How long does water keep in the blue barrels, after being treated with bleach? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Can someone tell me how long water will keep after being treated with bleach. I'm using the blue 55 gal. barrels from Contico. I have already searched the archives, but I found no answer. Thanks

-- Joelman (, August 04, 1999


I carry 5 gal of water in my van at all times in a red gas plastic gas can (yeah, yeah, I know I'm not supposed to do that). The water has no more treatement than what the city put in and what came out of the end of my water hose when I filled the can.

I've drank water from these cans 6-7 months later to no ill effect.

(That I know of. There are those detractors out there that have snobby comments about Greybear and will undoubtedly try to link this water to some of my, according to thier narrow definitions, rather unyielding opinions and positions.)


-- Got Bleach?

-- Greybear (, August 04, 1999.

I bought four 55 gallon drums 6 years ago and filled them without adding any clorox or bleach. My wife and I took a taste a month ago and it did not taste bad at all. It has a slight after taste, but nothing real bad. In a pinch we could have used it. We emptied the barrlos and put in fresh water for Y2K, without any clorox!

-- freddie (, August 04, 1999.

This is a related question having to do with bleach. (Blech, I hate chlorine in water) I did get some bleach to have on hand in the event that we may need to treat water with it. However, I read somewhere on the forum that bleach degrades over time-- that it loses it's effectiveness. Okay, I'll believe that. But can anyone give some better details as to how fast it degrades? Does it stay pretty effective until it's opened, and then it loses effectiveness? Or does it lose effectiveness even before being opened? How does one know when it is "too old" to be effective any longer?

-- To Joelman - I have read in a lot of places that you should rotate your water storage every 6 months. ...

-- winter wondering (, August 04, 1999.

Getting the Bleach Out,

Some do and some don't but bleach in the water. If you do, it will help kill some bacteria and such critters. The bleach can be removed with most filters that you can buy at your local hardware store, or a BRITA filter. This is to improve the taste of your water stored water, it is not for "cleaning" unknown sources of water.

I have a bottle with a outlet near the bottom (like a thermos) which I have that fexable water hose (lab ware) hooked up to an activated charcoal filter. All my stored water that will be used for cooking or drinking will pass through a filter, gravity fed, before consumption. It is easy and makes it taste a lot better.

-- helium (, August 04, 1999.


I can't answer your question directly. Bleach in the bottle has a stablizer included. We used it for chemical decontamination. Once it was diluted, it was ineffective after one day and was discarded. My guess is that the intial addition is supposed to kill all microbes and will keep the water clean until recontaminated. That is just a guess. I have never worked on long term storage of water in 55 gal drum

-- Z1X4Y7 (, August 04, 1999.

i have read that after about 6 months, it is at half strength. don't know if that's open or closed though.

-- sarah (, August 05, 1999.

I have read in several places on the net that treated "city" or tap water is fine to store without treatment...

However, I use a purifying technique I once read. I clean out my plastic containers with a bleach solution prior to storage, and then drain and rinse them and fill with regular city-treated tap water...The website I read this on then called that "purified water."

The very slight remainder of bleach is very low concentration and not offensive, and the container has a cleanliness that will discourage future contamination...If you then filter with activated carbon, I understand bleach is removed.

Good luck

-- Copycat (, August 05, 1999.

i use to deal with a factory that made bleach. it was made by bubbling chlorine gas into water and had about 4 or 5% chlorine in it. they also made swimming pool chlorine the same way, but it was about 18 or 19% chlorine when mfg. by law the swimming pool chlorine had to be 17% by the time we sold it and it would be down to that in less than 30 days also all the laundry mats use to buy it and add 4 gal of water to 1 gal and have the same as bleach you bought in the store the worst thing was to store it in the sun. keep in a cool dark place. it is almost like a soda pop the fizz come out of it.

-- bob (, August 06, 1999.

Bleach - Calcium hypochlorite, can be tested for strength with the use of a small vessel called a comparator. It can be purchased from a number of potable water industries, some pool/spa companies or from some outdoor stores. Inexpensive, easy to use and good insurance.

-- Michael (, August 11, 1999.

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