 1/4 cup of bleach.

I plan to replace the water every two years and if I have to use the water, I will treat with bleach again. I store them in the basement where they remain relatively cool.

glocknusp
08-15-2012, 21:50
Thanks for all of your replies. I will be looking into a good filter. As for buying the blue food grade barrels, what is "EE's"? I've looked at a few places to buy but i havent tried craigslist yet.

glocknusp
08-15-2012, 21:58
A quick craigslist search for my area showed the following:

55 Gal Steel Barrels were used to ship cooking oil. Great condition with 2 inch lid and 3/4 inch lid.

$25 Each, or can do 5 barrels for $100, 55 gallon plastic drums at $40 each, all are food grade.

5 for $100!

SFCSMITH(RET)
08-16-2012, 06:12
Thanks for all of your replies. I will be looking into a good filter. As for buying the blue food grade barrels, what is "EE's"? I've looked at a few places to buy but i havent tried craigslist yet.


EE = Emergency Essentials (http://beprepared.com/).

ranger1968
08-16-2012, 14:06
A quick craigslist search for my area showed the following:

55 Gal Steel Barrels were used to ship cooking oil. Great condition with 2 inch lid and 3/4 inch lid.

$25 Each, or can do 5 barrels for $100, 55 gallon plastic drums at $40 each, all are food grade.

5 for $100!

Damn, 5 food grade barrels for $100 locally?

That's a deal!

Unistat
08-16-2012, 19:26
I just picked up 2 for $25 each locally. White, not blue, but they'll be in the basement anyway, so no sun exposure.

They were used to ship soda-pop concentrate and very thoroughly cleaned.

glocknusp
08-17-2012, 10:31
The ad said the blue 55 gal barresl were used to hold grain alcohol. I'm guessing that's fine to use these barrels for water then? I would of course wash them out first.