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Old 03-03-2012, 07:13 PM
BlueBomber BlueBomber is offline
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Default Rain Barrel for emergency water use...

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This may have been asked before, so forgive me.

In setting up a garden, and using a rain barrel(s) for dry weather irrigation, what would I have to do to make the water potable/drinkable? If I have a few full barrels, how long can the water (rainwater, not pure) sit covered outside before the water is totally undrinkable, even after filtering/boiling?

Last year we set records for weeks without rain. I want to set up 2-4 barrels for my garden project, but if we lost power or running water, I'd like to be able to use the rainwater to drink. Thanks!
Old 03-03-2012, 08:50 PM
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Allamakee County Allamakee County is offline
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First off, that rainwater - I'm assuming it's coming off the roof - has bird poop and gravel in it. So it's going to start growing microbes right away.

If you want to drink some of it, make sure you let quite a bit run off before collecting to drink, so the roof gets rinsed off. Then draw off the water, bring it inside, run it through a good filter and bottle it in clean bottles with a few drops of bleach per gallon and keep it in a dark place.

Of course if you get thirsty enough a few bird turds aren't going to bother you much.
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