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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright - I've been half-prepping now for about a year now with food reserves and water in gallon containers in the basement. This is mainly because our electricity goes out from time to time and that means the well doesn't run.

I'm about 4/5ths the way through Once Second After and it has made me COMPLETELY rethink my prepping. Right now I have about 3 weeks worth of food and water available. My plan is to expand that reserve to 6 months.

I'm currently looking at buying 55gal drums for drinking water to store in the basement.

Anyone that currently uses plastic drums for water storage I'm wondering if you can answer me a few questions:

1) Do you 'treat' your long-term water with anything:

2) Can you recommend a hand pump to expel the water in the drum once it is needed?

3) Can you recommend a good online store with decent shipping or is it better to buy locally with these things? Also, where to start locally?!

Thank you in advance.
 

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Infraction Collector
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ya,..we dont do drums exactly because they're too hard to deal with.

The biggest I'll do is 5 gallon cans.

Yes we treat with bleach per fema guidelines,....it'll still get boiled or filtered though,..or both

http://www.caltriplecrown.com/HarborHillsWard/WaterPurificationandStorage.pdf


we also do a whole bunch of used 2 liter coke bottles,.....these are treated too,..but they could be used easily with the sodis method.

Aside from all that,.....we're constructing a filter system using ceramic and charcoal filtering in 5 gallon buckets.

components from here:http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP352-1.html

I'm in my 40's and in good shape,...but I still can't wrestle around a 400lb drum of water.
 

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Patient Zero of WWZ
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My first question is....

Is there no source of water around you? A river, or pond, etc.

I'm lucky I live within 50 feet of a large pond, and there is a river within 2 miles of my house. So I concentrate on water treatment.

Look around maybe you have a similar source.

This would save a huge amount of trouble.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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It doesn't matter if you have multiple sources, stored water is still just wise. There could be any number of reasons why a person couldn't get to an outside source, from weather to hostilities to you name it. We recently had a thread from someone who had their well go out. Having stored water would sure have been a good idea until they could get it working again.
 

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I see a bad moon arising
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I'm currently looking at buying 55gal drums for drinking water to store in the basement.

Anyone that currently uses plastic drums for water storage I'm wondering if you can answer me a few questions:

1) Do you 'treat' your long-term water with anything:

2) Can you recommend a hand pump to expel the water in the drum once it is needed?

3) Can you recommend a good online store with decent shipping or is it better to buy locally with these things? Also, where to start locally?!
I've got several 15 gallon drums (about the biggest size you want to
try to muscle around), as well as numerous 7 gallon "Aqua-Containers".

1. I dump and refill all my water supplies once a year. I refill from the tap
so there's already residual chlorine in there. But I also add 8 drops of bleach
per gallon when I refill. (Make sure you use new bleach. It's got a limited
shelf life.) I can still smell a hint of bleach when I dump the water a year
later, so I figure it's still somewhat active. Probably overkill, but as long
as water is cheap and easy out of the tap, it's just a bit of effort once
a year to assure that I at least have a starting supply of safe water on
hand. The supplies have come in handy several times over the years --
during local water main break, during home plumbing repairs, etc.

2. I recently bought a "poly drum pump" from Nothern Tool. Don't know how
good it is for the long haul, but for $11, I figured it was good to throw on
the shelf and use as long as it works. If it breaks -- meh, I can still get
water by pouring it out of my storage containers. (A little more challenging
if you're using 55 gallon drums instead of the 15 gallon size.)
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_210901_210901

3. Shipping on those big containers is a killer. I'd try to find something
local if possible. I got mine from a guy who gets them from a local
soda bottler. He was selling 55 gallon drums for rain barrels, and happened
to mention he had the 15 gallons ones available also. So I snagged some
rain barrels and the 15 gallons barrels for water storage. You might try
Craigs List, or some other local source. I've heard that the soda bottler
barrels find their way onto the market fairly frequently, but aside from my
one purchase that I just sort of stumbled into, I'm no expert.

==> Make sure the barrels you get are "food grade". Something from a
soda bottler is great. They wash out easy. Food grade barrels with contents
that were more greasy will be a pain to clean out. And obviously stay away
from barrels that didn't have food grade chemicals in them.


Oh, and get a good water filter (or several). Storing water is great, but
you just can't store enough water to get you too awful far. Your stored
water is your first line of defense, but you need to look beyond those
limited supplies and ask yourself what to do when those run dry.
(I know, kind of off-topic from the O.P.'s questions. Just sayin'.)

edit -- just did a Craigs List search for "plastic barrels". Came up with
a BUNCH of hits for "Plastic Food Grade Barrels". $7 to $20. Looks like
there's plenty to be had, at least in my neck of the woods.
 

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Bleach has a shelf life of 6 months. Pool shock lasts indefinitely in powdered form. You can buy 10# for $10 of it at Wal Mart and that will treat 16,000 gallons of water. You can make bleach with it too. Just print the formulas from the net when you buy it because it's meant to just toss into a pool.

I would chlorinate the water when I stored it both to purify the water and the container, but if it was long term I'd chlorinate or boil it again before use.

Personally, I wouldn't live where there isn't a dependable clean water supply which doesn't require power or a municipal system. Without it, I know for a fact I'd be run out of my place eventually for the need of water.
 

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I store 150 gallons of water in a 55 drum, 16 5 gallon cans and bottled water. I change out the water every Fall. Every Fall I empty all the containers, do a 4 hour bleach sanitation on each container, rinse and refill with chlorinated city water.

This Is the same process I do to the fresh water system in my travel trailer every Spring. Haven't got sick yet!!! :)
 

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Trivia.

I had to take classes and get certified on swimming pool sanitation and safety because we had some apartment buildings. Things I learned:

When water is putting off a high chlorine smell, it is probably not over chlorinated. We've all experienced swimming pools that smell like that. It means the chlorine is breaking down, there isn't enough "good" chlorine, and it's out-gassing. The same can happen to a storage tank.

Believe it or not, the answer is to add chlorine. That's where tossing in about ten pounds of pool shock powder into the (typical 16,000 gallon) swimming pool comes in. When that powder hits water, it immediately turns into the same chlorine we buy as Clorox.

You've never been in a pool with too much chlorine to the extent it would hurt you to swallow it, but you've been in pools which stunk like chlorine which had too little chlorine and were a health hazard.

So, don't go by smell. Buy a pool testing kit (cheap) so you can test the chlorine amount in your holding tank. If you do a little research on the web based on your tank size or even per gallon and print it, you will always be able to keep your water safe and potable.

Again, the shelf life of Clorox is 6 months, so don't bother stocking up on it. Buy the shock powder, the test kit, and get the formulas for your size of container. You can absolutely make a gallon of "Clorox" with it for cleaning and disinfecting, which will last 6 months.
 

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Getting 275 gallon ibc "totes" (as you call them in USA, tanks for Australia) will store more water for less money than 55 gallon drums.

To get the water out they have a tap on the bottom, no pumping required.

For treating you can use bleach (info in site somewhere).

You might have to have your water outside though, not in your basement (you wont get a tote through the door)
 

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Check the local feed and fertilizer stores. Sometimes feed stores will sell drums for farm use.

One of the local feed stores has drums ranging from 16 gallons to 35 or 55 gallons
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all for the excellent replies. To answer some of the questions:

- I actually have a well that is within just feet of our house. We are also in sand country with a high water table. I believe my well is only 30ft deep. However - the pump requires high amp electricity to run and with my neighborhood all on the same water table I don't want to count on them being smart enough to not back up their septic systems after a few months without electricity.

- Regarding the 55gal drums. My plan is to outfit my basement with 3-4 of them, elevated on block a food off the ground and have a hand pump available for transferring water out of them in an emergency.
 

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Check the local feed and fertilizer stores. Sometimes feed stores will sell drums for farm use.

One of the local feed stores has drums ranging from 16 gallons to 35 or 55 gallons
Geez, ours has underground type blow molded water tanks up to 4,000 gallons. I don't know the price.

Some people who build in the woods and don't have a great well and pump are required to put them inline with the pump and use a float shutoff in case of fire.

They are part of the household water system though. All water goes through them.

The county put that requirement on my building permit until I showed them certified tests that I have a great well and large pump which could far out-do that tank. (I can pump 60 gpm without drawing the static level down at all. That's a 4 hour test.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also - just to clear up why I want so much water in my basement, I plan on bugging in. I will let the exodus of the unpreparred leave their homes and head for the hills why my family and I ride out whatever might happen in a secured home.
 

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Just bought 4 of these 275gal. containers. Any concerns with storing fuel in them, and if you leave head space in them can they handle freezing conditions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A fantastic idea if I didn't have to worry about freezing temps. I know they would not be able to fit down into the basement and that would be the only place they would stay unfrozen for the duration of the winter.
 

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Just bought 4 of these 275gal. containers. Any concerns with storing fuel in them, and if you leave head space in them can they handle freezing conditions?
IBC totes? I don't think they're rated for fuels. At least I've never seen fuel stored in them. For fuels they'd have to be either hard sealed, or properly vented. I'd look for steel fuel drums. They're all over the place and super cheap because nobody wants them.
 

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I have 3 55 gallon barrels I got from Emergency Essentials-for their website go to beprepared.com. They also have FAQ to answer questions. The barrels are quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have 3 55 gallon barrels I got from Emergency Essentials-for their website go to beprepared.com. They also have FAQ to answer questions. The barrels are quality.
Thank you for the link. What did they get you for shipping? I called all the places I could think of and only found used barrels that are post-industrial and not rated for food storage. Bleh.
 

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Hey MikeK......I have about 6 cases of water in pint plastic bottles that have been in the cool dark basement for a year or so.......is the water still potable?
What would you do with it?
 
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