Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Maintaining A Healthy Rain Barrel

  It doesn't matter if you collect rain water for your own consumption or to water your garden, you still need to do a yearly maintenance to them. Why? Its to keep them in tip top shape and it keep's the water in them safe for you and your plants.You wouldn't believe the stuff that gets inside of them, especially when they aren't in much use (in the off season)! So what are the thing's you should do to your rain barrels or other rain collection systems? (Click her to learn how to make a Rain Barrel)  Also You may like Got Rain Barrel Questions?
  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."

  Linked With:
Blog It UP!, Down Home Blog Hop, Home and Garden Thursday, Thursdays Favorite Things, Simple Lives Thursday, The HomeAcre Hop, Bloglovin, Friday Fertilizer Flaunts, Freedom Fridays, Linky Love Blog, Simply Natural Living, Farm Girl Friday, Homestead Saturday, Pinteresting Party, Sunny Simple Sunday, MMM, Clever Chicks Hop, Natural Living Monday, Harvest Monday, Teach Me Tuesday, Backyard Farm Connection, Tuesday Garden Party

25 comments:

  1. We just installed two rain barrels and they filled up quick after a short rain. My husband also placed a fine screen over the hole below the gutter spout to keep mosquitos from laying eggs in the water. Thanks for the table on purifying water. That's a keeper!

    Lisa

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    1. You are so welcome thanks for stopping by

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  2. Good info. I like your improved foundation for the barrels. Mine are on concrete so I just put them up on some blocks. Mine are also still upside down. Since we get below freezing so much, I can't let water gather in them over the winter. I'm hoping we've had our last cold spell so I can flip them soon. I clean mine in the fall when I tip them over.

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    1. I sure hope it gets warmer every where soon. We are colder then normal!

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  3. This is great information. We plan to install at least one this year. I heard you can keep goldfish in them (seasonal) to help rid the algae build up too.

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    1. I have never heard that, that is a great tip to keep in mind! Thank you for sharing Kristina!

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  4. I'm installing one soon - glad to have found this info! (stopping by from the Down Home Hop)

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    1. I have 2 now and can see the use for 2 more. lol! They sure do save on the water bill!

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  5. We cleaned out our rain barrel recently as well. We had already painted it black for just the reason you mentioned plus the bright blue color was a little out of place where we had our rain barrel sitting. My Honey also installed a hand-pump on the top of the barrel to pump out water for the watering can when watering porch plants, etc. I am constantly amazed at how much water can be collected with a very light rain. Thanks for posting this (visiting from Simple Lives Thursday)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas
    www.taylormaderanch.com/blog

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    1. Thank you for stopping in and sharing. Please come back anytime!

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  6. Thanks for linking up at Thursday Favorite things hop. I would also like to invite you to stop by We Three Crabs on Tuesdays and link up any post that can be pinned for Pinterest Tuesday. This post would be a lovely addition.

    Erica
    We Three Crabs

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    1. I sure will Erica. You can pin anything on this blog. Thats what it is for is sharing and learning!

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  7. I'm saving this for future reference. We have a 55 gallon barrel, blue, for water storage, plan on getting a few more. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Good luck to you Kim. You will save lots of money!

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  8. I had no idea they had to be maintained! We've had our three for at least 5 years and never done a thing to 'em. Go figure...

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    1. Hay Daisy. They do get a little yucky inside. I realized that one year when I discovered a brown algae in mine, lol!

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  9. Oh this is informative and very timely. We lack water during our dry seasons and rainharvesting in these types of barrels are good and have been contemplating to do for sometime. However, i still don't know how to make proper holes and glues to avoid leaks on the spouts. I hope i can make them myself soonest.

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  10. we aren't allowed to have these where we live...sigh. Thank you for sharing at the hop, your participation makes the hop extra special. Big Hugs P.S. the new giveaway posted today!

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  11. I'll be saving this to refer back to - thanks for sharing!

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  12. Hubby made a few rain barrels like this. But we rarely put Clorox in them. Neither one of us think to much of the stuff. But every fall we dump them out, spray water in them and rise as well as we can and then store them in the shed.
    We don't drink water from our barrels though, I never heard of doing that :)

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  13. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  14. Great tips - it makes sense to paint the rain barrels dark - I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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  15. Hi Clint!
    Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope you can join in the fun again today!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/04/the-homeacre-hop-14.html

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  16. Great information! We've had a rain barrel for a while. They can get 'scuzzy'! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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