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Paranoid Bean Buyer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya,

I bought a 330 gallon refurbished tote this week that has a brand new tank.

I set it up 14'' high on cap blocks in my garage - so I can fit a 5 gallon bucket underneath and also have some storage room underneath for a big tool box.

I flushed out my water hose a while and cleaned the end that would be in contact with the tank off with bleach (as well as the cap to the tank).

Then - I filled the tank slowly to keep from stirring sediment up in my line,
and added unscented Clorox bleach to the water.
(I used a little over a cup for 330 gallons.)

I did not flush the tank out cuz they said it was new and ready for drinking water...

I figured since I was adding chlorinated tap water I wouldn't need to worry much about bleach.
But just to be safe, I added 6 drops to the gallon instead of the 8 drops I've read about.

After it was filled - I covered the tank with a tarp to keep sunlight out and bugs/algae from growing.

So far so good??? - Please feel free to comment....

SO - I was wondering if you could tell me:

1. How long should I store the water before changing it out?

2. Does the water get stale or unhealthy from sitting too long?

3. Will the water taste nasty with the added bleach?

4. Is a bit too much bleach in the water bad for you?

5. Does it help the taste if you let freshly bleached water sit (cure?) a while before drinking?

6. Come winter time - how much should I empty out to keep it from freezing and busting?

Got any other ideers?

Thanks!

Note: We're also gonna get some rain barrels and have been storing up 2 liter pop bottles filled with filtered water.
I figure water is gonna be important. :thumb:

I might add that the wife and I have about 2,500 pounds of food stored up now in mylar/buckets/O2 absorbers and what not.
I mention this only because it makes me feel good to say it. :thumb:

Also - we gots us tons of guns and ammo now and first aid and etc. etc.
:thumb:
:thumb:

Chow!
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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68,527 Posts
That sounds like a good storage system to me. You covered all the bases.

You don't need to rotate the water, but it's wise to check it now and then to make sure it's still chlorinated. When you can't smell chlorine anymore, retreat it. If your water tastes of too much chlorine, let it set out opened for a while. The chlorine will offgas out of the water. And don't use so much the next time. I used to rotate mine because it was convenient to do so. I now live in a different house where it's no longer convenient, so mine just gets retreated when necessary. Rotated water tastes better. But you can help the taste of flat water that has sat too long by pouring it back and forth between 2 containers to allow O2 to dissolve in it.

Bleach is ok for use when times are good. But it has a short shelf life. Calcium hypochlorite (pool shock) is a better option for long term use. It stores for years and is dirt cheap. With it you can make your own bleach as you need it. Do a search on this site and you'll come up with some really good threads about it.

As for freezing, I'd try to protect it from that if at all possible. First off, if it's frozen when you need it, you're in a world of hurt. Secondly, water doesn't just expand upward when frozen. It expands outwards also. So emptying the tank a bit is not going to stop the expansion from stressing the tank outwards. I don't know if the tanks are designed to handle that or not. I'd assume they probably are, since they're really tough units, designed for travel in all weather. But I wouldn't want to take the chance.
 

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1. How long should I store the water before changing it out?

2. Does the water get stale or unhealthy from sitting too long?

3. Will the water taste nasty with the added bleach?

4. Is a bit too much bleach in the water bad for you?

5. Does it help the taste if you let freshly bleached water sit (cure?) a while before drinking?
First of all, congrats on getting 330 gallons of water stored! As for your questions:

1. You'll likely get answers here that range from six months to six years or indefinitely. If you sterilized everything, including the water before filling the tank and it's air tight, then it seems like it should last indefinitely. I've tested a 55 gallon barrel after 13 months and the water looked crystal clear and tasted great.

2. Like any water that sits around too long, it will go flat, but pouring it from container to container a few times before drinking should do the trick.

3. It sort of depends on how long it is before you start drinking it. If it smells/tastes too much like chlorine, let it sit for a while and the chlorine will evaporate. Or you could filter it through something like a Berkey filter.

4. A bit too much bleach won't be bad for you, but a lot of extra bleach could be. If you're worried about it, you can always filter it.

5. Help the taste as it taste less like chlorine? If you simple leave it out for a while, stirring it up a bit, then yes, the chlorine will evaporate and it will taste less bleachy.

I'm jealous that your tote has a new badder in it. The ones I got had soy lecithin and was a bear to clean out. I had to make a couple of special long handled brushes to get the ooze off the bottom and that was after it had soaked in water for a few days. There's still a little odor in them, so I'll just keep filling them and using the water in my garden, until the odor is gone.
 

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Paranoid Bean Buyer
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171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"I'm jealous that your tote has a new bladder in it."

It was pretty expensive but my wife would have it no other way!

Thanks for the replies...

Question:

Okay, so I didn't know bleach would lose it's shelf life....

I have about a case and a half!
How long is the shelf life of bleach & at what point should a person double or even triple dosage amounts in their water to keep the original strength in tact???

Any idea how much calcium hypochlorite to use per gallon?

Boy, survival is tough work!
 

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Great work! To keep your tote from freezing, does it get that cold, a 100 watt light bulb will do th trick. Just place under the tote not touching it though. Since you have it wrapped all the better.
 

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Paranoid Bean Buyer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great advice on the light bulb!
I just wondered what to do once the electricity gives up the ghost- If I should empty some out....

Yeah, it gets that cold.
 

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Perhaps wrapping the tank with an insulated blanket or two would prevent it from freezing, but I guess it depends on how cold it gets and how long it stays cold.

Bleach looses half it's potency in 6 months and half again as much in another six months. Here is a helpful URL for making your own bleach from calcium hypochlorite:

http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog/how-to-make-homemade-chlorine-bleach.htm
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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"I'm jealous that your tote has a new bladder in it."

It was pretty expensive but my wife would have it no other way!

Thanks for the replies...

Question:

Okay, so I didn't know bleach would lose it's shelf life....

I have about a case and a half!
How long is the shelf life of bleach & at what point should a person double or even triple dosage amounts in their water to keep the original strength in tact???

Any idea how much calcium hypochlorite to use per gallon?

Boy, survival is tough work!
Bleach has a half life of about 6 months, depending on temperature. Warmer temperatures speed up the decomposition. This means that after 6 months or so, the 6% bleach is now 3%. After a year, it's pretty worthless. The only way to accurately tell how much chlorine is in the water is either use new bleach, or use a chlorine test kit which you can get at most pool supply places.
 

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You went wrong when you filled it with water, you should have went with whiskey and skiped all those steps of treating. I am kidding, good job, but now I am imagining how much whiskey you could store. It makes me a little thirsty.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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You went wrong when you filled it with water, you should have went with whiskey and skiped all those steps of treating. I am kidding, good job, but now I am imagining how much whiskey you could store. It makes me a little thirsty.
330 gallons of whiskey? That'd make the first few years of SHTF pretty danged pleasant, wouldn't it? :D:
 

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I'll tell you this ... for me, it's been like pulling teeth to get any of these companies to even answer the phone, when shopping for an IBC tote.

Only one company responded quickly to my inquiry. I either can't get them to respond (email or voicemail), or they just skirt the issue when I request a price quote. How in the world do some of these folks stay in business? Suggestions or leads are appreciated!

Updated: Well, I was able to reach and speak to a few distributors that sell reconditioned 1 use IBC totes w/ a new bottle. I should have pricing/ shipping quotes tomorrow. The local vendor I checked is outrageously high. They want $165 for a used 275g IBC. So much for supporting the local businesses. I tried.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I'm jealous that your tote has a new badder in it. The ones I got had soy lecithin and was a bear to clean out. I had to make a couple of special long handled brushes to get the ooze off the bottom and that was after it had soaked in water for a few days. There's still a little odor in them, so I'll just keep filling them and using the water in my garden, until the odor is gone.
I know what you mean. Mine had soy oil in them and took a bit of work to clean too. I set them upside down on sawhorses and used a pressure washer with warm water and Dawn dish soap. Took a while, but they turned out squeaky clean.
 

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I know what you mean. Mine had soy oil in them and took a bit of work to clean too. I set them upside down on sawhorses and used a pressure washer with warm water and Dawn dish soap. Took a while, but they turned out squeaky clean.
It's good to know that they'll eventually get clean. Mine look very clean inside, but I'm still concerned about the odor and what impact that will have on the taste of my water. I used Dawn dish soap as well, but our pressure washer died, so I used a food grade hose and a pressure nozzle. This last time, I added some bleach to the water at the bottom of the tank and am going to let them sit for a couple of days and see if that helps. I've read online that TSP will clean them out quite well and it's non-toxic (but you do need to rinse them out quite well). So, I may try that next.
 

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Paranoid Bean Buyer
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After EXTENSIVE searching I gave up the ghost and paid 260.00 (tax included) for my 330 gallon tote. :mad: :eek::

Like I said - It has a new bladder.

That's the best price I could find....
I found used ones for 75.00 but didn't trust what was in them previously.

I figure if the water saves our lives - the cost will be worth it.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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It's good to know that they'll eventually get clean. Mine look very clean inside, but I'm still concerned about the odor and what impact that will have on the taste of my water. I used Dawn dish soap as well, but our pressure washer died, so I used a food grade hose and a pressure nozzle. This last time, I added some bleach to the water at the bottom of the tank and am going to let them sit for a couple of days and see if that helps. I've read online that TSP will clean them out quite well and it's non-toxic (but you do need to rinse them out quite well). So, I may try that next.
If it's just odor and not residue, you might try baking soda. I've successfully used that to remove the pickle smell from buckets. I'm not sure how to do it with something as large as an IBC tote, but it should work.

If it's residue, the TSP is a good idea. Or perhaps letting Dawn and water set in them during a few warm days, to cut the residue. Lecithin is a lot like oil in it's properties, so a detergent or grease cutter should remove it.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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That's the best price I could find....
I found used ones for 75.00 but didn't trust what was in them previously.

.
Smart move if you don't know for sure what the previous contents were. They use those things for all sorts of liquids, from food grade to chemicals.
 

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Chains keep us together.
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why dont you run it thru a cheap filter with a carbon element. if its city/treated water I would not add anything to it, but I would try to find a way to rotate it out, water the garden or lawn.

they make a water heater for animal troughs too that will keep it about 35-40 degrees. how big is the opening ?
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Anybody have any experience with Augason Farms™ Emergency Water Storage Kit
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod1842032

Thinking of picking up a couple of these for the house.

Thanks

Bry
It's aweful pricey when you consider cost per gallon. That's always been my sticking point with water storage. It seems like no matter what option you look at, it costs at least a dollar a gallon. Which is ridiculous for something that comes out of the tap for almost free. That's what lead me to use IBC totes to start with.
 
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