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  • Water Storage Technology

    I'm wondering what, if anything, people are using or adding to their water for long term storage to keep it "fresh" and algea/ bacteria free. On my smaller jugs I just use the water up after about 4 months and refill but I'm wanting to get some 55gal barrels and would like to not have to mess with them for as long as possible.

    I know chlorine/ bleach is an option to help sterilize it and I've heard there are some commercial additives but don't know what or where to look for them. Any one have knowledge or experience?
    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

  • #2
    A lot of folks are using "pool shock".....local pool supply stores carry it....you'll have to read up on ratios though.
    Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.

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    • #3
      I dont know about the pool shock stuff.. I never looked into it. My first husband had a swimming pool company. So many people used different stuff to constantly regulate their pools.. Really, chlorine is the chemical that is used and needed the most.. IF, Im not mistaken, pool shock was just a form of chlorine.. Again, not for sure, could be talkin out my arse??
      If the zombies chase us, Im tripping you!!!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by maric View Post
        I dont know about the pool shock stuff.. I never looked into it. My first husband had a swimming pool company. So many people used different stuff to constantly regulate their pools.. Really, chlorine is the chemical that is used and needed the most.. IF, Im not mistaken, pool shock was just a form of chlorine.. Again, not for sure, could be talkin out my arse??
        It is....it is just in a more stable form than liquid....
        Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.

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        • #5
          Thanks. I've heard of using the pool chlorine pellets to sterilize water for drinking but guess it makes sense that it'd keep it fresh for long term storage.

          We're thinking about building a house and I've been thinking about features I'd like to build in towards being self sufficient. On the water front I'm thinking about designing in something like a 300-500 gal tank to the water system. Basically a big tank in the basement so the water comes in, goes thru the softner and fills the tank. That way it'll always be full and fresh. Might need to add some valves and an extra pump. Not sure, still in the napkin sketch state...

          Hmm this makes me think of a subject for a new thread
          I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

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          • #6
            Pool Shock is also great for making bleach. Bleach degrades fairly quickly, where as pool shock only really starts degrading when it is mixed with water. I know you can't drink bleach... but think of the other things you can do with it.... anyone know how long it takes for ammonia to degrade?

            Sorry about that... I live (for now) in an urban area and if I don't think outside the box I'll never get out of it.
            Last edited by riorust; 06-30-2011, 06:46 PM. Reason: added info

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            • #7
              CountryGuy, it depends on the quality of you water that you're trying to store.

              For example, I have over 300-350 gallons of stored potable water that I've stored since at least summer 2004. I have rotated this potable water exactly zero times since I started storing it. That's right: Zero.

              Here's why:

              - I know what goes into my water since my local water utility publishes a yearly or every other yearly report on their water quality. Well, ok, they could fake it right? Maybe, but the one thing I can check on is the chlorine levels since I have a pool and can check with my pool kit. Right on the money. More on this in a minute.

              - About once a month or so, I take a small sample of my stored water and let my son or wife smell- or taste-test it. I can't smell therefore can't taste very well; my wife can smell ants in the house. It's always fine, with even no "plasticy" smell.

              - Last but not least, I happen to work for a very small defense contractor (think air force and navy fighter aircraft, strategic bombers and airlift, cargo and attack helicopter, space station, strategic missile defense and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. Oh, don't forget the small side business designing and selling commercial aircraft.) Relevance: We happen to have a fully ASTM (and others) certified lab on site. When I used to work in their building (I've moved three times since then) I used to take a pint sized sample of my stored water (always the oldest) and a loaf of my wife's homemade bread. A couple days later I'd get a water quality report in .pdf format. Guess what the format looked like? A whole lot like the one my water utility puts out. Which means they're testing for the same things in the same way and coming up with the exact same results. Except for one: residual chlorine; the stored water had none. No biggie, the bacterial counts were almost exactly the same. Here's a copy of the 2009 report: [Negative, can't post other site URL's with less than 15 posts - sorry didn't mean to hit the bannation button with my first post.....:) .]

              So bottom line to all that:

              - Store clean water
              - Use clean containers
              - Keep it cool (within reason)
              - Keep it dark.

              My stored water is proof that following the above, you can safely store hundreds of gallons of clean potable water for years with no ill effects.

              Good luck.
              Last edited by FTG-05; 07-06-2011, 09:08 PM.

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              • #8
                A lot of people are using pool shack. It is also great for making bleach.

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                • #9
                  Countryguy- I have had the same idea. We are thinking about building a house and that was one of the features I told my wife I wanted. Here is another tidbit- do not forget about your hotwater tank as a source of water. It may only hold 40-80 gallons, but it would be available.

                  Here is a site I found that may interest you.
                  http://www.ntotank.com/veovta.html
                  Last edited by Lil Bear; 07-20-2011, 11:46 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CountryGuy View Post
                    Thanks. I've heard of using the pool chlorine pellets to sterilize water for drinking but guess it makes sense that it'd keep it fresh for long term storage.

                    We're thinking about building a house and I've been thinking about features I'd like to build in towards being self sufficient. On the water front I'm thinking about designing in something like a 300-500 gal tank to the water system. Basically a big tank in the basement so the water comes in, goes thru the softner and fills the tank. That way it'll always be full and fresh. Might need to add some valves and an extra pump. Not sure, still in the napkin sketch state...

                    Hmm this makes me think of a subject for a new thread
                    Why the basement?....the upstairs seems a bit more user friendly....gravity and all.

                    you fill it when the powers on....gravity when the powers off.

                    it could be plumbed in as a holding tank....and cycle it through your toilets. Have the inlet side hooked to a float valve (like in a toilet).....and cycle as you flush....3 to 5 gallons at a time....who cares if it is slow....unless it's the morning after chili night....:).
                    Last edited by Echo2; 07-20-2011, 05:10 PM.
                    Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.

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                    • #11
                      as i am in Greece I see a lot of water tanks on the roof of the houses I think the thought is let the sun heat everything up and let gravity do the rest as for how they get it up there a guy was trying to enplane it to me but it all seemed like Greek to me
                      NONSOLIS RADIOS SEDIOUIS FULMINA MITTO

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                      • #12
                        One needs to read the lables carefully!! I was looking at pool Sanitizer at Walmart, some of the Sanitizers ( Calciun Hypoclorite ) had an added skin softener !! The one I bought was 5 pounds of granular 47% . If I figured right it would safely treat about 500,000 gallons of water, IF I figured right... LOL

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