Safe Water Storage-Indoors, in 55 gallon drums
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Safe Water Storage-Indoors, in 55 gallon drums

This is a discussion on Safe Water Storage-Indoors, in 55 gallon drums within the General Prepper and Survival Talk forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; Good morning, all I am pleased to announce that my prepping is getting to a stage where I am starting to feel somewhat comfortable. I ...

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Thread: Safe Water Storage-Indoors, in 55 gallon drums

  1. #1
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    Safe Water Storage-Indoors, in 55 gallon drums

    Good morning, all

    I am pleased to announce that my prepping is getting to a stage where I am starting to feel somewhat comfortable.

    I recently found a supplier who is selling me four 55 gallon barrels for water storage in our basement. They are food grade barrels and have held only food products. They will be delivered late this week or early next week.

    The seller claims the barrels have been cleaned, but I want to clean them myself as well. Any tips or strategies on how to best do so? I plan to do it outside with a hose, but what type of cleaner should I use? Is simple dish detergent sufficient to clean it, without using dangerous chemicals.

    I have purchased a food grade hose as well as a Water Bandit in order to facilitate the filling of the buckets. Once they are full, should I do any treatment at this time? I have read to add aprx 6 drops of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon, but is that something I should do on day one? Or just leave it as is, and treat it every year?

    Once I have the water in the buckets, how long can I keep it there before I have to change it? It will be stored in a coolish room, with no sunlight (and rarely light from light bulbs, about 5 minutes a day on average, don't know if that matters). Basically I want to know if I could keep a barrel of water potable for say 5 or 10 years, so long as I treat it every year. Also keep in mind that in an emergency I have a family life straw, so we could use that in addition to treatment.

    Any answers to the above questions would be most appreciated, as well as any other advise you all might have developed in your own experience.

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    Remember to store the barrels OFF the concrete.
    So build or obtain some pallets to facilitate that.
    Nothing big or fancy is needed.
    I store water in 55 gallon blue drums and I rotate the water every six months - my preference.
    I don't know about storing it past 1 year.
    I store the barrels a bit different though.
    I've modified the design by covering the hoses to keep algae from growing.

    Safe Water Storage-Indoors, in 55 gallon drums-user44036_pic69937_1476579537.jpg
    Semper ubi sub ubi

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    Do you feel, in a crisis, that you would lose water pressure immediately? If not, you might consider leaving them empty, or maybe just keep one filled. My large water storage container stays clean & empty, as I know I will have water pressure for a bit, or at worse can manually get the water out of the well.

    I suggest using pool shock as opposed to bleach, as bleach doesn't store well & loses strength pretty quick.
    Denton and mikhailfrankovich like this.

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    This is all opinion from reading multiple articles from a couple of universities and the CDC.
    Even "pure" water can go bad due to bacteria if stored for an extended period of time or grow algae if there is enough sunlight. When I switch out my supply of old water I add one quart of bleach to the water tank and let it stand for a couple of days. Then I transfer it to an open tank outside and let it off gas for a week in the bright sun and use it for my garden because rain is almost non-existent in southern AZ and water isn't cheap). I wash the tank with bleach solution and rinse it and refill with fresh CITY water. I add the usual amount of bleach as prescribed for purifying water to help keep it pure, 16 drops/gallon and stir it. I spot check the water every 6 months for chlorine smell and if necessary add 2 drops per gallon to the tank and agitate. I rotate the water out to the garden every 24 months. If I needed the water close to the 6 month interval or 24 more month, I'd retreat the water with bleach as I use it, and run it thru a purifying filter system as long as it was clear (so far no algae growth in 3 years). If not, I'd use a filter to get rid of anything growing in the water, before purifying it. If you are using your own untreated well water, I'd double everything.

    As you noted, shelf-life of stored water can be extended by adding a small amount of household chlorine bleach. If I need the water, I will have to let it sit and off gas to get rid of the chlorine or pour it back and forth into another container to speed up the process. A cool space helps storage a lot.

    As far as the barrels, are you sure you can trust this person? What do you think he say if you asked him to sign a statement as to the truth of his claim that it was only used for food type stuff.

    You wanted to know if you could keep your water for 5-10 years if treated regularly. Sure, why not. Water is water. The worst case scenario is you must purify the water completely before you drink it. As I said above, that could be more bleach and a purifying filtration system.
    Redneck and mikhailfrankovich like this.
    I really want one of these!Hidden Content

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKAWTG View Post
    Remember to store the barrels OFF the concrete.
    So build or obtain some pallets to facilitate that.
    Nothing big or fancy is needed.
    I store water in 55 gallon blue drums and I rotate the water every six months - my preference.
    I don't know about storing it past 1 year.
    I store the barrels a bit different though.
    I've modified the design by covering the hoses to keep algae from growing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Might I ask why it is required to store the barrels off of the concrete? Would it make any difference if it is a finished basement with tiles on top of the concrete?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    Do you feel, in a crisis, that you would lose water pressure immediately? If not, you might consider leaving them empty, or maybe just keep one filled. My large water storage container stays clean & empty, as I know I will have water pressure for a bit, or at worse can manually get the water out of the well.

    I suggest using pool shock as opposed to bleach, as bleach doesn't store well & loses strength pretty quick.
    I would prefer to have them full, just in case. We would probably have time to fill the barrels, but I would hate to have pressure lost and be sitting around with empty barrels mocking me! If we do have time, I would like to use that to store up additional water in household water safe vessels, and have that to add to our stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paraquack View Post
    This is all opinion from reading multiple articles from a couple of universities and the CDC.
    Even "pure" water can go bad due to bacteria if stored for an extended period of time or grow algae if there is enough sunlight. When I switch out my supply of old water I add one quart of bleach to the water tank and let it stand for a couple of days. Then I transfer it to an open tank outside and let it off gas for a week in the bright sun and use it for my garden because rain is almost non-existent in southern AZ and water isn't cheap). I wash the tank with bleach solution and rinse it and refill with fresh CITY water. I add the usual amount of bleach as prescribed for purifying water to help keep it pure, 16 drops/gallon and stir it. I spot check the water every 6 months for chlorine smell and if necessary add 2 drops per gallon to the tank and agitate. I rotate the water out to the garden every 24 months. If I needed the water close to the 6 month interval or 24 more month, I'd retreat the water with bleach as I use it, and run it thru a purifying filter system as long as it was clear (so far no algae growth in 3 years). If not, I'd use a filter to get rid of anything growing in the water, before purifying it. If you are using your own untreated well water, I'd double everything.

    As you noted, shelf-life of stored water can be extended by adding a small amount of household chlorine bleach. If I need the water, I will have to let it sit and off gas to get rid of the chlorine or pour it back and forth into another container to speed up the process. A cool space helps storage a lot.

    As far as the barrels, are you sure you can trust this person? What do you think he say if you asked him to sign a statement as to the truth of his claim that it was only used for food type stuff.

    You wanted to know if you could keep your water for 5-10 years if treated regularly. Sure, why not. Water is water. The worst case scenario is you must purify the water completely before you drink it. As I said above, that could be more bleach and a purifying filtration system.
    I trust the person enough. They are a food distribution company that sells off their old containers, so I don't think they would have held anything else. I will inspect the barrels and if their are any obvious signs that something else was held I will take action, but I feel confident in their assurances.
    paraquack likes this.

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    Storing barrels on concrete in your basement should be fine.
    The only possible issue is covering the concrete with plastic may leach water up through the concrete.
    Semper ubi sub ubi

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikhailfrankovich View Post
    Might I ask why it is required to store the barrels off of the concrete? Would it make any difference if it is a finished basement with tiles on top of the concrete?

    there'll be a void area under the barrel - the barrel will be sweating and moisture accumulating - good opportunity to develop black mold ....
    I llini WarriorHidden Content

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    Do you feel, in a crisis, that you would lose water pressure immediately? If not, you might consider leaving them empty, or maybe just keep one filled. My large water storage container stays clean & empty, as I know I will have water pressure for a bit, or at worse can manually get the water out of the well.

    I suggest using pool shock as opposed to bleach, as bleach doesn't store well & loses strength pretty quick.


    leaving empty for someone like you with a well might be OK - depends on the SHTF scenario ... definitely don't recommend it involving a municipal water supply - having a couple of weeks water securely stashed should be a major relief for all preppers ...

    if your plan depends on YOU and YOU alone to rig up an emergency water supply - bad plan - terrible planning - even a grade school aged kid should know and be able to utilize the food/water portion of the family plan ....
    Last edited by Illini Warrior; 08-29-2017 at 08:11 PM.
    I llini WarriorHidden Content

 

 
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