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Brison

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One of the biggest things I've focused on as a new prepper is the need for water. With this in mind I purchased a rain barrel a couple of months ago. I like knowing that I have a backup water source if ever the main water supply was no longer available. I highly recommend everyone look into getting a rain barrel.

As with all new endeavors you learn as you go along. One problem I've run into with the rain barrel is the build up of algae.

Does anyone have any feedback on how to keep algae from building up on the inside of the rain barrel? I'm aware that chlorine bleach and peroxide can be used but if I do that I can't use the water for my garden. It's a bit of a conundrum. Cleaning out the rain barrel from time to time means that I may have to dump out precious water at some point. I've even considered feeding the rain barrel water into the house so I can store and filter it.

I welcome any feedback from those who have rain barrels and how they keep the water sanitized but drinkable and safe for the garden.

Thanks
 

Jim_K7JLJ

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If it's black and sealed there should be no growth. You can put a pool puck in a floater or add bleach manually but I never had an issue in a 1100gal tank that was black and sealed up.
 

Arcticdude

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One of the biggest things I've focused on as a new prepper is the need for water. With this in mind I purchased a rain barrel a couple of months ago. I like knowing that I have a backup water source if ever the main water supply was no longer available. I highly recommend everyone look into getting a rain barrel.

As with all new endeavors you learn as you go along. One problem I've run into with the rain barrel is the build up of algae.

Does anyone have any feedback on how to keep algae from building up on the inside of the rain barrel? I'm aware that chlorine bleach and peroxide can be used but if I do that I can't use the water for my garden. It's a bit of a conundrum. Cleaning out the rain barrel from time to time means that I may have to dump out precious water at some point. I've even considered feeding the rain barrel water into the house so I can store and filter it.

I welcome any feedback from those who have rain barrels and how they keep the water sanitized but drinkable and safe for the garden.

Thanks
I think collecting rain water is a great idea. My plans for next year include burying a 1500-2500 gallon tank and tying in to the rain gutters from the barn, house and shop. There's no algae problems with a buried tank.
Like Jim mentioned you could paint your barrel black or add bleach or an algaecide occasionally. Not sure if that would make the water undrinkable though. And make sure your barrel is sealed tight.
 

Brison

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If it's black and sealed there should be no growth. You can put a pool puck in a floater or add bleach manually but I never had an issue in a 1100gal tank that was black and sealed up.
Thanks for your help on this. This is my first foray into rain barrels. I purchased one on a whim and it's been a learning process. I've already changed the type of water diverter I use. My rain barrel isn't sealed. I've attached a photo. Basically the water empties into a mesh screen at the top of the rain barrel. My other concern has been to try and limit the amount of debris that gets into the water barrel. How do those with closed/sealed rain barrels limit the build up of dirt, silt, bird poop, etc., on the inside? Also, with this unit I have no access to the inside of the unit unless I literally cut it open. I've also considered getting a first flush diverter but I haven't done any research to see how effective they are.

rain barrel1.JPG
 

Brison

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I think collecting rain water is a great idea. My plans for next year include burying a 1500-2500 gallon tank and tying in to the rain gutters from the barn, house and shop. There's no algae problems with a buried tank.
Like Jim mentioned you could paint your barrel black or add bleach or an algaecide occasionally. Not sure if that would make the water undrinkable though. And make sure your barrel is sealed tight.
I appreciate your feedback. I've included my reply to Jim as it contains additional information about my rain barrel set up. I welcome any additional suggestions you may have.

Thanks for your help on this. This is my first foray into rain barrels. I purchased one on a whim and it's been a learning process. I've already changed the type of water diverter I use. My rain barrel isn't sealed. I've attached a photo. Basically the water empties into a mesh screen (which filters out larger debris) at the top of the rain barrel. My other concern has been to try and limit the amount of smaller debris particles that get into the water barrel. How do those with closed/sealed rain barrels limit the build up of dirt, silt, bird poop, etc., on the inside? Also, with this unit I have no access to the inside of the unit unless I literally cut it open. I've also considered getting a first flush diverter but I haven't done any research to see how effective they are.
rain barrel1.JPG
 

Brent S

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I appreciate your feedback. I've included my reply to Jim as it contains additional information about my rain barrel set up. I welcome any additional suggestions you may have.

Thanks for your help on this. This is my first foray into rain barrels. I purchased one on a whim and it's been a learning process. I've already changed the type of water diverter I use. My rain barrel isn't sealed. I've attached a photo. Basically the water empties into a mesh screen (which filters out larger debris) at the top of the rain barrel. My other concern has been to try and limit the amount of smaller debris particles that get into the water barrel. How do those with closed/sealed rain barrels limit the build up of dirt, silt, bird poop, etc., on the inside? Also, with this unit I have no access to the inside of the unit unless I literally cut it open. I've also considered getting a first flush diverter but I haven't done any research to see how effective they are.
View attachment 6014
I saw a show on an eco friendly off grid house being built called earth ship. There were lots of good ideas from the use of recycled materials to energy effenciency. The water runoff from the roof went to a catch basin that used sand and gravel to pre filter the water. It needs to be dug out and replaced periodically, but is a really good pre filter that should be serviceable by anyone. I think they used storage containers that had a 12v pump to bring the water into the house. You could shower and flush with it as is, but for drinking it was filtered at the point of use.
 

Brent S

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Thanks for your help on this. This is my first foray into rain barrels. I purchased one on a whim and it's been a learning process. I've already changed the type of water diverter I use. My rain barrel isn't sealed. I've attached a photo. Basically the water empties into a mesh screen at the top of the rain barrel. My other concern has been to try and limit the amount of debris that gets into the water barrel. How do those with closed/sealed rain barrels limit the build up of dirt, silt, bird poop, etc., on the inside? Also, with this unit I have no access to the inside of the unit unless I literally cut it open. I've also considered getting a first flush diverter but I haven't done any research to see how effective they are.

View attachment 6013
Your access into the house would be from the hosebib. Also, if you set the barrel high up, gravity flow would eliminate the pump.
 

jimLE

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Thanks for your help on this. This is my first foray into rain barrels. I purchased one on a whim and it's been a learning process. I've already changed the type of water diverter I use. My rain barrel isn't sealed. I've attached a photo. Basically the water empties into a mesh screen at the top of the rain barrel. My other concern has been to try and limit the amount of debris that gets into the water barrel. How do those with closed/sealed rain barrels limit the build up of dirt, silt, bird poop, etc., on the inside? Also, with this unit I have no access to the inside of the unit unless I literally cut it open. I've also considered getting a first flush diverter but I haven't done any research to see how effective they are.

View attachment 6013
here's a idea to keeping the debri and other stuff out,as much as possible..place a screen(similar to window screen) across the top of the gutter.that not only should keep leaves n all out.but at least most of what gets washed off of the shingles as well.and still allows water to pass through,and into the gutter(s)..
 

Gazrok

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Only way I've found is to simply use bleach to clean. Then just clean it out with more water until ready for use again.

Like you said, if you keep bleach in it, bad for the garden, so the alternative is just planned cleanings.
 

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