Basic Questions for a novice survivalist

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Libertad, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Libertad

    Libertad Monkey+++

    Hello and thanks for letting me on your forum. I have a few simple questions in which I would like your opinions on and as I come up with more, I hope you can give me some insight.

    I found a good deal on 55 galon plastic drums that I may possibly use for water collection. They are 12 bucks a piece and the owner tells me that laundry detergent was stored in them.

    Do you think they are good enough for water storage with a proper clean and rinse job? Or would or wouldn't you chance it?
  2. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    I don't think I would use it for water storage that I was planning on drinking from, he said laundry detergent was kept in it but you never know. For water storage I plan on drinking from I would buy new and from a place you can trust.

    For other water uses not a bad deal.
  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Real quick thought would be that it may take a LOT of rinsing to get the detergent out of them. $12 bucks sounds good at first but they may have not ever been rated for water (drinking) storage. Different materials are used.

    Now, at $89 + shippin here: B700_A_name_E_Water Barrel - 55 Gallon Drum
    I might take my chances in a pinch and I had no other way of quickly storing that water.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd pick up 4 or 5 of those to be used for "Non-Potable" watering. Flushing toilets, watering gardens, etc. I think the combo of suspect plastics and detergent would keep me from counting on them for drinking water.

    Unless you had to to stay alive of course. Oh, Welcome to the monkey!!
  4. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    there's always drumliners...large heavy duty plasticbags( like3 0r 4mils thick)...ina pinch I'd toss one or two inside and top it off before the water pressure took a nose dive..or to collect rain water into...
    welcome to the monkey!!
  5. <exile>

    <exile> Padawan Learner

    Wouldn't chance it.

    If you need water drums another option is to check with your county/city department and ask if they have a rainwater rebate or rainwater specialist. We have a few at the major city within an hour of us and they knew exactly who to call that had what we needed at a decent price.
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I ould say that a that price it might be well worth picking up a few BUT I would suggest that even aftr they are rinsed out several times, use those for NONpotable water. Even when you are heavily conserving water you will use considerably more water for things like washing a few clothes, bathing (sponge baths from a pan or whatever), flushing toilets when you must, etc. than what you need for drinking and cooking. I would say as long as it was dish soap or laundry soap or some such in them then after they have been rinsed a few time there should be no concern about the water for doing dishes and such but still wouldnt drink it or cook with it.

    The barrels we use for water (potable and all) were from a Pepsi plant and had been used for syrup. I know after washing them out several times then filling and draining them for use at least 50 times over the last few years since we got them, water that sits in them for a while (weeks or so) still gets a slight sweet taste to it. Thats from a consumable product so its no big deal but it brings up the idea that if there was concentrated industrial detergent (a lot of which is VERY costic at its strength) that had been stored in them then it probably wouldnt ever be ideal for drinking.
  7. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    It seems we are all pretty much in agreement with it being a no go for potable but for nonpotable they would work great. You might also look at some agriculture places because they sell large tanks for water transportation for cattle and other livestock. With those being new they should work pretty well. Welcome to the Monkey and enjoy the insanity
    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  8. Jonas Parker

    Jonas Parker Hooligan

    Actually, if I were to buy any plastic drums, I'd probably wash them out thoroughly using laundry detergent. I'd then rinse them out several times with clean water, and wipe down the inside of the drums with chlorine bleach. I'd then set them out in the sun for a few hours to dry and allow the UV rays to kill any remaining bacteria. If you're sure that all they ever held was laundry detergent, they should be fine.
  9. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    That's the thing though..... would you risk your health on what the guy "said"? I dunno....
  10. nursgon

    nursgon Monkey+++

  11. Joe Dan

    Joe Dan Monkey+++

    I could have written that - my experience exactly.
    I understand my local water treatment plant gives away 55 gal barrels that once held chlorine. I'm on the hunt...
  12. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have several barrels that the water treatment plant used for water treatment. The contents wasn't chlorine, but it was water treatment that was used with processing, but they are not keen to giving them away, they had a requirement to turn them back to the company that produced the material, but the zoo that my brother worked at requested them for "animal" use. We did a 30 minute wash cycle on them and two days go, I laid in 165 gallons of water in them.
    The problem with plastic barrels that have chemicals in them can never be completely removed from plastic barrels, so heavy detergent would not be good for drinking, but for non-potable use would be fine.
    I did go by our local Orschlens store the other day and they had virgin barrels for sale, they weren't 55 gallon, probably 35 gallon and they were cask shaped, so I don't know what they were designed for, but they were inexpensive as I remember. They almost looked like barrel racing barrels, would be worth a look
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Think of the weight of 55 gal drums when they are full. You might do better with 15 gals. Full, those will go to about 120 lbs, difficult enough to handle if moving them becomes necessary.
  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    As far as haveing had laundry detergent in them one of the things I was looking at is that more than likely if it came in barels it was INDUSTRIAL detergent which may well be 100x or more concentration over what you would think of as laundry detergent.

    The 35 gallon barrels work well for large amounts of water storage that you dont plan to move but may need to since they CAN still be lifted. We had a couple of them and while I wouldnt advise one person to do it alone I have on several occasions lifted the 35 gallon ones to a counter. The big advantage to the 50-60 gallon barrels is that barrel styands generaly are made to fit these and with a barrel stand, 1 modified bung cap and a screw in spigot for a garden hose you can have easy acess to the water.

    Weight is a VERY iportant consideration in bulk water storage. I broke a main support beam on our pourch by setting a 4th 60 gallon barrel of water down next to 3 others there. All of the supports on that pourch are 2x12s and only span about 10', so with the normal floor joists only being 2x6s you definatly dont want to try to fill an upstairs room with barrels of water, they may wind up in the basement even if they dont start there.
  15. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    water weighs 8.3 pounds / gallon. Full 55 gal ~450 pounds
    plastics do absorb chemicals, especially odors.
    a few good rinses and the detergent should be gone. How much do you rinse your dinner ware after washing with detergent?
    There are many types of detergents though. Some for cleaning nasty chemicals which you probably, even after many rinses, wouldn't want to drink after.
  16. Abby Normal

    Abby Normal Monkey++

    I bought a bunch of the "Culligan" water jugs from the dealer, they're six gallons, and they were $7 each with resealable lids...they work just fine & they're easy to move if necessary...

  17. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Hey, better late than never. I wouldn't chance it if it wasn't labeled (stamped) food product or potable water, unless you knew for an absolute fact that was what they were used. For non-potable uses they would fine depending on what chemicals were in them to begin with.

    I'm a post whore [boozingbuddies]
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