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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all-
I have ordered 3-55 gallon food grade plastic water barrels. I also ordered a drinking water hose and chlorine dioxide to add to the barrels as I fill them. Now for my question-how long can I keep the water before it's time to dump it and replace it? Thanks.
Prankster :)
 

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I've heard the recommendation is every 6 months to a year. We had 2 barrels stored for 5 years, we tasted and thought it was fine. It was just water from the tap without any other purification.

There may be a difference between cities in the quality.
 

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Keep it in a cool dark place and it should keep for several years. If you get the chance or inclination, rotate it when you can. I have had some for 14 years and counting just for test case, and I tried it in the past month, drinking enough that it should make me sick if it's contaminated, tasted great! No problems. Start with good, clean containers with reliable water sources and it should be good for years. Worst case scenario, you end up with water that needs treatment which is better than no water at all.
 

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Don't forget to give some serious thought in gathering water and purification, (3) 55 gallon drums are great but you will go through that pretty quickly, drinking, washing, cooking, cleaning etc.
 

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I really think that water does NOT go bad.
Get water out of a ditch or a sewer; filter and boil and it should be safe to drink.

Am I wrong about this?
I'd take ditch water over sewer water, if there is a choice :thumb:

But yes, we can clean water from many sources, ponds, lakes, rivers, rain water, creeks etc.

(IMO) that is the ONLY way to solve long-term water needs.

To treat clear raw water with 65-70% calcium hypochlorite there are a couple of ways to do it. If you want to directly treat the water with calcium hypochlorite use the following:

1 Gallon: add one grain, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
55 Gallons: add 1/8 teaspoon for a 5ppm solution.
400 Gallons: add 1 level teaspoon for a 5ppm solution.
 

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I'd take ditch water over sewer water, if there is a choice :thumb:

But yes, we can clean water from many sources, ponds, lakes, rivers, rain water, creeks etc.
Yeah!,,,just using that as an example,,,,,,
My water storage plan is very simply our hot tub! If/when the SHTF I'm gonna divert rain downspouts to keep it full and have on hand two Monolithic filters to filter that water,,,,,,,,
 

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Yeah!,,,just using that as an example,,,,,,
My water storage plan is very simply our hot tub! If/when the SHTF I'm gonna divert rain downspouts to keep it full and have on hand two Monolithic filters to filter that water,,,,,,,,
Excellent, I really like your water diversion plan using the hot tub, all of you guys with the hot tubs and pools will be in good shape with water.
 

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what do you mean by "go bad"? Of course water goes bad if it is contaminated. And yes, you can filter all the bad stuff out, even sewer water. I'd have no probs drinking sewer water if it was distilled.

I really think that water does NOT go bad.
Get water out of a ditch or a sewer; filter and boil and it should be safe to drink.

Am I wrong about this?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Keep it in a cool dark place and it should keep for several years. If you get the chance or inclination, rotate it when you can. I have had some for 14 years and counting just for test case, and I tried it in the past month, drinking enough that it should make me sick if it's contaminated, tasted great! No problems. Start with good, clean containers with reliable water sources and it should be good for years. Worst case scenario, you end up with water that needs treatment which is better than no water at all.
Ellen-
Thanks for the reply. So-you think the water would be o.k. for years in a clean cool container without adding chlorine dioxide initially? Thanks.
prankster
 

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Too much chlorine in drinking water can cause stomach distress. Get a cheap pool test kit, I prefer my Cl2 lower than 1.5 ppm [mg/l] after 24 hr contact time. If you get too much in, aeration will remove some. Pouring back and forth from glass to glass will expose it to enough air to effect Cl2 content. Charcoal filtering is another method. The amount of active chlorine required to disinfect water varies depending on the Cl2 Demand, or basicly how dirty the water is to begin with. If after 24 hrs you have at least 1ppm most biocontaminates should be done for. Ditch water has other problems, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, anything that gets spilled on the road winds up there with it. Chlorine will not remove these contaminents, distilling or floculation is your best bet for that kind of contaminate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm going to be filling the 55 gallon containers with water from the tap in my home. What I'm asking is if I really need to add the chlorine dioxide. Thanks.
 

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Ellen-
Thanks for the reply. So-you think the water would be o.k. for years in a clean cool container without adding chlorine dioxide initially? Thanks.
prankster
Absolutely!

I would recommend Pool Shock (calcium hypochlorite) over chlorine dioxide. It's cheap and a pound will treat 15,000 gallons.

Like I said, and I test ours annually by drinking it, we have not had any go bad. If the container has been punctured or compromised you should treat it. It is very important to keep it away from the light to avoid algae growth.

After 14-15 years of testing my stored water I wouldn't hesitate to recommend storing that long to anyone. Just make sure after a a year or two it doesn't start tasting like the container, if so make sure to rotate it occasionally.
 

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It is best to test rather than guess. If not a pool kit, test strips are not as exact, but work in a crude fashion. What is the source of your tap water? How much Chlorine is already in it? How hard is it, TDS [Total Disolved Solids] can effect how well the chlorine works. Don't mean to make this hard, but water quality is complex.
 

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I'm going to be filling the 55 gallon containers with water from the tap in my home. What I'm asking is if I really need to add the chlorine dioxide. Thanks.
If you are getting the water from a public supply, then you shouldn't have to treat it before storing. However, you should have treatment available if necessary when you begin to use the water. Be sure the containers are clean before filling them. Put in a gallon or so of diluted Chlorox solution (no scents in the Chlorox) and roll the barrels around to cover all the interior.

Empty the barrels, and you should be ready to fill them. We rotate our water storage annually, whether it needs it or not. When you rotate, use the old water for your plants or garden.
 

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Does it matter if the water is pre purified? I have 20 5 gallon jugs and dont live too far from a guy who purifies water by reverse osmosis. Would that need a purifying tablet and would that last longer than tap water??
 

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Does it matter if the water is pre purified? I have 20 5 gallon jugs and dont live too far from a guy who purifies water by reverse osmosis. Would that need a purifying tablet and would that last longer than tap water??
As long as the containers are sanitary and the water is of good quality, you don't need to add anything to it. My tap water stores well for 15+ years. How long do you need it to store? Don't worry about it, just get it stored. It will be fine!
 

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Friend of mine stored water for Y2K. It had been in his basement, in the common blue 55 gal. food drums, for 10 years. Wasn't even under a tarp, and a window is 15' away (light... algea growth) They cleaned the barrels really well and used coloidal (sp?) silver (ya, I know the controversy).

He redid them about 2 weeks ago. No algea growth and the water smelled fine. Didn't taste it though. In that 10 years he didn't touch them, never added more disinfectant... nothing.

It's not the approach I'd take, but it worked.
 
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