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Thread: Short Term Water Storage

  1. #1
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Default Short Term Water Storage

    I'm always looking for ways to improve my preps and today I hit upon idea that I thought I'd share.

    Many of us live in a suburban environment and have curb side pickup of garbage and recycling. I manage my own recycling by taking it to a senior citizens center but I do have a tote for automated collection (sorry, they aren't garbage cans anymore). This is the kind I have:

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    This is a 65 gallon tote with lid and I thought that's a lot of water storage. For my wife and I using the prerequisite 1 gallon per day per person that's over 32 days of water storage. The problem I ran into however was a small handle that installed through the front.

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    Those are tamper proof bolts. Luckily, they aren't THAT tamper proof. Enter the bolt cutters.

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    I cut one side off and that allowed me to remove the handle bar.

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    that, of course, left a inch diameter hole in both sides. You can only see one in this picture but there is another to the right.

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    The solution was to simply plug the holes. To do that I used two (2) - 2 inch fender washers, two (2) - 2 inch flat washers, a 1/4 X 1 1/4 round head bolt and nut per hole. I also teflon taped the bolt so water wouldn't leak around the threads.

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    About 30 minutes later the holes are plugged and the tote is being tested.

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    And no leaks!!

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    Granted, it's a trash can, not food grade plastic and my water hose is not a food grade hose but if you are in a position that you know loosing water is a good possibility then the short term use of a tote might make sense. Wash it out, place it in the garage, fill it up and close the lid. 30+ days of water for two people.

    If you have a similar sized recycle tote then do both and extend the number of days or give yourself 30 days worth of water for four people.

    Hurricane preparations, drought/heat or construction work resulting in water being turned off all lend themselves to using a tote for storage. The nice thing is it's not taking up any room since you already have it. Just add it to the water storage you already have. I have two 50 gallons tanks outside, a 50 gallon water heater, approximately 50 gallons in each bath tub, 10 gallons in storage containers and 10 gallons in water coolers. That's 270 gallons. I just added another 65 gallons for a total of 335 gallons or a 19.5% increase in storage. That's 167.5 days of water for my wife and I or 28 days for my entire family.

    You can get by with shorter bolts but I happened to have those handy so I used them. I did price the parts at Ace Hardware and the whole thing for one tote is $5.56. Pretty cheap preps!
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Cool idea. I noticed that water was flying off the grocery store shelves today because of Irene. I guess Mother Nature knows how to stimulate the economy.
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    Hall Monitor Pal334's Avatar
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    Excellent idea. I did a quick google for food grade bages and found this http://johnpac.com/DrumLiners.html ( I am sure there are any number of other suppliers). Maybe a good quick fix if one does not have the time or ability to do what you did. Also could be a way to use the actual "in use" containers .
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    Cool idea. I noticed that water was flying off the grocery store shelves today because of Irene. I guess Mother Nature knows how to stimulate the economy.
    I'll be stimulating quite a few 5 gallon buckets this evening for inside the house.....Also need to refill the primary propane tank tomorrow, still have the backup filled but it was time so I gotta fill anyway.
    Keep in mind the problem may be extremely complicated, though the "Fix" is often simple...

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Remember the bath tub and water heater.
    Like the trash can idea.....maybe even the blow up pool?
    Old Mountain man saying, The more ya know, the less ya have to carry.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Covered and covered (see above). I did look at pools but the blasted things are 12' diameter if you want to hold any amount of water. Too big for my needs. Onion tanks are great for storage until you need them but cost an arm and a leg.

    By the way, it's tote. Trash can is so ... yesterday.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I've got a small hot tub (150 gallons) that I will be draining, disinfecting and refilling tomorrow in advance of Irene.
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    We fill and freeze bags and water jugs when a storm is approaching. Start sticking them in the coolers and really packing them in tight. We start rotating things in and out of freezers now. I keep weeks of potable water anyway. But we fill stuff out side for storms. Including boats.

    I'll dip water from the canal for flushing toilets. Use water in the tub for bathing. But usually we are under a boil order with still running water after most storms. So potable water is the only concern and I have never needed to boil water for drinking water.

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    Similar here. We have a very large lake (1500 acres) so raw water isn't much of a problem. Potable water could be.
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    Senior Member SARKY's Avatar
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    Have you checked out the "Water BOB" ? It's a bag that sits in your tub, is filled from the tubs faucet and holds up to 100 gallons.
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    I looked at those as well and will probably pick up a couple. According to their web site they are out of stock at the moment.

    More than anything on this thread I just wanted folks to think out of the box a bit and see how you can utilize what you already have. There are probably plenty of ideas out there for mutli-tasking stuff that you have.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Reminders are always good, don't forget your rain barrels.
    I do have another source that most people wouldn't think of......The sump pump pit.

    Seems that there is some water that stays under the foundation, during wet weather, pumps draws it down, but will re-fill in a few minutes.
    I used to pump it out to the garden, but like anything else, when there is plenty of water, it's every where....in and out.....so I no longer do it.
    But I know it's there, if needed.
    Old Mountain man saying, The more ya know, the less ya have to carry.

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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    Seems to me that most of my water consumption is toilet flushing. That's the first "problem" for me when there's no water. Make sure you have 5 gallon buckets around for toilet flushing. It's alot easier and faster to just dump water into the bowl to make the toilet flush then to refill the toilet tank.

    I don't have water utilities so I collect all my water anyway. I'm used to running out and running low.
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    For long term situations you (anyone) can use a product called Bio-Gel. With no water in the bowl you can insert a heavy duty garbage bag then lower the lid. Add some bio-gel to the waste and you don't have to have water.

    http://www.relianceproducts.com/prod...tation/95.html
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    From the Bio Gel website.
    Length: 3.80 Width: 2.30 Height: 4.80
    Weight: 1.00lbs
    Pfffft! That's just after a good snack.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Just name it or salute it.
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    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    For long term situations you (anyone) can use a product called Bio-Gel. With no water in the bowl you can insert a heavy duty garbage bag then lower the lid. Add some bio-gel to the waste and you don't have to have water.

    http://www.relianceproducts.com/prod...tation/95.html
    Thanks, Rick, I just ordered some.
    Never heard of it, but an indispensable thing to have especially up here. Somehow playing with lyme didn't appeal to me.

  18. #18
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I think I'm going to pick up some as well just to have on hand. Do you have a waterbob for the bathtub?
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    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    No, I figured I'd just fill the tub. If I had one, I'd just have to store it somewhere.
    But I did get 4, 5gal. plastic containers and a couple of 2.5 gal.
    No more store bought leaky jugs.

  20. #20
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    The water bob should give you quite a bit more water since it allows filling above the overflow device. It says 100 gallons. I figured about 50 gallons on my tub but it's probably closer to 43 or 44 gallons (LXWXHX7.5). There are 7.5 gallons in a cubic foot but you have the sloped back and the rounded corners. Anywhooooo. The bag holds 100 gallons so it would double the size of what I can store in a bathtub.

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/CAMP205-1.html
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