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New to forum, so please forgive if I put this under the wrong topic, but I couldn't find a topic specifically on water and food storage.

I bought some 55 gallon drums from a guy on Craigslist. He said they were suitable for storing food and water. They do have the "2" symbol on the bottom for HDPE, BUT on the side they have imprinted in the plastic "do not use for food or drink".

The seller says they contained "midnight clay" and are perfectly safe for storing water (that's what I bought them for).

If cleaned, does anyone know if drums that contained clay can be used for water and food storage? Thank you.

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Welcome to the site, Glenn. Be sure to go to the, Introduce Yourself thread and post.

Now for the drums. Never heard of midnight clay. If it were me, I'd trust the labels on the drums before the seller. Just saying.
 

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Thx Wally. The seller insists that the "do not use for food or drink" is an "international standard" required for BLACK drums, but they're the same as blue, and the black ones do have the "2" HDPE symbol (plastic for "Bottles, grocery bags, milk jugs, recycling bins, agricultural pipe, base cups, car stops, playground equipment, and plastic lumber") but the drum manufacturer is required to stamp them "do not use for food or drink." Logically, when it comes to "food grade" it seems to meet that since it is the HDPE 2. The stuff on the walls on the drums is totally like clay. The seller says it was clay used for ladies' makeup. It cleans off, with some scrubbing. (I called the seller and he basically insisted his claim was correct, that they were fine for food or water, despite what the imprint on the plastic drum said) Thanks again. (Man---there is so much to learn about water storage---so many different opinions and advice)
 

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I was told that when the drums are made that if they are not going to be used for food
the manufacturer can save a buck by leaving out an additive that stabilizes the plastic without the stabilizing the plastic it can actually release some cememals from the plastic
into the water or food during storage. But that's ok if they put a warning on the drum
 

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Thank you for the very clear answer to my question. That says it all, and all I need to know. Simple but clear way to look at it all. (Now, I've wasted 100 bucks on three of these drums)

I THINK it would be acceptable to use for storage of NON-potable water, for flushing toilets and such...I'd love to know the opinions of you experienced folks. If you want to point this newbie to a comprehensive thread on the Forum on the subject of water, please do. Searching the Net, there is SO much on water storage, and lots of it is conflicting---one YouTube video, the poster says that water will store in drums for years straight from the faucet. Others say add bleach, though some of these say use pool test kit first to determine how much. Some say water preserver/stabilizer is necessary, though others say this is no better than bleach but much more expensive. Many are ambiguous on what stored water of theirs they plan on running through a filter (e.g., Berkee, ceramic, etc.) so I'm unclear on that. And so forth.

Thank you.
 

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This is just one man's opinion, so take it as such. When my wife and I started prepping for real, we ran into the same questions in regard to 5 gal. food storage buckets. There is no shortage of places where they say that buying the cheap orange buckets from Home Depot (or similar) and filling them with rice or beans etc. is fine to do. Other places talk about using buckets that are specifically designed for food storage (and cost about twice as much).

We opted to go down the path of buying the more expensive ones that are specific for food storage. In a SHTF situation, the last thing I need to worry about is whether my buckets have kept my food fresh enough to eat or have leached chemicals into it.

Of course that was years before we discovered this site and read Paraquack's excellent suggestion of buying used food grade buckets from your local bakery for 25 or 50 cents each. :grin:

So, I guess my two bits is to use the 55 gallon drums for collecting rainwater for your garden or your animals and get some barrels that are designed specifically for holding potable water for you. Others may disagree but I am paranoid about food and water.
 

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Never use for human consumption a drum that once contained a substance unfit for human consumption.
Midnight clay is a colorant that is non-toxic. HOWEVER, a lot of these plastic drums are made from recycled plastics that may have been oil bottles, paint buckets, etc. Remember how China is always trying to dump plastic children's toys on the market that had all sorts of toxic chemicals in the plastic. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole or 12 foot german. However (again) you might be able to use something like a "water bob" inside it to prevent the water from coming in contact with the plastic drum. Try this link as an example.
WaterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage 100 Gallon With Siphon Pump FDA Approved Bladder
 

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I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole or 12 foot german.
Do they still make 12 foot Germans? I thought with inflation and all, they would have cut them down to 9 foot but still charged the same price as the old 12 footers. :)
 
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Actually you're right. I used the wrong formula when converting from meters to feet. But then my grandson pointed out that Germans have only 2 feet.
 

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You haven't wasted your money. You bought some drums that are great for holding "gray water" suitable for your garden, flushing toilets and such. You have also learned a lot in your purchase. Inexpensive lessons are an excellent prep tool. Set those barrels up to catch rain water from your gutters and you have a useful and inexpensive watering system. If you had a still you could always distill the water for drinking but you need to be able to have water for the other issues as well.
 
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