Water storage on the cheap

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Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246029 tim_n
Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:46 pm

In my house I was having flooding problems, so knowing that I'd just planted an orchard and was planning to set up some raised veg beds, I needed an alternative source of water - and therefore storage.

I looked into digging a hole and buying a 3,000 litre underground tank. That ought to sort the problem I thought!

My jaw dropped at the fairly heavy £1,000 cost of the cheapest one. So that idea was put on the back burner until I remembered about IBC's - Intermediate Bulk Carriers (search for IBC on ebay and you get plenty of results) though the transport is the difficult part!

I got lucky - a guy local to me offered them plus delivery of £15. When I checked, he was happy to do three for the same money - so a few days later I got 3 IBCS (3,000 litres) of water storage for £120 - former tropical fruit squash containers - dropped off.

They still needed to be plumbed together and I'll need to keep an eye on them so they don't overflow, but I intend to put an emergency run off hose down the back of my garage just in case (the main soak away is there)

I now intend to put a timer and pump on a watering system so I don't even need to get up and water the plot next year during the crazy summer days.

If you'd like to see the install and various pics, please visit my blog below or click on this link to see the IBC related posts: http://www.waark.com/tag/ibc/

My next project is to box them in - not that I find them unattractive but apparently they can get stringy algae growin in them and blocking them up.
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246719 trappa
Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:22 am

Ive got one IBC on my allotment. Builders were finishing a house off near me and i got chatting and he said he was looking to dump it so i got mine for free. It didnt fit into the back of my van so me and my dad walked it through town to my allotment.
It filled up in no time from the rainwater from my greenhouse/shed. Absolutely bang on!! like you i could do with another really.

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246720 Big Al
Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:00 am

Whilst you are storing water, which in my oppinion is admirable also buy some purification tablets because as we all know on herre I'm a bit parnoid and think TSWHTF within 4 years.

One tip is to put a drop of bleach per gallon held so you need around 221 drops of thin, unscented bleach added to each of the IBC's you have. This is not strong enought to harm anything you do with the water but it does stop algea and all that crap surviving.


Even if I'm wrong you will still have water on tap.


Take care,

Alan
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246725 Potter's Farm
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:57 am

Putting charcoal in stored water keeps it sweet, not sure how much you'd need to put in for large quantities of water though.

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246727 trappa
Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:41 am

Ive never thought of putting bleach in the water, im going to look into that (no offence to your maths) as its a great idea but i would hate to ruin my 1000litres.
I remember my dad putting sacks of sheep muck in his barrels of water when i was a kid.

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246745 The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:59 am

If you are planning to use the water for the garden and not for drinking, then copper sulphate (the bright blue stuff) is a very good way to control algae. You don't need much - only one part per million, so one gram per 1000l - and your water should stay clear of both bacteria that could make it smell stagnant and algae on which the bacteria feed.

Nets that include copper alloys are used in fish farming to help keep the water clear of bugs.

If you are using the water for the garden, copper is an essential element for plant growth, and I believe that the Soil Association have "grandfathered" copper compounds as being acceptable in organic systems.

I don't think copper sulphate is a controlled substance in the UK, so you should be able to find an online supplier.

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246751 Green Aura
Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:25 am

Ooooh, failing that, could you use Bordeaux Mixture? That's copper sulphate and lime isn't it?
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246753 The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:46 am

Green Aura wrote:Ooooh, failing that, could you use Bordeaux Mixture? That's copper sulphate and lime isn't it?


It is, but the mixture forms a more-or-less insoluble mixture of calcium sulphate and copper hydroxide - the idea being that once sprayed on as a suspension and allowed to dry, Bordeaux mixture doesn't readily wash off with the dew, for example.

You could use it and it would work, but you'd probably need quite a lot - several hundred grammes at a guess - to get enough free copper into the water as it would sit at the bottom of the tank as a sludge, so it's not as precise a method.

If Bordeaux mixture is all you have, then there is another way: it involves vinegar and I need to go away and do the stoichiometry. Pretty early in the day for me to be starting that sort of thing... :mrgreen:

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246782 oldfella
Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:37 pm

Have look at Barley Straw Extract or do as I do if you have large containers, and float straw in nets just under the surface. I find it control's the algae, and keeps the water from smelling.
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246813 tim_n
Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:39 pm

was hoping just boxing them in would sort the problem - I've never noticed smells coming from any of my waterbutts in the past, so was hoping the same would be said here!

When I used to have a 220ltr butt I would use one of those hand watering my plants a day, I don't know if I was over watering, but the plan with the IBCs is to link up a drip hose to reduce consumption to the minimum.
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246821 trappa
Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:42 pm

While this subject is active, would any of the "remedies" above be ok to use for water to give to hens? I have an IBC plus 3 barrels of water but not only do i water the plants in the allotment in dry months I use the water for my hens as well. Or will i end up with 20 dead hens?
Cheers in advance
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246891 Big Al
Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:56 pm

trappa wrote:While this subject is active, would any of the "remedies" above be ok to use for water to give to hens? I have an IBC plus 3 barrels of water but not only do i water the plants in the allotment in dry months I use the water for my hens as well. Or will i end up with 20 dead hens?
Cheers in advance
trappa


The use of small amounts of bleach is only to keep the water sweet for longer term storage. I would not be able to say if this is suitable for hens to drink. I put cider vinigar in my hens water and they like that if that helps any.
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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246900 The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:04 am

trappa wrote:While this subject is active, would any of the "remedies" above be ok to use for water to give to hens? I have an IBC plus 3 barrels of water but not only do i water the plants in the allotment in dry months I use the water for my hens as well. Or will i end up with 20 dead hens?
Cheers in advance
trappa


Our local feed suppliers stock water purification tablets for livestock watering, but I'm not sure what's in them. I'll try to remember to look next time I'm in. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable supplying water that had been bleached or copper sulphated to livestock, though.

EDIT: the tablets are sodium troclosene, which is also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate, and is the stuff that is used to disinfect drinking water for humans and swimming pools. Bit like bleach, only slow release. Other choices appear to include iodine (as tincture of iodine) and tablets containing proprietry preperations involving silver. But it's all small volume stuff - a few tens of litres, not hundreds.

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #246919 The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:43 pm

Green Aura wrote:Ooooh, failing that, could you use Bordeaux Mixture? That's copper sulphate and lime isn't it?


Green Aura: you can use Bordeaux mixture by mixing it into vinegar!

What you need to do (and I've just tried this) is to examine the package and find out how much copper sulphate is in it. Mine is 25%, so for 1000l of water pop 4g of Bordeaux mixture into a bottle with 1 litre of spirit vinegar and give it a damn good shake.

Leave it to stand somewhere for a couple of days, then decant off the blue solution leaving the pale blue sludge behind. Add the solution to the water to purify.

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Re: Water storage on the cheap

Post: #247499 tim_n
Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:02 pm

Well mine has just reached 1000 litres and is now starting to overfill - it'll soon start draining to the top of the one next to it.

The water still smells fine!
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