Cleaning 330 gallon tote tank

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by CraftyMofo, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. CraftyMofo

    CraftyMofo Monkey+++

    What is the best way to clean one of these tanks? I bought one (plastic tank with aluminum frame, 48" x 48" base. Looks like there hasnt been anything stored in it, but was stored without a cap. It has a couple inches of rainwater. Any ideas?
    (Would like to clean it for drinkable water, in a pinch)
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    pressure wash and drain, then fill with (a gallon of) Chlorine treated water , assuming the tank is 550 gallons; Let it sit over night then everything should be OK.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Really depends on what was in it originally. If it was Food Grade Material, then the above will work. Maybe do the wash twice.... If it wasn't a Food Grade Material, then It would depend on the Material, and what solvent might cut it, that was Water Soluble, and miscible... What ever you do you want to do a Test Fill, and then, TAKE, and Send a sample, to your Water quality Testing Outfit, to confirm that it isn't still leaching anything, non-Food Grade, into your water....
  4. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    wouldn't touch anything like that for potable water .... not unless you like to gamble with your health and possibly your life .... it takes very little of these various chems to cause all kinds of health problems .... and you can't simply wash them out .... they get etched into the porous plastic .....

    as already mentioned ... you need food grade for potable water .... food grade is always virgin plastic - no recycled crap .... special manufacture is met & kept to guarantee no contamination .... yes, it's that important ...

    highly doubt your IBC was never used .... they aren't cheap and don't get transported aimlessly about the countryside ...
    Yard Dart and KAS like this.
  5. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Even if the tank is not good for potable water it could still be used for firefighting.
    3M-TA3, scrapman21009 and VisuTrac like this.
  6. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    or in Louisiana the make dog houses out of them ...
    Also they are not 550 usg the are 350 or 275 which ever is a 1000 litres or 1 cube
    Clean it and have the water water tested ... whats the worst that could happen ... there are a million uses for them things...
    kellory likes this.
  7. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    We use them for water storage. Some had a water soluable coolant in them, others had herbicide. We pressure wash them several times with soap, then fill and let sit in the sun a few days to sort of cook, then drain and refill.

    I am not worried about them not being "food grade"... that's what I have water filters for. Anything coming out of them will still be 10000 times better than getting it from a ditch where someone's dog took a poo.
  8. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    who told you that your filters are pulling chems? .... they aren't .... if it was that eazy a polluted lake or Love Canal wouldn't cost millions to clean up ....

    your chem laced dog's poo or somebody's else dog? ....

    your attitude is a toss up between scary bad and scary stupid ....
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    It really depends on the chemicals that were stored in the container, previous to your getting it.... That is exactly why, after you think you have done all the cleaning you need, you fill the container with Known Good Water, as well as take a sample of that water, in a Sample Bottle. Let the water sit for a couple of days, then fill another Sample Bottle full of the Container Water, and send both Samples to the Water Quality Lab, for Analysis. They then, will do the Analysis, and delete out the stuff, that was in the Original Water Sample, and then tell you if the Container Water meets current Potable Water Quality Standard Levels in your State. If Yes, Then you are good to go. If No, Then you will at least know what exact Chemicals, you need to remediate, if possible. Some Chemicals can be remediated, and some can not. Activated Charcoal Filtering, certainly can deal with MANY Organics, in Potable Water Systems. Our own @Tracy Sunshine Works at such a Lab, that does this kind of testing, and @ColtCarbine, is our Resident Expert on Plumbing and Potable Water System Design..... .....
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
    Yard Dart and NotSoSneaky like this.
  10. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    When storing water in any kind of recycled container is would be prudent as BT post has illustrated, to have the water quality tested. Just because water looks clean, clear and pure does not mean it is safe to drink.

    Might not make you sick today or this week, but it could be taking years off your life without you ever knowing.
    Yard Dart and kellory like this.
  11. CraftyMofo

    CraftyMofo Monkey+++

    Good point, thanks all for the replies!
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  12. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Perhaps you should tell that to the folks who put out the Berkey filters. Since they're advertising them as being able to remove/reduce herbicides/pesticides.

    The powerful Black Berkey purification elements also remove or reduce the following:
    • Pathogenic Bacteria and Cysts (E. Coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Raoltella Terrigena, Bacillus Atrophaeus) - Reduced to > 99.9999%
    • Viruses (MS2 - Fr Coliphage) - Reduced to > 99.999%
    • Parasites - Reduced to > 99.9999%
    • Herbicides and Pesticides
    • Chlorine - Removed to Below Detectable Limits
    • Detergents
    • etc etc etc
    At any rate we store enough potable water that the only reason we'd even be looking at the big tanks is if our water system had been down for over a month, which is highly unlikely barring an EMP, and at that point I think a little trace roundup in my water will be the least of my concerns.
    Gopherman and Sapper John like this.
  13. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Just to throw out an ideal, Looks like a bit of work, We has some still in use down here by the old people on the Bayou's and at camp's. A per-fab plastic tote tank is the new way.

    I had a guy give me a 500 gallon tote a few years ago swearing it had never been used, When I picked it up , It was marked for an offshore location, This threw up red flags, But I took it anyway and carried it to an auto repair shop and was able to trade it for 3 oil changes, It's used as a diesel tank now on a farm.

    Sapper John, ditch witch and kellory like this.
  14. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    That little "/" between "reduce" and "remove" can mean the difference between life and death.

    Trust but verify; have your filtered water tested. Mix a little round up in a couple gallons of water and take a sample as a control (Sample A), run some of the contaminated water through your filter and take another sample (Sample B).

    Have both tested.

    Don't use the filter again until you receive the results and compare samples A & B.

    Then you will know if you can trust your filter.

    Extra points for you if you post results here. [tongue]
    oldawg, BTPost and ghrit like this.
  15. CraftyMofo

    CraftyMofo Monkey+++

    I suppose if it cleans out well, but the water tests come back bad, I could cut the top off and make a Yooper hot tub.

    Again, thanks all for the responses!
    Merkun and VisuTrac like this.
  16. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    I bought 4 of them that contained liners that held food grade wax for paper cups and pizza boxes. I removed the plastic liners from 2 of them personally and I know the guy I bought them from.I did as recommended above and I am with Ditch Witch, in a pinch, at least when you die you wont be thirsty However, I beg to differ that chem's can not be filtered out, they can. Just make sure you actually own one! Soon!!
    I now have over a thousand gallons of water storage and that gives me roughly 6 months for my family of 4 to survive even if it never rains to refill them, that's a wonderful feeling of security!

    I thought people might find this link useful
    Emergency Water Storage - Disaster Survival Guide
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
    kellory likes this.
  17. janderson

    janderson Monkey

    The best way to clean an IBC Tote is to steam clean it and if there is residue left vacuum it out.
  18. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    There had been a syrup in my tank , the best cleaner was alcohol .
    I made a long wand using steel conduit and heavy steel wire making a larger version of a pick up tool , so I could hold rags and wipe the inside of the tank .
    After the tank was clean I flushed it out and let water set in it a while. drained that and have been using it for my chickens water.
    I got a float valve they use on swamp coolers ,mounted that in the lid and feed it with a small drip system line .
    Then there is a drip system line going from the bottom to the birds and some trees and bushes. This way there is a constant flow of water "trickle", passing through the tank .
    This system is in place should the grid go down and water shut off .
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  19. ccemtp917

    ccemtp917 Neophyte Monkey

    Could these totes be cut in half, cleaned and used for above ground gardening? I just bought 8 of these with that intention in mind. I figure even if it isn't good for that the framing is worth it.
  20. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    @ccemtp917, I see no reason why you couldn't.

    Gator 45/70, ccemtp917 and 3M-TA3 like this.
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary