Take a good look at them before you even drain them and remove them from the stand you have them on. As you can see by from my pictures, the winter freezing of the ground made mine a little unlevel and some of my connections come apart. So I will have to fix that as well!
|See how the became unlevel|
Check All The Hardware:
You will want to totally drain your barrel before you get started. Then Check all your valves, connection, screens that you may have at the enter point and the overall condition of the barrel or container, replace anything that needs replaced. Look inside it, I am sure you will see lots of yucky stuff, maybe even algae but that's okay we are gonna take care of all of this shortly and even have some preventative maintenance. At this point just spray out with you garden hose as much as you can.
Clean The Inside:
If you need to scrub the interior of the barrel a long handled brush will work well. Using a mixture of light bleach and water solution; scrub the interior of the barrel’s walls and bottom with the brush. Then rinse your barrel again and let dry. This is something that you may not have to do if you have a constant flow of water going through your barrels. But if you forgot to drain all the water out for the winter, Yuck!
Tip: Paint your rain barrels a dark color to prevent the sunlight from directly hitting your water and promoting algae growth.
Purifying The Water For Drinking and To Maintain:
You can add a little household bleach to your water to keep it maintained through out the year. A little won't hurt you plants either. I would put a little less in the water if you arn't gonna drink out of it and it will still keep the water cleaner!
According to the Red Cross, “The only agent used to purify water should be household liquid bleach. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water if the water is cloudy (with an eye dropper), stir and let stand for 30 minutes. (If it’s clear, only add 8 drops.) If the water does not have a slight bleach odor [after 30 minutes], repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.” Use household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite as its only active ingredient) and yes this is for drinking!
How much bleach to use for purifying water for drinking (according to the Red Cross):
|amount of water||clear water||cloudy water|
|1 quart||2 drops||4 drops|
|1 gallon||8 drops||16 drops|
|5 gallons||1/2 teaspoon||1 teaspoon|
|55 gallons||5 1/2 teaspoons||11 teaspoons|
|After I built a foundation out of railroad ties.|
Revelation 21:1"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb."
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