Monday, May 6, 2013

Dual Use for Rain Barrels

I have a rain barrel or two. One is small and just for a few plants. The other is larger.  It's empty, or at least it was yesterday. We've had no rain in a couple of months.  I used the rainwater to irrigate new fruit trees, but there was no more.

My rainwater is also backup storage for emergency water. It's not potable as is.  With only a little treatment, like a T-shirt filter and a splash of Clorox or running some through the travel Berkey, it would be potable.  With my main barrel empty, I felt unprepared.  So unprepared that I took action this morning.

It was a good time for some periodic maintenance on the barrel, so I gave it a gardenhose-strength pressure wash inside to loosen some algae. I also blasted the coarse filter basket at the inlet to remove debris. The grand finale was to open the main valve and clean it out, along with the hose.

At first the water was murky, but after a few minutes, it ran clean.

Then I filled it halfway up, about 100 gallons.  It would be enough to get us through a short interruption, so I should be able to sleep tonight.

Do you have a rain barrel? How does it fit into your preparedness planning?


  1. I'm currently working on a cheap version of a rain barrel for the house. We'll see how it goes.

    1. Cheap is good, especially if you are far enough south that you don't have prolonged periods below freezing! Can't wait to read about your findings.