55 Gallon Drums re:storing water

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I have a friend who just delivered me 2 55 gal drums. They had glue stored in them. He cleaned them out.

If I purchase those bags that are okay to store water in and twist tie the bag, will that work?

If not Suggestions on what else i can do with them. I for one am not to comfortable with storing water in them. They are the steel kind.

He cleaned them well. I was thinking I could maybe use them as a heat source, as I am in the North. cold here.

they have the removable tops.

ok, comment away and as always, thank you soooo much

-- consumer alert (private@aol.com), October 30, 1998


I think it would depend on how thick the plastic bag is, how toxic the residue in the steel drum is, and how long the water is stored.

If you have a local coke, pepsi, or canada dry bottler they sell used 60 gal food grade syrup drums to the public for $5. (from US Plastic, they cost $55 new plus shipping). Another affordable solution is the large rugged plastic bags at


-- a (a@a.a), October 31, 1998.

I wouldn't store water or food in anything that something unedible beforehand came in. Maybe the glue permeated into the plastic. Even the Coca-Cola barrels remain permeated with the flavor of Coke after washing out thoroughly with bleach. You didn't mention if they were plastic or metal. Metal may even be worse yet for water storage, because they are subject to rusting. Use them to store gasoline, rainwater for irrigation, flushing the toilet, or burn barrels.

-- Bardou (bardou@baloney.com), October 31, 1998.

You could use these barrels for storing frozen food items in them during the cold season,by burying them,but I'd place any items of food in waxed paper and then ziplock bags. To keep the food items away from the sides place thin sheets of polystyrene (like coffey cups stuff)inside. maybe this will help you ???

-- Furie (furieart@gte.net), October 31, 1998.

A mjuch better idea would be to pick up a copy of Yankee Magazine and order the (I'm not gonna get it spelled right) SHOTZ (or STOTZ, or....) Stove kit which gives you a door, and the pipes and legs to build a DYNOMITE stove (stacked barrells, the second is a heat exchanger for the smoke). I have seen this stove heat a small barn for my Dad.


-- Chuck a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 31, 1998.

Here is a better way to stockpile water. Get an account with Arrowhead (or Sparkletts, Hinckley & Schmitt, etc., whoever is in your area). They will deliver water in the 5 gallon polycarbonate plastic container for about $6.25. The shelf life is a nominal 2 years, and this material does not leach plastic molecules anywhere near as much as the 1-gallon polyethylene jugs commonly found in stores. The seal is also better and they will provide free stackable plastic crates for storing them horizontally. Its safe to store these indoors. If budget is tight you don't have to keep reordering. I usually have 75-100 gallons on hand at any given time. After shelter, this is most important.

However even without y2k concerns, water is the most important consumable to provide yourself with. Distilled water is best. Lack of water (dehydration of the body) has been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure (essential hypertension), hiatal hernia and dyspeptic pain, stress, weight problems, and several other common conditions.

Read "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" by F. Batmanghelidj, "The Shocking Truth About Water" by Patricia and Paul Bragg, "The Great Water Controversy" by TC Fry, et al.

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), October 31, 1998.

Thanks for all the great ideas. I will most likely try for either the heat source (testing it 1st outside to make sure it dont blow up) As for the water, I just subscribed to Distallata and i am on a 1 mo trial paid 7.00 per depo and 4.50 for 5 galls. but i got 3 bottles (5 gal ea) for free so i only have to pay for the depo 1st month. so i will most likely be getting more as time flies by. Distilled stores longer than spring water (6 month shelf lif) But, if you choose this path, remember per the company hospitals get 1st dibbs if calamity hits. Then I surmise that big $$$ go next? After all, why cater to us lil folks if they can get top $$. I also ordered a pump from them for 19.95 other company's want 30.00 and are outta stock. I believe in my area, northeast, word is GETTING OUT, i've called some surplus stores and all are OUT of camp foods.Again thanks SOOO much for all the time you take with me.

-- consumer alert (private@aol.com), October 31, 1998.

About flavor taints: make sure if you recycle containers you get a taint you like!

I've used a plastic bottle that originally contained rasberry syrup as a water-bottle when out walking for several years: the water *still* comes out faintly rasberry-flavoured. Nice!

OTOH if you try a plastic milk bottle you'll get a rancid butter taint. Bleugh. (I'm told it gets worse as the bottle ages!)

If you make the mistake of letting a honeydew melon go squishy in your fridge, everything you put in the fridge will come out melon- flavoured for the next month or two.

Funniest I ever heard was about a chap who bought unwanted sugars in order to ferment them into alcohol (as fuel, not hooch). Once he got paid to carry away 500 gallons of maple syrup that someone had managed to taint with Tabasco sauce!

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), November 02, 1998.

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