This morning I had my irrigation come in for the back pasture. As I am sitting and watching my allotment flowign across the back field (ok, my yard), I started thinking about water storage. You are probably wondering about how water coming out of a 10 inch pipe could lead to that? Well dear reader, it is because I am me and treat all topics like eggs ready to be scrambled (it helps keep you mentally sharp like a crossword puzzle!) Enough philosophy.
After opening the valve and checking to make sure my berms were up and the gophers were ready to be flooded (add maniacal evil genius laugh track here) I slipped off the mucker boots and wet socks and came in side to check my water inventory/ water storage. I know that we live on less than 1 gallon a day per person in my house. But for planning, I like to have an excess. So, 5 people, 110 gallons. 22 days of water. pretty simple. However, we also have the critters to consider. 3 dingo’s (aussie shepard/queensland healer mix) – need to have about 1 gallon a day for the dogs based on past experience = So water is now I have 18 days of water.
In either event, I am short water. We should have 30 days of water on hand. So I need 180 gallons which is 3 drums (165 gallons) plus 15 gallons of water bottles.
Here is my trick on water bottles. I get a few of the neighbors to save me 2 liter soda bottles. I wash with hot soapy water – for soap, I use simple green! Then I rinse 3 times with 1 cup of water per rinse. Then 1 ounce of hydrogen peroxide in the water swished around. and with the bottle cap on and upside down until filling time.
Then drain the peroxide, fill the bottle with Reverse Osmosis water (which I have in the kitchen) and treat with chlorine bleach. Please note, that for every 5 drops of chlorine, I add 1 drop ammonia to form a chloramine solution which is very stable in comparison to chlorine alone. Though, some people are sensitive to chloramine, so tread wisely.
To do the chloramine route, take your water, add the chlorine, close and shake the water bottle then add the ammonia. Do not mix the chlorine and ammonia together as you will probably get a reaction you do not like (and burns your lungs!)
A couple things about chlorine:
-Chlorine bleach has a shelf life of about 6 months, depending on temperature
-You should use the unscented stuff
-do not used any of the powdered stuff
As for the ammonia, please be sure to buy the unscented stuff – usually costs a buck for a half gallon at Wally World – one of the few places that carry it in my neck of the desert.
Please be sure to rotate your water supply! A friend of mine accidentally did not rotate his water and found out during a multiple day power outage that one drum of water resembled a duck pond! Fortunately, he had several others that were within date.
Setting up a rotation with drums is quite simple – go out and buy large labels from the office supply store, Put an expiration date on them and stick them on your drums. Then be sure you at least once a month you check your supplies.