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Discussion in 'Water Filtering & Storage' started by red, Oct 3, 2008.
I want to collect rain water to use for watering my plants. What kind of barrels can I use?
My grandfather has been using 55 gallon drums to collect rainwater for as long as I can remember. About 20 years ago he switched over to the plastic ones.
just remember to keep some type of mesh or netting over top (he used old window screens), or else they will become mosquito breeding tanks very quickly
Where's a good place to buy 55 gallon drums?
Do a search for your town but locally Tractor Supply has them at low costs. Most feed stores do as well.
Yup....found ours at the local mom and pop feed store. 60 gal food safe barrels with lids - approx $20 each. Needed to wash/air them out. They were jalapeno pepper and pickle barrels.
I used to work in the restaurant industry and I had collected lots of large canning jars that were used for pickled peppers and mayonnaise. After 15 years - the ones that had the pickled peppers in them, still smell like pickled peppers - even after washing many times.
Those jars have become piggy-banks
I have one esthetically pleasing wine barrel with fancy spigot and 2 gray plastic trash cans from Home Depot. I direct water from the rain gutters into the barrel first. Then I run an overflow line to next gray can and then another to third. Three fill in minutes with a downpour even in desert climate. Don't be fooled. Problem is keeping it from getting icky in our warm climate. I cap cans with their lids to keep dirt, rats, birds and kids out. Pardon my bluntness but finding a dead animal in a barrel can ruin your day.
My goal is to get all 5 of our down spouts draining into an underground cistern for landscape us and toilet water back up in case our water source goes down. A town near us lost water for over a week due to pumps going down. We are being warned of water rationing regularly.
Anyone know of a solar pump that could just move the water in barrels/cistern to reduce ickness factor? I know nothing about such things.Please be kind with yor replies.:confused:
You might try this.
Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
I get mine off of Craigslist, but that's sporadic. Nice thing is you can get food grade barrels (which I'd go with honestly, even just for watering plants) on the cheap. I spent $7.00 a barrel, with lids already pre-threaded.
Instead of a screen on top I have one of those hook to the downspout systems that connected directly to the barrel in a closed loop. No bugs, no smell, no algae (they're black plastic barrels). Just screw in a spigot and you're good to go.
I agree with SonOfLiberty on the barrels, this is similar to the set up that I have ready to put in place! Locally, I can get blue barrels for $8 a piece. I just bought two "Lemon Flavored" barrels for a bit more, but I fugure that for the added lemony taste in my drinking water, it was worth it!
At the price of barrels and the nominal cost of PVC plumbing to hook them together, I'm considering building a stand under the deck outside and lining up as many as I can, connected at the bottom to a central tap that would protrude out of the front of the deck and look "normal". Out of sight and I'm wagering I could store at least 550 gallons under there, rough estimate.
I checked locally here in Washington State and found any number of sources for white and blue plastic 55 gallon barrels. All of them have 2 good bungs with plugs, and are clean. Most seem to have had vinegar, soy sauce, or other commercial food products in them and all claim to have been well cleaned.
The going prices were anywhere from $10 to $25 dollars depending on if you haul them yourself, or want them delivered. Many places offered discounts for bulk.
At the same time, I also found a lot of people welling white plastic 5 gallon food buckets with sealable lids for between $1 and $5. A five gallon bucket will hold an entire 25 pound sack of dried beans, so they are extremely useful too.
I picked up four 55 gallon white plastic barrels today, at $25 bucks each. Not a bad deal for these, as they are all super clean and very heavy duty.
The other item that you might want to look at SOL, are the larger volume containers, if you really have the room for one.
I read someplace about a guy who got his hands on a 20,000 gallon PVC farm tank, and buried it in his backyard, creating a covered, sealed cistern. He diverted the downspouts into it, and it took something like five months to fill it, but once full he had enough water for household, gardening and then some.
That may sound extreme to some, but it all depends on your priorities, and what materials you can easily lay your hands on...
Like others said,I'd say plastic 55 gallon barrels.I have one at each corner of my house.That gives me up to 220 gallons of clean water.
When you say clean are you referring to clean enough for watering the garden, feeding livestock, etc. or to drink? In an emergency I would drink it only the following were met
As fresh as possible i.e. no floaties
The chemicals that runoff from the roof, gutters, etc. can be really bad. We have 9 60 gallon barrels around our place and with last couple of storms here we are about 60% full on those.
In India, they combat this problem by flushing their rain catchers after the first rain of the season.
But this can also be solved by placing a simple interchangible filter in your fill line as it travels from the roof to your storage tanks. Gravity will do all the work. You will just need to switch out the filters or add charcoal etc. once a year.
I might also suggest a shut off valve for closing off the tanks when they are full and it isn't raining. You don't want bugs climbing down there.
And maybe a y-junction for flushing your pipes if necessary.
We ended up with a couple of dozen 31 gallon Rubbermaid Totes after selling of an estate, so I plan to fill them with water at some point. 50 gallons a day of water usage per person is around average. Once I lived without running water during the winter and found I could go four days using 12 gallons bathing and washing dishes.
If you live near any industrial area, you may be able to get food-grade barrels for FREE.
Do a google search for food manufacturing plants in your area. We found one in the area and have gotten all of our barrels for FREE.
If you need any further assist in finding them give us a holler.
No one has mentioned old water heater tanks. My grandfather would peel the insulation off, paint them white and set them on a stand lower than the raingutters, but high enough to water the garden by gravity.
You can fix holes easily by drilling a small hole in the middle of the leak, then using a sheetmetal screw with a washer made from innertube under the screw head to seal the hole (or metal roofing screws, that have a built in rubber washer)
Most car washes buy their chemicals in 5 gallon drums which they have to actually pay in most cities to dispose of. May not be what you are looking for but hey................