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55 Gallon water storage questions

1904 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  A Watchman
I picked up a couple of blue 55 Gallon water storage barrels recently at a garage sale. I've read online that it is not advisable to use these barrels for drinking water if you don't know their history as the plastic could contain a lot of containments rending the water unsuitable for drinking. As such, I have cleaned out these barrels and sterilized them with bleach and have now filled them up. My plan is to use them for sanitation purposes in the event our water goes down (I have also purchased 2 new 55 Gallon barrels I'll use for drinking).

My question: I'm storing these used 55 water storage barrels in my garage and have put them on 2x4's so they're not resting on the concrete directly (I've read in many places that by resting on the concrete directly, they can pick up more containments ... not sure if this is true, but better safe than sorry). Being stored in the garage, they're basically in the dark all the time since we don't leave the garage door open. I filled them up with tap water which has chlorine already, but I'm trying to figure out do I need to add more water chlorine to the water to prevent bacteria growth? They're both sealed off. During the summer, the garage can become an oven (easily 120F+ if not hotter) so I'm not sure what I can do prevent bacterial growth long term in these barrels. I'm willing to rotate the water out annually, but was wondering if anyone in the community as any advice on what I should be doing to extend the water life on these barrels. In a worse case scenario, I'd be open to drinking the water in these barrels after filtering the water of course. Should I be adding additional chlorine? From my understanding, chlorine begins to degrade over time and with increased temperature, the chlorine will break down even faster.
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Welcome to the group from Southern Arizona.
Land of Sun, Surf, and Sand, lots and lots of sand.
Ok, I lied, no surf, unless you count the flash floods
in the washes, but enough sand to fill all the sand bags I’ll ever need!
Grab a stump and sit a spell. I’ll get you a virtual beer.
So like you, lack of water is a dire reality. I have a 260 gallon tank (blue)
in my garage same as you. From what I could find in articles about preserving
water, I added nearly 1 oz of 6% chlorine bleach to the water. I sniff check
the water every 3 months and even at 9 months, I could easily smell the chlorine.
This year in June I will add another oz of bleach. At two years I will use the water
for plants after letting it off gas the chlorine. For drinking I will filter it and probably
do the usual bleach treatment.

(1 year anniversary of the water) I will again ad the bleach.
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