Emergency Water Storage

Yeah, I know, this is not an electronics related project, but I it is 'emergency preparedness', which is close enough.  I live about a half mile from a major earthquake fault line, so emergency preparedness is a significant issue for us.

The way I see it, we need three types of water in an emergency - drinking, washing and flushing.  The last is easy - there is a small lake a quarter mile away and I can dip it out in five gallon buckets.  I keep a significant amount of drinking water in five gallon poly jugs.  I decided to build a rain barrel for wash water, but things got complicated in a hurry.  There are all sorts of plans on the web for rain barrels, but they require diverters, overflows and all sorts of other stuff.  A trip to my roof made me decide against a rain barrel - pigeons like to roost on my three element Yagi, and one end of the roof collects significant amounts of bird poop! 

This put me to thinking - why store water that is not potable?  I found a source for sixty gallon poly drums on Craigslist at a reasonable price.  They were used to store a food grade surfactant, so it is safe for drinking water storage.  The one I purchased has a removable top which makes it easy to clean and to mount a spigot.  I have it on a stand in a storage shed and plan to change out the water every three months.  I have a long hose that will reach the garden, so the water will not be wasted.

 I used a hole saw to cut a hole in the side of the drum about three inches from the bottom.  A water spigot, a union, a 'close' half inch nipple, two large stainless steel washers and two large rubber washers made for a secure installation.  Note that the spigot is mounted high enough to clear the deck which leaves some space in the bottom of the drum for sediment.  I used scrap lumber for the stand, so I have about $30 into this project.


(Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them)

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