Pro's and Cons of various water storage systems.

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Pro's and Cons of various water storage systems.

Post by thorian » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:12 pm

Sup yall it has been a while since I have written a little article on how everyone's favorite viking does things. So here are some ideas and suggestions on water storage. Now dont get me wrong this is just what I do and the reasons why I chose to do it. We use metropolitan city water for the containers we fill or purchase prefilled containers.


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Refiled 2 Liter soda bottles bottles.

Pros
Easy to store
Easy to rotate
Inital cost includes 2 L of soda

Cons
Lots of little bottles everywhere


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Purchased bottle water.

Pros
Comes in 1 and 5 gallon jug sizes.
Easy to rotate as dispensers allow first in first out inventory
Constant supply of fresh great tasting water if municipal water sucks
Easily moved by one person


Cons
Cost is about a dollar a gallon, However the 1 gallon jugs can be treated like the 2l soda bottles
Milk jug style water bottles will leak over time
Deposits on 5 gallon bottles.

Image

The venerable blue barrel.

Pros Comes in sizes from 15-55 gallons
A perfect way to store water if you have the space in your bug out location.
Lots of water ready to go.
Sometimes you can find used syrup barrels cheap or free.

Cons
Price of the Barrel
Weight of the full barrel
And the fact that one person cant move easily a full barrel
Requires a siphon hose or pump to get the water out


Image

Bulk storage tanks

Pro's
Lots of water on tap
Cost is usually cheaper for a new tank then a for the same volume of blue barrels.
Usually has a dump valve to easily get water out of the tank

Cons
Stupidly heavy
Cannot move full with out it being in a truck
Large and hard to fit inside of a heated building
IF unheated the tank will freeze and burst.

Image

The water heater
Pro's
15-55 gallons of water
Everyone already has them in their home our apartment.

Cons
Immobile

SO if you add up all the tanks I have about a years worth of water for one person at 1 gallon per day. And that is before I have to start boiling rainwater for replenishing what I use.
Last edited by thorian on Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by nyiangelo » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:35 pm

My goal is to have 55 gal drums once I finish my BOL. But at the moment I have about 8 5 gallon jugs that I rotate. I keep 4 stored and then switch and fill the empty ones up. I know I need more stored water but I also need a lot of things I dont have yet. Not the best plan but it works for now. Besides our water is nasty and I can fill up 5 gallons for $1.25 so it's cheap. They come with carry handles so it's kinda like having buckets of food, it's handy.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Duffman » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:44 pm

Very nice. How about some cases of 16.9 oz. water bottles? They stack nicely and don't leak (from what I've noticed / hopefully).
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by nyiangelo » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:40 pm

Duffman wrote:Very nice. How about some cases of 16.9 oz. water bottles? They stack nicely and don't leak (from what I've noticed / hopefully).
I'll say I tried that and got them out about a month ago. The bottle was all flimsy but the water was good enough to drink. I think they were about 6 months past the drink date. That's a good idea as long as u rotate.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Jamie » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:07 pm

I do the 2-liter soda bottles...they are light, strong, hold enough to be worthwhile, and can fit almost anywhere...

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by thorian » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:20 pm

Duffman wrote:Very nice. How about some cases of 16.9 oz. water bottles? They stack nicely and don't leak (from what I've noticed / hopefully).

I forgot about those. I think the CERT team has a pallet of those stashed away here at work. Ill have to check around and see what condition they are in. I mean they only got stashed 3 years ago.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by spacecase0 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:53 pm

I use 1 quart canning jars and then put them through my pressure canner.
I hate rotating water, and this lets me keep the water fresh for many years.

you make the bulk water storage containers look good as it never gets cold enough to freeze them where I live,
could you just put them underground so that they will not freeze if you live somewhere cold ?
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by thorian » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

you sure could They make specific cistern tanks that are just for such an application. However local zoning codes would have to be obeyed.

I just happened to have a vibration dampening shipping skid from some heavy computer equipment, and the 210 gallon truck transfer tank sitting around and decided that it was time to lay in water preps. Right now that tank probably weighs 1750 lbs I never filled it to max capacity in the truck as I only had either a Chevy 2500 with a bad transmission a dodge 1500 with a V6 or a F150 with questionable rear suspension.

The 210 gallon tank is exactly 28 inches high from the top of the dome top to the bottom, So it fit though my basement door properly. The next size up is 32 inches high so it may not fit through most door ways but empty they are pretty light and I can carry it by my self.


To the poster with the pint water bottle cases.

Pro's
Lots of containers so that all your eggs are spread amongst many baskets
Very portable
Stealthy ( can stick a weeks supply of water under a bed with no one being the wiser)

Cons
The plastic in the bottles may break down and leak on you
the cost/volume can higher per gallon then larger purchased pre bottled water containers.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by colinz » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:54 pm

thorian wrote: Image

Bulk storage tanks

Pro's
Lots of water on tap
Cost is usually cheaper for a new tank then a for the same volume of blue barrels.
Usually has a dump valve to easily get water out of the tank

Cons
Stupidly heavy
Cannot move full with out it being in a truck
Large and hard to fit inside of a heated building
IF unheated the tank will freeze and burst.
Might want to divide the bulk tanks up into Plastic, Steel and Concrete.

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by WoG » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:54 am

nyiangelo wrote:My goal is to have 55 gal drums once I finish my BOL. But at the moment I have about 8 5 gallon jugs that I rotate. I keep 4 stored and then switch and fill the empty ones up. I know I need more stored water but I also need a lot of things I dont have yet. Not the best plan but it works for now. Besides our water is nasty and I can fill up 5 gallons for $1.25 so it's cheap. They come with carry handles so it's kinda like having buckets of food, it's handy.
One thing to remember - if you have 55 gallon drums, you better have them in a place where they won't freeze without power - because you aren't moving them (if at all) much once they are full. That goes for any plastic containers too - if you need the water from them, then that means we have no power. Which means no heat.

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Hatch » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:29 am

My water storage plan is: diversification!

I keep on hand (12) cases of bottled water, each with (24) 0.5L bottles. We rotate through these pretty regularly. Then I have (8) 6gal plastic water cans. I rotate these about every six months. Then I also have (4) 55gal drums. I rotate these once a year. Finally, I have (4) 42gal rain barrels connected to my downspouts. These have overflow spouts, so they rotate themselves.

Potable water: 306 gallons
Non-potable water: 168 gallons / 0.5" of rain

I figure, bug out on foot - load up with the 0.5L bottles. Bug out by vehicle, load up a couple of the 6gal cans. Bug in, use it all. And the rain barrels are for flush and wash water primarily, but in a pinch, we could filter, sanitize, and drink it.

My next water storage investment is going to be a hot tub. :D

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by GOVT1911 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:37 pm

I keep a couple cases of bottled water on hand and rotate thru it, as well as 5 5 gallon water cans which I rotate every 6 months. I have a Big Berkey water filter and one that I fabbed up using the BB filters and 2 5 gallon pails as well as portable filters in each BOB. I figure the water I have stored should get me thru any small emergency and give me time to gather/filter other water. I'd love to have a large cistern, but can't justify the $$ when I feel other preps warrent my immediate attention.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by jclaudii » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:06 pm

thorian

You may want to have some non-potable on hand to use. We use that to flush toilets, wash hands, etc. You can also boil it if you need potable usually. As mentioned here, a good free source is rainfall from downspouts. I have yet to implement a system to catch my roof water, but I sure as heck think it's a great idea.

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by evilpsych » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:23 pm

just a note for you plastic users... plastic booze bottles are specially lined (carbon i think) to prevent offgassing of the plastics into the alcohol. Could be great for water storage.

Me, i just stick with glass or stainless steel
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by thorian » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:24 pm

jclaudii wrote:thorian

You may want to have some non-potable on hand to use. We use that to flush toilets, wash hands, etc. You can also boil it if you need potable usually. As mentioned here, a good free source is rainfall from downspouts. I have yet to implement a system to catch my roof water, but I sure as heck think it's a great idea.
Well for black water I can just go scoop a bucket from the lagoon, or go across the street to the pond or 200 yards the other way for the creek.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by nyiangelo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:27 pm

WoG wrote:One thing to remember - if you have 55 gallon drums, you better have them in a place where they won't freeze without power - because you aren't moving them (if at all) much once they are full. That goes for any plastic containers too - if you need the water from them, then that means we have no power. Which means no heat.
Thanks for the advice. I know you never know but I think I would have a better chance of the drums melting down here than freezing. :)
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Duffman » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:48 am

evilpsych wrote:just a note for you plastic users... plastic booze bottles are specially lined (carbon i think) to prevent offgassing of the plastics into the alcohol. Could be great for water storage.

Me, i just stick with glass or stainless steel
How "dangerous / questionable" is water after you start getting that plastic smell / taste?
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by evilpsych » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:31 am

Duffman wrote:
evilpsych wrote:just a note for you plastic users... plastic booze bottles are specially lined (carbon i think) to prevent offgassing of the plastics into the alcohol. Could be great for water storage.

Me, i just stick with glass or stainless steel
How "dangerous / questionable" is water after you start getting that plastic smell / taste?
Well. the problem with alcohol is that it's a terrible solvent of plastics, rubbers, etc. Stuff you don't want to ingest in large quantities. The coating should prevent any leaching of plastics into water, a far less corrosive solvent to plastic. How this affects the flavor, storability of water is beyond me. I haven't done any tests on them, just posting the info.
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Wolfdude87 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:41 pm

so 2L bottles aren't gas permeable?
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by sheddi » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:21 pm

Wolfdude87 wrote:so 2L bottles aren't gas permeable?
Depends what you mean by "gas".

PET bottles (like the ones soda comes in) are relatively impermeable to oxygen. PE, PP and PC bottles, on the let much more oxygen through.

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Kathy in FL » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:30 pm

In addition to the bunch of gallons that I have of storage capacity right now (between what I rotate and containers I leave empty) we just added a 120 gallon holding tank to our new well water treatment system (chlorinator/softener type set up). That tank will remain full until we discharge it even if the power goes off and there is a flush valve at the bottom that makes for easy dispensing if we need to go that route. That might be a relatively easy way to get around a non-prepping partner's objections to water storage.

Our other water storage capacity includes:

Non-potable water in a 15,000+ gallon inground pool. We are on a septic system so for sewage we've also put in a clean out at a point that would also be convenient for installing a outhouse that would feed straight into the septic line rather than having all of that in the house.

For potable water I currently have storage capacity of over 1200 gallons (make that over 1300 gallons now) between 55 gallon barrels (formerly held Greek peppers for the most part), 2 liter soda bottles, and other collapseable storage containers (including four water bobs with a 100 gallon capacity each). I don't kept them filled all at the same time because we couldn't rotate that much water.

Then there are the secondary, less appealing, sources of potable water like our 80 gallon hot water tank and a few other sources like the toilet tanks (not bowls, and I don't put chemicals in my toilet tanks) and the water lines in the house.

Our house is fed by a well but it is a deep one; pumps, well buckets, and siphoning won't work. There are types of hand pumps that could work but they are prohibitively expensive for our current budget allowance.

Our ultimate goal is a shallow well, like say something you would use to water your yard with. We are trying to obtain a permit for a shallow well to put a handpump on but the county is being not nice. In the event of an event where we have time to do some work we'll flip the local government off and water drill the well ourselves. That won't happen until we have to though. The Code Enforcement Nazis around here are nasty buggers.

Then we have our water catchment system. I already water most of my plants with run off that I catch from our gutters. Again, roof runoff wouldn't be my first choice for potable water but in a life or death situation you have to. Hubby and I developed a plan for cleaning and purifying our "caught" water using alum if its very cloudy as a flocculent to settle all of that stuff. I also maintain a supply of chlorine that I rotate for sanitizing the water.

I keep about 150 gallons of water on hand at any given time. This gives us a cushion of 2 to 3 weeks in the winter and 1 to 2 weeks in the hottest part of summer. That is for drinking and eating ... again, non-potable water will be from the pool. During hurricane season that amount can double or triple depending on the season and circumstances. In the event that a storm starts approaching or it looks like we'll have to quarantine for some reason I've been able to fill over 1000 gallons in just a few hours using all taps in and outside the house.

Its amazing what you can do with a plan and just a little time to stretch your preps. You won't ever catch me running to the grocery store while the nuttiness is going on but things I can do at the house are definitely something I will do.

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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Wolfdude87 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:06 pm

sheddi wrote:
Wolfdude87 wrote:so 2L bottles aren't gas permeable?
Depends what you mean by "gas".

PET bottles (like the ones soda comes in) are relatively impermeable to oxygen. PE, PP and PC bottles, on the let much more oxygen through.

Here's some data (see page 6 of the pdf):
ftp://166.111.30.161/incoming/new_book/ ... 20Foods%20(2nd%20Edition" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)/34990wp_06.pdf
Thanks
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by Trebor » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:14 am

You mentioned used syrup drums. Are you talking about soft drink syrup from fast food places?

If so, how are the drums in terms of size and capacity and longevity? How would you go about cleaning them?
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Re: Pro's and Cons of water storage systems.

Post by thorian » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:36 pm

Trebor wrote:You mentioned used syrup drums. Are you talking about soft drink syrup from fast food places?

If so, how are the drums in terms of size and capacity and longevity? How would you go about cleaning them?

I have a 15 gallon Dr pepper Syrup barrel that came from a local bottler. The water has always tested as safe however it still smells a little like Dr pepper when I fill it up. It tastes ok though and would taste better if I was dying of thirst.

I washed it out with a bleach water solution to sterilized the drum before I filled it.
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