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Posted: 3/16/2011 3:32:59 PM EST
I have a huge amount of basement space that I would like to start filling with water. I would like to use 55gl. drums if I could find them. I also need a method of pumping the water out into smaller containers when the water needs to be used, but I don't want to contaminate the water in the process. Is there a guide I should follow for this process to get me started?
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 4:20:42 PM EST
be advised, even though your basement floor is concrete, there is a limit to how much weight it will take.
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 4:45:39 PM EST
I'd guess it would be somewhere around 150-200lb/ft2. But, I agree with ya, and would probably at the very least, put plywood underneath pallets, under the totes. With a ~$100 pallet jack, they could easily be moved around the basement. That's my plans anyhow
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 4:51:16 PM EST
I was kinda thinking about building a stage type of thing out of 2X10's and plywood to keep the drums on, this way a spigot inserted at the bottom could be used to get water from them without using a pump. God idea or no?

The whole drum will weigh under 400lbs, I know people that heavy
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 5:34:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2011 5:37:16 PM EST by Frog_Legs]
Get the two bung hole type drums and a drum dolly.

Don't have a link handy but a drum dolly will let you lay the drum on its side about a foot or 18 inches off the floor.

Just put a tap and valve in one of the bung holes and you are in business.

ETA: Drum Dolly
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 5:56:19 PM EST
I have been storing water for a few years. My first was a 300gal tank next to my small cabin outside while my house is being built. I upgraded to a 3000gal tank. The benefits in storing outside is you can easily rig up rain water collection and use the water on a garden to recycle water. I have done a lot of research on rain water collection and it is the way to go for people like me who live in central Texas.

I live on 7 acres and have a well but I will also be adding a complete rain water collection system and store 6000 more gallons within the next year. All the tanks I use are made for potable water ONLY. They cost a little more but water is not something I will skimp on.

I have both battery operated and AC sub pumps to drop down in the tanks to refill smaller 5 gallon containers or you can adapt a small valve on the tanks. 3000 gallons of water with daily use for two people will last about 2 months. I think if you do some math you will be surprised out how fast you can go thru water.
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 8:19:50 PM EST
before the super siphon,
I made a PVC pipe gizmo that will just about reach the bottom of the barrel.
open on one end, and at the other, I glued two 90s and a small downpipe,
attached to a hose with a keg spout and inserted into the hole

we would just siphon the drinking water out of the 55gal drum,
remove plumbing and replace bungs when done,
or hang the spout on the rim of the barrel.
Link Posted: 3/16/2011 10:18:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2011 10:19:32 PM EST by RichR]

closed head two bungs, $46 drop-shipped

They had inexpensive pump fixtures available for these but I don't spot them now.

You'll get a much better cost ratio with the much larger 300gal++ tanks from a local ag seller, if you have a place to keep such.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 4:12:44 AM EST
Before you really buy a lot of 55gal drums, I would suggest buying say ONE each 15-gal, 30-gal, and 55-gal drum. Try to find used blue HDPE drums used to hold food (mine had soda syrup in them). Get the new barrels and see how easy/hard they are to wash out, fill, move, and store. I quickly decided for me, I do not want anything bigger then the 15gal closed top drums as they were easier to wash and I can still relatively easily move them including up or down stairs and into a trailer if needed. A full 30-gal drum was more then I wanted to move on an appliance dolly up and down stairs!

Of course, you could have several 55s in the basement and transfer that water to 15-gal drums if you needed to get water upstairs to flush toilets or to supply drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc. water. My water backup is six 15-gal HDPE drums plus eight 5-gal LCI water cans (130-gallons of bulk water). I am comfortable that is enough for where I live but if I wanted more I would buy more 15-gal HDPE drums.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 4:28:46 AM EST
For stationary storage, I like the large poly tanks. For portable applications, 30 gallon drums are the best compromise between volume and the ability to handle. Most males can handle a 30 gallon drum by tilting it and rolling it. 55 gallon drums are just a bit hard to handle for most without a drum dolly. 15 gallon drums are handled well with a set of hand trucks.
Link Posted: 3/17/2011 7:41:38 AM EST
If you have a walk out I would say get a 275 gallon tote. if no walk out then some 55gal barrells, set on end with a spigot in the bung. either way make sure you rotate it. I drain, clean and refill rebleach my 275 tote about every 6 months.

Link Posted: 3/17/2011 7:58:29 AM EST
I could only fit 55 gal. drums into the basement, but I can fit many of them. I do have a good storage area outside that I could put a large tank like David4327, but it would get pretty hot in the Summer and freeze during the Winter.

I was also thinking about putting a couple drums up int he attic above the load bearing walls to use for toilet flushing and showering if necessary.
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