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I have a blue 55 gallon drum for water storage that I got used from a family friend. I don't have room to store it in the house and I don't have a garage. The only place that I have to store it is under an overhang of my shed outside. Will it be ok outside or do I need to do something different with it?
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Since it's opaque, it should keep light out well enough to not worry about algae. I'd add some chlorine (bleach or better yet, calcium hypochlorite "pool shock") to keep it free from other nasties and store away! Clean water doesn't spoil. You might also look into setting it up as a rainwater catchment system to catch runoff from your roof when it rains.
 

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I have a question related to the blue 55 gallon drums. I just bought two empty barrels today to make some rain gutter barrels for watering plants in the garden. Each empty barrel had a label on them that said "Aloe Concentrate" and upon unscrewing the caps there is a slight odor inside, not repulsive, just a noticeable smell. If I should ever want to use these barrels for potable water storage is there any way to get the smell out of the barrels? Would the barrels be safe for potable water storage? I've been reading online that "Aloe Concentrate" is good for a herbal digestive system treatment.
 

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get food grade barrels and 6 teaspoons of bleach you should be good to go on 55 gallons. i sterilize them first wit io4
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I have a question related to the blue 55 gallon drums. I just bought two empty barrels today to make some rain gutter barrels for watering plants in the garden. Each empty barrel had a label on them that said "Aloe Concentrate" and upon unscrewing the caps there is a slight odor inside, not repulsive, just a noticeable smell. If I should ever want to use these barrels for potable water storage is there any way to get the smell out of the barrels? Would the barrels be safe for potable water storage? I've been reading online that "Aloe Concentrate" is good for a herbal digestive system treatment.
I've managed to get the pickle smell out of plastic buckets by filling them with baking soda water and leaving them to sit in the sun for a few days. Sometimes it takes more than one treatment for the pickles but I bet one treatment would work fine for the slight odor you're talking about.

I'd wash them out real good if you plan on drinking out of them, but aloe is harmless.
 

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Since it's opaque, it should keep light out well enough to not worry about algae. I'd add some chlorine (bleach or better yet, calcium hypochlorite "pool shock") to keep it free from other nasties and store away! Clean water doesn't spoil. You might also look into setting it up as a rainwater catchment system to catch runoff from your roof when it rains.
Did you know that, in some states, it's illegal to collect rainwater without a license from the government?

On topic, you should check the correct proportions for adding bleach.

Does adding bleach make water "usable" in the long term, or also "drinkable"?
 

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Since it will be outside do I need to worry about it freezing in the winter?

YES YES and YES, I had my barrels and I forgot one outside and it cracked in 3 places and leaked out all my water when it warmed up. Gotta take it inside my friend or put it near a small heat source I.E., gas water heater or maybe if you run your dryer ALOT the dryer vent.
 

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YES YES and YES, I had my barrels and I forgot one outside and it cracked in 3 places and leaked out all my water when it warmed up. Gotta take it inside my friend or put it near a small heat source I.E., gas water heater or maybe if you run your dryer ALOT the dryer vent.
Lets see, water expands 9% when it freezes, so if you took a 55 gallon barrel and only put 50 gallons of water in it, if it froze fully it would expand to the equivalent of 54.95 gallons and you would be ok. You just have to make sure that you unscrew the cap enough to let it breathe else the barrel could pop under the pressure of the airtight container freezing.
 

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Lets see, water expands 9% when it freezes, so if you took a 55 gallon barrel and only put 50 gallons of water in it, if it froze fully it would expand to the equivalent of 54.95 gallons and you would be ok. You just have to make sure that you unscrew the cap enough to let it breathe else the barrel could pop under the pressure of the airtight container freezing.

I've found a 1500 gallon tank (poly) I want to get to place underneath an outbuilding. The rep told me to leave the tank 20% empty and I'd have no problems if weather here got cold enough to freeze it. Does this sound right to you guys? I'm ready to get it but the freezing and rupturing possibility really has me worried.
 

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If I were you and you have put it out the back, write on it something like URINE or some other nasty fluid and seal it in such a way that you will know if someone has opened it.
 

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I love the fact that other preppers place such heavy significance on water storage too.
Water is precious, and so very important.....kudos for saving it.

Was in another thread where depending on finding water rather than saving and storing some was the focus.... I would not depend on anything post SHTF.

Leave some space, 20% is good, on any water storage device that can fall victim to freezing and you should be fine.... remember to allow air to escape when freezing to avoid a burst/leak.

Superb topic!!!!!
 

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2- 3 hundred gallon tanks

Being in earthquake country with pipes breaking etc. I have been storing water for about a year. I purchased two 300 gallon FDA potable water tanks from a company in Texas... PlasticMart... I believe. They are in the shade out back of my garage. Tanks arrived in 4-5 days by freight. Noisy neighbors had to see what was being delievered. I told them that the tanks were to hold special fertilizer water and roof runoff for my garden. Dont want them to come aknockin in the future. Tanks are light and easy to lift( when empty) over gates etc. I check and taste the water once a month and completely drain the tanks once every six months. Most likely will go for once a year.... Prior to draining I pour a cup of bleach into the tank and let it sit for a few days. Like the comment about sealing the tank so you can know if it has been tampered with. Company was good to deal with. Also I have been down the individual water bottle trail..(during Y2K) Too many cracks and leaks etc. Pain to store because you cant store on top of one another.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Put an open glass of water in the freezer and you'll quickly learn that water doesn't just expand upwards when it freezes. I think I'd want to find a way to keep it from freezing in the first place. Besides, if it's frozen, how are you going to use it?
 

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Would be like one big lollypop! I could not resist!

So many things to consider..... but truly worth the effort!
 

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I was going to ask what you guys and gals do about storing water outside and its potential to freeze. I live in an area that can get freezing temps in the winter.

I have some IBC totes and was thinking about leaving them in the garage after I fill them. I am afraid of them freezing and bursting so I was considering wrapping them individually in home insulation and furniture blankets. Is that stupid or do you think it would work?

New IBC tote blankets are priced out of my range.
 

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Put an open glass of water in the freezer and you'll quickly learn that water doesn't just expand upwards when it freezes. I think I'd want to find a way to keep it from freezing in the first place. Besides, if it's frozen, how are you going to use it?
Hey Mike. It's a rare, kinda once in a blue moon winter when we actually have temps cold enough to freeze water very thick. I have a pond which had thick ice on it about twenty years back but apart from that winters here are what I would call pretty mild. If it does freeze (and doesn't rupture) I'll consider myself lucky.

I wonder if one of those electric heaters like you see in cattle/horse troughs or koi ponds would help keep it from freezing...as long as we have power?

Also, I think boxing in the area where it'll be kept makes sense. That along with a good lock should give some protection from prying eyes and such. I do get carried away with my prepping but I'm really nervous not to have a good supply in addition to my inside storage.
 

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I was going to ask what you guys and gals do about storing water outside and its potential to freeze. I live in an area that can get freezing temps in the winter.

I have some IBC totes and was thinking about leaving them in the garage after I fill them. I am afraid of them freezing and bursting so I was considering wrapping them individually in home insulation and furniture blankets. Is that stupid or do you think it would work?

New IBC tote blankets are priced out of my range.

Ed, I don't know. If you're interested, here's where I'm getting mine: http://www.plastic-mart.com
 
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