First 55 Gallon Water Storage Container - Source Options

Discussion in 'Finding, Purifying, and Storing Water' started by jorgsmashh, Nov 14, 2017.

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  1. jorgsmashh

    jorgsmashh New Member

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    Hi all. First post here. I just ordered my first 55 gallon drum with the intentions of storing water for emergencies. My initial fill up will only be temporary, a couple of months or so, as I'm still living with my parents. I plan to move soon. I did a few tests the other day with different water sources around the house. I tested each source with a pool test strip to see what the different sources contained. Mainly, I was looking for chlorine. My dad has many fish tanks so he has a nice water filter system set up that probably filters out most of the common things found in water like fluoride, heavy metals, chlorine and probably some others. He most likely hasn't cleaned it in years but I think it is good because it is one of those 3 step cylinder systems on the wall with pre filter, pre carbon filter, and main carbon filter. I know carbon filters are useless after they have had their max volume put through them, but it's better than nothing and must be working because it definitely removed chlorine from the city water line. I haven't asked him for the details on it. So that's source number 1 - probably the purest source in the house. Next is the refrigerator filter. Pretty basic there. Not really viable or possible to use it to fill the drum anyways so we will rule that out as a source. Next we have our basic city/municipal water source. I haven't sent this water off to a lab so I don't know what's in it accept for what shows on the pool test strip. I live outside of metro Atlanta if that gives an indication of the quality of water.

    The pool test strips showed the filtered water from the big 3-step filter to be practically free of all chlorine - probably <0.5 ppm. Most likely this water is also free of fluoride, heavy metals, and the other impurities found in city water.

    The pool test strip for the tap water showed slightly higher chlorine levels at around ~1-1.5 ppm + all the other unwanted stuff.

    My question is based on the fact that this water will only be at this location temporarily - probably a few months. So after that time I will have to dump it out to relocate the drum. But this question goes for when I relocate as well. Should I use the city water since it has more chlorine in it to help keep it sanitized, or should I use the pure filtered water and add a little chlorine bleach so that I'm getting more pure water with just chlorine for the sanitisation as opposed to the added nasty stuff in the city water? How much bleach would I add for 55 gallons? Or, should I just use the filtered water alone since it will only be temporary?

    My last question is, is there a point where you filter out good things from water? Perhaps a filter that would be used for other purposes other than drinking that removes essential things from water? I don't know exactly what the filter downstairs removes and my dad said it wouldn't taste as good as water from the fridge filter because of what it removes. I think I read if you drink distilled water you can still get dehydrated because it lacks critical things we need from water. I would hate to be storing water like that.

    What do you all think? Thanks for all your input!
    Prep On!
  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

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    I hate the taste of town/city water. We collect rainwater in three 5000 gallon tanks from the roofs of our two houses. But in the city the roofs also collect contamination from vehicle traffic. I can't help with the filter question, we don't filter our water.
  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist

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    Twenty gallon barrels are easier to manage, plus I've fitted these with a regular spigot for convenience. Twenties are also easy to clean; bleach then thoroughly rinse multiple times. To keep the bacteria down, you're going to be using chlorinated water anyway (maybe a bit of colloidal silver added).

    If not using tap water for storage, then you will have to filter the water. Ceramic filter down to micron level, then charcoal filtration for taste. Filtration isn't going to do any harm. Selenium levels in water can be beneficial, but at certain levels, a poison. I'll choose what I want to be in stored water and add such myself. I've learned from microbiology courses taken decades ago, that what could be hanging around in "clean water" can royally ruin your health.
  4. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist

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    In filtering out the chlorine you may improve the taste but it's unlikely to make it any safer. I actually treat my stored water with chlorine, I use 3x1200 litre IBCs bought from a soft drink manufacturer. They have an inspection cover to help with cleaning and a spigot type tap. They're cheap at around £25 ($30)
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