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Old 01-13-2012, 07:29 PM
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Default 275 gal water tote cleaning?



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I have access to several 275 gallon totes but they have had detergents like Tide and Gain in them. Can these be cleaned out good enought for garden water, possibly home water and to the extreme drinking water? Thanks one, thanks all.

(not asking how to clean out as there are several threads on this, asking if they can be for different circumstances?)
Old 01-13-2012, 07:55 PM
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I am using barrels that had car wash chemicals in them an the have not been a problem for my garden other then I need more water. As for drinking water I can not say but they would be ok. They should work for gray water wash clothing with, bathing and flushing the toilet.

If you know what was in each one you can save any residue for your own use.

I know you said that you knew how to clean them out but I just hooked mine up to the down spouts and let the rain flush them clean.
Old 01-13-2012, 08:04 PM
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I'd personally be careful with the totes if they have had soaps in them. Water in the garden gets into vegies. You don't know the exact chemicals used.

Personally, I wouldn't do this.
Old 01-13-2012, 08:18 PM
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detergent is good for the soil, its called adjutant sp? loosens soils breaks surface tension. and kills some bugs by softening the armor.
When you take a shower you cover yourself in detergent, wash clothes,dishes etc.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawiscoming View Post
I am using barrels that had car wash chemicals in them an the have not been a problem for my garden other then I need more water. As for drinking water I can not say but they would be ok. They should work for gray water wash clothing with, bathing and flushing the toilet.

If you know what was in each one you can save any residue for your own use.

I know you said that you knew how to clean them out but I just hooked mine up to the down spouts and let the rain flush them clean.
I like this method, always open to different ways to handle a situation.
Old 01-13-2012, 09:01 PM
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no .... not if you value your health ....
Old 01-13-2012, 09:16 PM
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I would not use any that had a non food grade substance inside. Laundry detergent has all sorts of nasty stuff in it. And stuff stays in the pores of the plastic, only to leach out into the water later. You can never completely clean it out.

Hold out for one that held sweetener, cooking oil, soda syrup or something. They're all over out there. They just aren't always easy to find.

Edit to add: My comments are based on it being used as a drinking water source. I wouldn't hesitate to use them for garden watering ONLY. But since we may need to use that water for drinking in an emergency, I would still hold out for food grade.

Last edited by MikeK; 01-14-2012 at 12:59 PM.. Reason: Added stuff
Old 01-13-2012, 09:20 PM
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We have a place here that makes flavorings and syrups for the food industry. They have totes and 55 gallon drums of food grade, and they go relatively inexpensively. I'd not be too concerned by something that had detergent in it if it was going to get used for garden water, but I am using mine to raise fish, so I made sure those were food grade from our flavoring outfit....

I did float charcoal in the water on some of 'em that had oil in the formula that had gone rancid, and it got the smell out after a few weeks' exposure....
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:29 PM
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I have a ton of those things. Some are on the grapevines and blackberries, others are for the garden. Right now we just fill them from the hose but will get them hooked up to a roof gutter system to collect rainwater this spring.

I got them free from my neighbor who is an ag sprayer. NOW, y'all get just as tweaky as you wanna about chemicals and my health and blah blah blah, but when I can clean and sterilize a tote that had Roundup in it, and then use it to raise shad in.... SHAD who die in the stinking minnow pot floating in the same lake we just caught them in, I'd say it'll be just fine to hold water for me squash. What's so bad about a third eye anyway?
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:21 AM
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The clear ones will collect lots of alge,..Here is what I used, and they work awesome! I did look at the totes you have, and have thought about getting 1 for my greenhouse. a good flushing several times, and I wouldn't have any issue at all using it to collect rain water,..none at all! I did PILES of reaserch before I assembled my system. BEEN THERE!

Old 01-14-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
no .... not if you value your health ....
Not even for a garden?
Old 01-14-2012, 12:57 PM
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Grey water is used in many many earth ships to supply water to growing plants. The dirt filters the water, as well as the plants. If grey water can be used to water plants and has been approved by the hippies,...I wouldn't worry one bit about using it for a garden
Old 01-14-2012, 01:56 PM
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I am not too sure "approved by the hippies" is all that much of a plus. When I was in the Army we used dishwashing detergent to wash out our 250 gal water trailers and after a good rinse we would pour in bleach. These were Stainless Steel tanks. I would think that a wash and a good wipedown with bleach would disinfect just about any surface.
Old 01-14-2012, 02:04 PM
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I would never use a barrel, tote or any container that had any type of chemical in it for drinking water. The plastic never gives up all the product that was stored in it. I spent a number of years in the chemical industry and our chief chemist was a PhD from MIT. He told me to never ever use a container that had stored chemicals. The risk reward is not on your side. If you want to use it for grey water as a toilet flush and such then that is another story. Good luck.

You have to remember that Totes are reused mulitiple times for different purposes. They have to go to someone who can re-certify them for DOT only not health. You never know what has been in them. Stick with FOOD GRADE containers.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:27 PM
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Default Ditto ditto ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnan Barrett View Post
I would never use a barrel, tote or any container that had any type of chemical in it for drinking water. The plastic never gives up all the product that was stored in it. I spent a number of years in the chemical industry and our chief chemist was a PhD from MIT. He told me to never ever use a container that had stored chemicals. The risk reward is not on your side. If you want to use it for grey water as a toilet flush and such then that is another story. Good luck.

You have to remember that Totes are reused mulitiple times for different purposes. They have to go to someone who can re-certify them for DOT only not health. You never know what has been in them. Stick with FOOD GRADE containers.

Have likewise experience in industry ..... just not worthwhile to have different levels of containers and water stored ..... have all food grade containers and potable water ..... there's going to be alot more non potable water, including questionable tap water, during a SHTF situation ..... if you need to flush or water something, think about a simple trade with a neighbor .... potable for non potable ......
Old 01-14-2012, 08:56 PM
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catch rain in food grade at 6' elevation gravity feed to the sinks and shower.
catch sink and shower water in a non-potable tank, feed that to a small camper on- demand pump ran by a solar panel and 12v batt plumb it to the toilet tank.use ur gray-water to flush.
i am out of town with a lagoon so the toilet waste can go there. easy enough
all tanks need an over flow first to the gray-water tanks then from them to a appropriately sized pit or lagoon.
line it if it is in sand and provide an over flow from the pond in case of torrential down pours.
Old 01-14-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Newbill View Post
I am not too sure "approved by the hippies" is all that much of a plus. When I was in the Army we used dishwashing detergent to wash out our 250 gal water trailers and after a good rinse we would pour in bleach. These were Stainless Steel tanks. I would think that a wash and a good wipedown with bleach would disinfect just about any surface.
There's a big difference between dish detergent and the laundry detergent that those totes held. And an even bigger difference between plastic and stainless steel. You can clean anything out of stainless steel. Plastic absorbs stuff into the pores and releases it later, no matter how hard you wash it. Chlorine would disinfect it, but the various optical brighteners and other oddball chemicals in the laundry detergent are still going to leach out over time.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:13 PM
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Darn, mine had acrylic in it. But hey for 20 bucks, at least I could use it for toilet flushing water.
Old 04-16-2012, 11:14 PM
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ANy hints on how to disolve acrylic?
Old 05-02-2012, 11:06 AM
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