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collecting water

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by oknow, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a lot of people talking about collecting rain water in barrels from the downspouts of there homes and understand all that what I am wondering about is how do you keep that water from freezing and splitting the barrels?
    I live in an area that does have some hard freezes and that would be the end of the stored up supply when it thawed.
    or is the water collection just for the good weather months? :confused:
     
  2. mosinguy

    mosinguy by the ocean Member

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    to keep from freezing make sure there is enogh room for the expansion of the water in the barrel about 6 to 8 inches maybe a little bit less i cant remember for sure
     
  3. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Never had a problem however our barrels are open topped and covered with a wooden lid so the water can spill as it expands. If it is used as drinking water it must be treated (really treated) anyway so having a closed barrel is no advantage. These barrels have been in use for about 15 years with no problem at all. By the way, in normal times they are just garden barrels.
     
  4. dolooper

    dolooper Coast Range, or thereabouts Well-Known Member

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    How much treatment do you give it for drinking water? I often think about using the roof to collect water, but I don't want to have to train every bird in the neighborhood to stop bubblegumting on my roof.
     
  5. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Filtering and chemical or heat treatment would be necessary for rainwater. You can use bleach, or iodine purchased in bulk. Heating it to near boiling is too energy-intensive for large amounts in an emergency situation.

    But a filter can be constructed fairly cheaply, or can be purchased as a system that would work inline with your city or well water to filter out the chlorine, fluoride and whatever else happesns to be in your city water.
     
  6. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    Another thing to keep in mind is treatments like that wont remove the chemicals (ie Tar, oil) so ou must filter it (like a Berkley filter) was just reading bout this on a "survivalist" site.

    If you have a metal tin roof no prob. But shingled roofs will leach tar and oil into the rain water barrel and boiling or chlorine wont help to remove it, it will need to be filtered.

    Best bet get a GOOD filter and be sure to get a WASHABLE filter to use as a prefilter so you can extend the life of your more expensive "good" filter.

    Glad I started researching this too as I was planning to use a metal 55 gal drum to boil rain/river water and after it cools transfer to plastic drum with treatment of chlorine as clean drinkable water. (I have metal roof so no tar worries)

    Does anyone think this would be sufficient for river water (Ie Columbia river) or would theer be too many chemicals? And like bastidge said would it really just be to feasibly energy consuming in emergency? 55gal should last a while but any ideas how long it would take to boil over a fire pit? (And feasible sized fire nothing crazy) or Should I take my own advice lol and just fork out the $$ (i dont have lol) on a good filter system? Does reverse osmosis require power?
     
  7. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Several issues there.

    Smaller quantities will heat and cool faster. It takes a LONG time to boil 55 gallons of water, no matter how good the heat source. I have a large pot for brewing beer. on My electric range it takes a good 45 minutes to bring tap water to a boil. That's about a 5 gallon pot with direct electric resistance heat in direct contact with the pot for conducted heat. Pressure is your friend if you really want to purify water- distill it instead of simply boiling it. Boiling kills biologicals but doesn't remove particulates. Distilling does both, but requires more equipment and energy. Your distilling pot should be reasonably sized so as to distill your water in a timely fashion. You can find distilling pots at most home-brewer's supply stores.

    Theoretically, physical filtration would be good enough. It will remove chemicals, heavy metals, almost all biologicals. It just takes a very fine filter, and as you said, to extend the life of that you need a pre-filter. The finer the filter, the lower the flow rate, also. Keep in mind that by adding chlorine you're undoing some of your filtration- it's best to let the chlorine sublimate out as completely as possible before drinking the treated water. Iodine is slightly less toxic (still toxic in concentration, that's why we use it to kill bacteria) and has an added benefit if you're using the right kind, of providing enough iodine to your body to avoid uptake of radioactive isotopes of iodine in certain CBRNE scenarios.

    Reverse osmosis requires pressure, which can be achieved from a gravity feed, from physically squeezing a bladder, etc.

    River water has a lot of suspended solids, and tends to clog filters faster than rain water, but there's no real difference in post-filter water quality if you're filtering sufficiently. Figure you need about a gallon of water per day per person just for minimal hydration purposes during warm weather. This doesn't count washing dishes or cookin, or bathing, all of which should be done with clean water as well.

    Asl always, what is "good enough" depends on the situation. In many cases, a simple cloth filter removes a great deal of contaminants, and if the choice is between death by dehydration and a slight risk of contaminant, take the slight risk over the sure thing.

    Cloth filter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Simple Sari Cloth Filtration of Water Is Sustainable and Continues To Protect Villagers from Cholera in Matlab, Bangladesh

    Small Fixes - Folding Saris to Filter Cholera-Contaminated Water - NYTimes.com

    Women in India Use Saris to Filter Water, Protect Against Cholera | Ecouterre
     
    ATCclears and (deleted member) like this.
  8. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    I can still remember telling my Grandaddy about drinking the water in the Rogue River while I was fishing. He told me not to do that. Spring water up on the mountain was OK but too many people upstream to be drinking the river water.
    Good luck and stay safe,
    Mike
     
  9. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    so what is the thought about using a 55 gal drum filled with sand and a tap at the bottom mother nature is a great filter for taking care of a lot of contaminants especially river water solids or tin roof solids (bird droppings) maybe not the chemical type contaminants.
     
  10. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    Adding myself to this thread to get the daily email on updates... :)
     
  11. Jablunty

    Jablunty Vancouver Member

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    Me too
     
  12. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This is last resort water for us. We have drinking water stored, however if we needed it here goes.

    1. Run water through multiple filters, coffee then charcoal.
    2. Boil for 10-15 min.
    3. Treat with bleach overnight or so.
    Thats the plan anyway. Probably overkill but salmonella sucks! We would prefer to use this stuff for washing etc.
     
  13. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Sand and charcoal in layers is better. Realize that it's going to be slow. You could do it with 5 gallon buckets, it's easier to move/position the light weight. The wider the surface area the faster it'll be: filtering vertically through a foot of sand in a 6 inch pipe versus in a 5 gallon bucket vs in a barrel- obviously the bigger aperture lets water through faster.

    On the other hand, one of the key points in filtering out biologicals is slow movement. That's why a septic tank in soggy ground is bad- the biologicals can move further/faster.

    Chemical contaminants come in two forms. In solution and emulsion. An emulsion is a purely physical mixture. Put some sand in a jar of water and shake it- that's an emulsion. It will settle out. Put sugar in that water, and it dissolves into solution. It's not going to settle out. Some chemical processes have taken place that have changed the physical characteristics of the sugar molecules and how they bond to each other. Let the water evaporate over time and you'll get a higher and higher percentage solution until it reach saturation and then it crystallizes again.

    So for filtering drinking water, all the solids being held in suspension (basically floating in the water, an emulsion) will be easily filtered out as long as the apertures in the filter (the spaces between sand grains) are small enough that they cannot pass.

    For chemicals in solutions, it's also possible to filter them out. Essentially, if you force enough of the chemical through a small enough aperture, the concentration of the solution becomes high enough to force the saturation point and they deposit out of solution. Since the 'forcing through the aperture' happens many times in a sand filter (since all the space in between grains don't line up, it has to find a path thru many tiny apertures) you can filter out the majority of chemical contaminants with a physical filter. Adding layers of charcoal in your filter, also gives the contaminants something that is chemically active to interact with, and this removes even more of the contaminants, as well as the physically very jagged microscopic profile of charcoal (until it breaks down.) The more jagged edges in your filter, the more contaminants get physically hung up on them. Including biologicals, they tend to hang onto jagged materials more than smooth ones.

    Coffee filters or other paper filters won't help much with anything other than grossly large particles you can see with the naked eye. Think about it- how does the water in your coffee pot look after being "filtered" through the coffee basket? Paper "filters" are essentially a very fine sieve- that's all.

    I would use the multi-layered cloth solution I linked to above before I would waste my time with coffee filters. I have tried using coffee filters when making beer, and it's just a major PITA. With a cloth filter, it's at least strong eough to pick it up and squeeze through it. Coffee filters just make a mess and they're too small; you have to make sure everything goes THROUGH your filter, not around it, or you're just giving yourself a false sense of security and probably parasites.
     
  14. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    Ok I agree with the faster and easier to move around, my thought of the going through a 55 gal drum gives it a lot more filtration and even filter out more chemicals. so one would instead of pouring a bucket of water through when you are thirsty you would pour a bucket when you get a bucket of water. or would that just be complete overkill?
     
  15. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    This is definitely back to the old days when you have to do things in advance. You're not going to filter water this way when you need a drink. You'll have to set up your water to filter as a daily task involving some time for it to filter through. And probably add a bucket whenever you're passing by the water source on the way, as well. Unless you get some sort of constant feed system, but that''s not really an emergency system- that's more of an alternate lifestyle.

    In an emergency, if you just need a liter of water, or for hiking and camping, your best best is a katadyne hand-pumped filter.
     
  16. maxisback

    maxisback Western Washington Member

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  17. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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  18. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    AS USUAL... Great info "TheBastidge"! that steri-pen is by far the best emergency and very realistic "real world" everyday filter to have. My favorite feature by far is that its powered by 4 AAs! NO FILTERS to get raped err.. buy! So if Shtf all you need is a stockpile of batterys (should have anyways for flashlights, radio, etc) But really in everyday life it would be great for camping etc.

    When shtf this thing might as well be made of gold!
     
  19. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    The Steri-pen works well for a liter or two at a time. It's a great backapacking or emergency tool for one or two people, but it's not a realistic solution for a whole family or more for any kind of long term. It takes time to work, and you have to observe some common sense rules about the order in which you do things too avoid cross-contamination, and it doesn't do anything to filter your water, it simply steriiilizes and kills the biologicals, as long as the water is clear enough for the UV light to work.

    Bottom line you need a filter AND a sterilization method for best practice.