Rain Water tanks >>>> Potable water ??

PaulR

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I've got three 500 gallon water tanks I have basically set up to catch rainwater off the garage roof. Right now I have them simply screened to catch the asphalt from the shingles. The tanks are pretty dingy at best. In years past when I've stored water in them, algae grew. At current they are empty and not sanitized.

Anyone have advice on how to store rain water and have it at least loosely prepped to become potable water? Outside, long term.

Thanks.
 
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Sterilization of the inside of the tank is a must. Also the water entering the tank has to be free of organic matter or else stuff will still grow in it. I've seen some articles about using UV to clean the water before it went into the tank which lead to long term storage option. The only article I can find now is one after it leaves the tank: http://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/after-storage-treatment/

Do you have access to power?

If not the only way will be a 2 tank method stacked. The top tank is the reservoir that feeds a gravity fed filter that goes down. Think of it as one of those large water filters you fill and put in the fridge.
 

Glockster30

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In addition to post #3, what are you storing the potable water for, i.e., is it for daily use when water is collected or for emergency use? How will you keep it from freezing during the winter months?

Another option in addition to tying to keep the tanks clean is to use a Steripen that costs around $50 (maybe cheaper from Amazon and other vendors). Travelers to other countries use these as well as hikers to sanitize the water from streams by using UV light that kills 99% of bacteria and viruses. It takes about 90 seconds to do a liter of water.

https://www.steripen.com/prepare/
 
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I would think some form of chemical treatment would be a must if you are going to drink this water. After all birds and maybe other animals crap on your roof and who knows what may be lurking in your gutters.
 

DrBurnsides

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Solar panel powered ozone generator. The big problem is with oxidized chemical crap that results.. You're not going to get an infectious disease.. But you could still get sick. Screen for sticks, Rough mechanical filtration, fine filtration(sand bed), mixed bed ion exchanger, then ozone treatment in the tank.
Each filter requires periodic maintenance.
 
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First step is filtering the large debris with a screen, things like leaves & such. Then a first flush diverter that'll catch the first bit of rain water that has most of the bird crap in it. You may then want to use 1 tank as a settlement tank to let any other debris fall to the bottom then capture the top into another holding tank. In the holding tank, light is your enemy.

once you're ready to use the water, then spin down filters & UV, or reverse osmosis will be your friends. If you want to do this all with out using power for a SHTF scenario then chemical options are your best bet.
 

MisterHappy

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Depending on the use you plan to put the water to, making it all "perfect" may not be needed. If you're using it for stuff that algae is not an issue for, such as watering or toilet flushing, don't sweat it.

Have a smaller container, that you can more easily treat, for your drinking/cooking supply. Think about it: the water supply company does not treat the reservoir, just the water that they're distributing.
 

scatter

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Is drilling a well not an option for some reason? Even without power you can get clean water out any time, supply is unlimited and practically zero maintenance. Bigger up front cost obviously.
 
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Chlorine will take care of this. Pool, industrial, bleach. Read the concentration and do a quick calculation on the volume of water in gallons. There is a formula I wont post-but google it. It will work in a pinch when the power is out or the zombies have eaten everyone at the water plant. Almost all large systems (except Amherst MA) use chlorine or chlorimines to treat water. It might taste like crap with all the dead biology in it and the chlorine-but you have potable water. Some powdered kool aid can take some of the sting out
 
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I would stay away from using rain water for drinking. I have a 250 gallon tote that I use for my birds.. I would just get a couple of 55 gallon drums and store them in the basement with water. Watering and giving animals water from the roof is fine, been doing it for months. Goats won't have any of it tho lol
 
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I would stay away from using rain water for drinking. I have a 250 gallon tote that I use for my birds.. I would just get a couple of 55 gallon drums and store them in the basement with water. Watering and giving animals water from the roof is fine, been doing it for months. Goats won't have any of it tho lol

Are you saying you wouldn't use that water for drinking in an emergency even if you had a proper filtration/treatment option(s) to make it potable?
 
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Are you saying you wouldn't use that water for drinking in an emergency even if you had a proper filtration/treatment option(s) to make it potable?

Well, I have 110 gallons in my basement and there's a running stream within 200 yards from my house. And if we do lose power and I get out of propane then yes I would. But for OP treat I think he should invest in something better then just collecting water from a roof. Get 55 gallon drums and stock them with your city/well water and perhaps rotate it out every 6 months. buy a couple per year and before you know it you have plenty of water for months while bugging in
 
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Chemically treat the water and filter. I'd fill the tanks initially with potable tap water though. Save the treatment and filtering for when that initial supply has depleted and the SHTF.

If the tanks are in bad shape, get new ones. If you need 55 gallon drums and FDA-compliant drum liners, I have some for sale in the classifieds for cheap.
 

Chris

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MSR Water Purifier

61Uz2id62%2BL._SY355_.jpg


Just pump anything you want to be clean through this. Removes everything from harmful sediments to viruses. Flow system is self-cleaning, so it run for a long time. Best filter currently made.

This way, you can collect water in just about anything - including a pond and know that you can filter it for cooking or drinking.

Not cheap, but great back up.
 
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MSR Water Purifier

61Uz2id62%2BL._SY355_.jpg


Just pump anything you want to be clean through this. Removes everything from harmful sediments to viruses. Flow system is self-cleaning, so it run for a long time. Best filter currently made.

This way, you can collect water in just about anything - including a pond and know that you can filter it for cooking or drinking.

Not cheap, but great back up.

Just a heads up, the virus claim peaked my interest since that's what I work with for a living.

Their website says nothing about the ability virus capture. Bacteria and parasites over 0.2 microns in diameter only.

You need a Q-membrane or similar to capture virus.
 

Chris

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There isn't a lot of info on their website: http://guardianpurifier.com/

I believe that the filtering size is 0.02 micron, not 0.2 micron. There is only one other filter on the market that tight and you allow gravity to draw the water out over time.

They claim physical filtering of: Norovirus / Norwalk, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A

I don't know what those sizes are or if there are viruses that are significantly smaller.

However, if you look for the tests, they took the thing to some of the dirtiest places on earth and were able to pump and drink without any issues.

I really like the self-cleaning design. The old Hiker pump needed to be taken apart and carefully cleaned every 10 gallons or so. This thing seems to just never capture any silt. Also one of the easiest pumps I've ever used.

Just a heads up, the virus claim peaked my interest since that's what I work with for a living.

Their website says nothing about the ability virus capture. Bacteria and parasites over 0.2 microns in diameter only.

You need a Q-membrane or similar to capture virus.
 
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There isn't a lot of info on their website: http://guardianpurifier.com/

I believe that the filtering size is 0.02 micron, not 0.2 micron. There is only one other filter on the market that tight and you allow gravity to draw the water out over time.

They claim physical filtering of: Norovirus / Norwalk, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A

I don't know what those sizes are or if there are viruses that are significantly smaller.

Ah, that's what happens when I trust their FAQ.

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/MSR/FAQ/Water-Treatment-and-Hydration

I'm sure the FAQ is the incorrect page about the pore sizes and virus filtering, but a 0.02 micron pores could handle those viruses listed for size exclusion filtering.

Those three are really the only waterborne viruses in North America, so this seems like a worthwhile filter to remove the spectrum of pathogens and contaminants in this area.

[thumbsup]
 

CTpatriot

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I would think you should only prep the actual water used for drinking and cooking. The rest will be fine as long as you don't have any decaying debris in it. Drop in some iodine for your showering water and you're all set.
 
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