diy solar

diy solar

Is my water tank safe?

Well water here (well bore water) is considered non potable where I live, and is allowed to only be used for agricultural purposes (plus it tastes bloody nasty as hell lol)- anyone relying entirely on bore water for potable purposes has to have a 'treatment plant' fitted and undergo regular testing, not required for rainwater tanks (although many people do regular testing anyway)
Especially after bushfires have been in the area, testing services can be swamped, as in Australia, aerial firefighting choppers and planes drop fire retardent- which is seriously nasty stuff to ingest, so having it contaminate your tanks is bad...
(our local council will allow you to have your tanks refilled for free after a bushfire, but the draing and cleaning costs are on you unfortunately- weird rules- you can't drain a tank onto the ground if it is contaminated by fire retardant- the same stuff they were dropping on the ground during the fire.... WTF???)
 
Well water here (well bore water) is considered non potable where I live, and is allowed to only be used for agricultural purposes (plus it tastes bloody nasty as hell lol)- anyone relying entirely on bore water for potable purposes has to have a 'treatment plant' fitted and undergo regular testing, not required for rainwater tanks (although many people do regular testing anyway)
Especially after bushfires have been in the area, testing services can be swamped, as in Australia, aerial firefighting choppers and planes drop fire retardent- which is seriously nasty stuff to ingest, so having it contaminate your tanks is bad...
(our local council will allow you to have your tanks refilled for free after a bushfire, but the draing and cleaning costs are on you unfortunately- weird rules- you can't drain a tank onto the ground if it is contaminated by fire retardant- the same stuff they were dropping on the ground during the fire.... WTF???)

Sounds like government rules.
 
I really wouldn't use anything to store potable water that is not labeled as food safe and preferably know the chain of custody.
Especially if they are any kind of plastic. Most plastic has rough surfaces and can easily bond with chemicals. This bond can not be removed with regular cleaning (friction & soap/emulsifing). Plastics (even "food safe" surfaces) can also leach chemicals (like BPA).
 
Last edited:
Relating to the pollution aspect, it is interesting to note that rain water/"fallout" has measurably improved in the case of inorganic mercury since a lot of coal burning power plants have been shutting down. I remember how they tried to say it was mostly because of China but when they started shutting down local coal plants there was a measurable reduction in methyl mercury in local fish populations that people would eat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bop
Sounds like government rules.
Well water in southern Iowa is all contaminated unless you go really deep ( I think 1000ft+) so they actually ran water lines out to even fairly rural areas. Farmers there use lot of chemicals and is common for people to dump all their garbage in waterways/ditches and burn it.
 
Well water in southern Iowa is all contaminated unless you go really deep ( I think 1000ft+) so they actually ran water lines out to even fairly rural areas. Farmers there use lot of chemicals and is common for people to dump all their garbage in waterways/ditches and burn it.

Yuck
 
I bought 3 potable 325 gallon tanks new 10 years ago … $300. 00 each…1000 gallons storage… the pumps feed a manifold to send where it’s needed…or turned off to simply store the water..

I have used them all the time after pumping well water in them …

I add the usual 12 drops of Clorox per gallon when filling them just to insure it stays safe from pathogens ….now or later…I change it all once a year..

Tastes and smells great…

Never had any trouble from anything except when I drank to much beer…

But the beer didn’t come from the well so I guess I could say I didn’t have any problems at all..

Why buy used tanks? What’s the incentive..? …a few bucks saving for the second most valuable need one has in life…… water..

If using roof water then simply run it through a 300 dollar water purifier filter
( pro-pur- berkey or Alexipur ) and you will have zero problems with whatever was on the roof…

Life is simple. We usually are the ones that make it complicated…

J.
 
With proper PPE (protection) you could use a pump-up garden sprayer with a weak phosphoric acid solution on the inside surfaces. Note: phosphoric acid is real acid and can hurt you severely, but it is food grade as it is commonly used as ice machine cleaner. Just rinse well to neutralize after using. Another would be citric acid but that would be less effective. Both, if very very dilute are ok to put down drain.
 
Sounds like government rules.
Unlike the US government, ours is concerned with the health and safety of its citizens- and we like it that way....

(its rather ironic that so many US posters here are against drinking fresh rainwater (one of the best water sources there is imho) and drink water from wells (which can be contaminated with all sorts of pollutants from ground water) quite happily...)
I have drunken bore water, and even after treatment, it has a distinct taste (not nice) where the water from my tanks is fresh and tastes good (better than the town water lol, which is treated bore water...) many locals in town have 'three taps' in the kitchen sink- ones hot water, ones cold water, and the third is 'tank water' for drinking...
 
Man made contaminates are not the only things that can make water unpotable- here we have extensive coal and gas deposits under us that stretch for hundreds of thousands of square kilometres, and unless you go down at least 700-1000m (2100-3000ft) the water is that toxic that it can't even be used for agricultural use (it literally kills the plants) and even the deep water has to be filtered and cleaned before use before it is drinkable....

It means you also have to have a fully sealed bore going down to that depth, or the toxic upper level water will contaminate your bore...

All of which makes bore water very $$$
 
Unlike the US government, ours is concerned with the health and safety of its citizens- and we like it that way....

(its rather ironic that so many US posters here are against drinking fresh rainwater (one of the best water sources there is imho) and drink water from wells (which can be contaminated with all sorts of pollutants from ground water) quite happily...)
I have drunken bore water, and even after treatment, it has a distinct taste (not nice) where the water from my tanks is fresh and tastes good (better than the town water lol, which is treated bore water...) many locals in town have 'three taps' in the kitchen sink- ones hot water, ones cold water, and the third is 'tank water' for drinking...
Mythology around water is rampant. Taking to extreme is the basis for quack cures. Or $1 per pint bottled fresh water (with a hint of fruit*).

*This fruit essences seems to be an acceptable contaminate to add to water to make it taste better.
 
A general observation, IBC tanks are not rated for UV and will eventually degrade in the sun (get brittle). Its best to shade them from direct sunshine.
 
Well water in southern Iowa is all contaminated unless you go really deep ( I think 1000ft+) so they actually ran water lines out to even fairly rural areas. Farmers there use lot of chemicals and is common for people to dump all their garbage in waterways/ditches and burn it.
Not the reason.

High in nitrates, most of it naturally occurring. High nitrates cause many health problems and blue baby syndrome which is fatal.
 
Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Take Minnesota water for example, many streams and lakes are contaminated with e coli, mining run off (nice red water scum) and a host of other pathogens. The e coli gets so bad there are advisories about swimming in a lake experiencing the red tide.

Many towns and cities will pump water out of sewer mains into the lakes to prevent household flooding during heavy rains. And they wonder why the lake has high e coli. There are certain lakes I refuse to fish simply due to the history of the red tide.

Iowa has some of that too, don't get me wrong.
 
Hi all. Consider that it is really tough to keep drinkable water in any of these containers. The tank itself is not usually under pressure, and out of the elements like a residential well pressure tank. The pressurized side is only after the pump in this case. I use a tote like those at an off-grid cabin myself, for shower, toilets, etc. but not for drinking. Very easy for things to grow in the tanks.

Not trying to be one of those negative on ideas people, but just throwing it out there.
You don’t have a reservoir for your well? We have 2-2000 gallon tanks. I would say the premise between them and IBC totes is similar.
one should properly disinfect their well water regardless of storage type
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRH
Not the reason.

High in nitrates, most of it naturally occurring. High nitrates cause many health problems and blue baby syndrome which is fatal.
Between 2002 and 2017, unsafe levels of nitrate, coliform bacteria and fecal coliform bacteria were found in thousands of wells across Iowa. Farms are among the main source of the contamination, especially in rural areas of the state.

FYI, I lived in southern Iowa for many years so I'm not just spouting ;)
 
You don’t have a reservoir for your well? We have 2-2000 gallon tanks. I would say the premise between them and IBC totes is similar.
one should properly disinfect their well water regardless of storage type
Hi Goose, The off grid setup doesn't have a well yet, we truck water in, then transfer it to the cabin tote.

Rhino, I believe one of the problems with farm runoff lately is that everyone is obsessed with drain tile. That can essentially mainline nitrates and such right into lowlands and waterways without the chance to run through much of a natural scrubbing. Just my take. I'm no greenie (says the guy on the solar forum) but anything that contaminates groundwater should be taken more seriously, including practices in fracking, etc.

I know this convo is somewhat of a bash on well water, but some of the best water in the world is from wells. Municipal and home.

JRR, if it were me, I would likely just get one more container with a known good source and use that for drinking water. You would still have a good greywater tank with this one.
 
800 meter deep well. water gets tested once a year by our co-op for legal reasons. some fo the best water I have ever drank. straight from the depths of Fuji. 800 some odd meters of natural scrubbing filtering etc. now if the power ever goes i will have to drag my 3 phase diesel genset over there to power it, but I will have water.

 
I grew up on well water. It was good water. Didn't really have to do anything to it.

My first house had a well. It was kinda meh - high iron and sulfur content, so it left rust stains and stunk, tasted a bit funky. It was also very hard. I put in a softener with a pre-filter, which took care of 99% of it. Still not as good as the well I grew up on.

Now I have city water, and it is, ehhh.... I had to put a softener on it because it was extra hard too. At least no iron or sulfur. But it is hard enough that by the time there has been enough ion exchange done to soften it, it still leaves white crusty residue on stuff. At least that isn't quite as hard to clean off things as the hard minerals. Taste is ok-ish, I guess.

I don't know why municipal water is seen as some holy grail in quality. It can be fine, but definitely can be bad too.
 
I grew up on well water. It was good water. Didn't really have to do anything to it.

My first house had a well. It was kinda meh - high iron and sulfur content, so it left rust stains and stunk, tasted a bit funky. It was also very hard. I put in a softener with a pre-filter, which took care of 99% of it. Still not as good as the well I grew up on.

Now I have city water, and it is, ehhh.... I had to put a softener on it because it was extra hard too. At least no iron or sulfur. But it is hard enough that by the time there has been enough ion exchange done to soften it, it still leaves white crusty residue on stuff. At least that isn't quite as hard to clean off things as the hard minerals. Taste is ok-ish, I guess.

I don't know why municipal water is seen as some holy grail in quality. It can be fine, but definitely can be bad too.
You are right… I haven’t drank normal city water in decades…
unless it goes through my purifiers ……

In high school in the 60s, me and another boy were punished for scrapping in the schoolyard…
We both had to go during school hours and stay all day at the waste water treatment plant and write a book report on how sewage is processed…YUK…gross…..
The next day we had to go see how drinking water was treated and processed at the water plant….
and where much of the water they used came from….
Then another book report….

I have never trusted municipal supply’s since …

If I can’t control my water when out and about , I will drink a soda or a beer..
( made in the USA )
 
Between 2002 and 2017, unsafe levels of nitrate, coliform bacteria and fecal coliform bacteria were found in thousands of wells across Iowa. Farms are among the main source of the contamination, especially in rural areas of the state.

FYI, I lived in southern Iowa for many years so I'm not just spouting ;)
The area was fairly flat and wetlands before being farmed. Decomposition of organic material that worked down thru the years before farming is the major cause of the high nitrates. Secondary is drainage wells where farm field tile dumped into a well. Nitrate levels were high in those areas before widespread draining of land with field tile, the field tile/drainage just added more while the wetlands that would naturally process some of the nitrates were drained for new crop land. It isn't just one factor that played into it. The nitrate levels at the water table were always higher in those areas to begin with, add in crop production with commercial fertilizer use with ag drainage and the result is cities like Des Moines claiming it is all from farming, however Des Moines sources water from the Des Moines River not from the water table or aquifers deep underground.

Large livestock operations and grazing along streams is the major contributor of coliform and fecal bacteria in the water sources. Minnesota has the same problem with not only cities and towns dumping raw sewage into lakes and streams during flooding events but the state was not smart enough to enact regulations concerning building on lakes and streams. The septic systems from all this development without having any buffer strip between water's edge and the houses has polluted the water. The state of course wants that property tax revenue from lakefront property so instead of actually addressing the problem, the state looks the other way on development and blames ag.
 
My area of NH is solid granite. Most wells are deep and low yielding. They are also major radon sources. The choices to remove it are air scrubbing or activated carbon filters on the incoming water (if the radon levels are relatively low). Its a major secondary cause for lung cancer. Homes built in or near ledge get a double dose from the soil.

When the former Maine Yankee nuclear power plant containment dome was demolished, the contractor proposed crushing it and using it for site fill. The plan was denied by regulators so crushed rock was hauled in from a local quarry. The crushed rock from the quarry was "hotter" than the concrete that was hauled off to a secure landfill ;)
 
My area of NH is solid granite. Most wells are deep and low yielding. They are also major radon sources. The choices to remove it are air scrubbing or activated carbon filters on the incoming water (if the radon levels are relatively low). Its a major secondary cause for lung cancer. Homes built in or near ledge get a double dose from the soil.

When the former Maine Yankee nuclear power plant containment dome was demolished, the contractor proposed crushing it and using it for site fill. The plan was denied by regulators so crushed rock was hauled in from a local quarry. The crushed rock from the quarry was "hotter" than the concrete that was hauled off to a secure landfill ;)
Not uncommon...
The nuclear reactor in Sydney here in Australia at Lucas Heights has radiation monitors, they they often go off- but its not from the reactor, its coming from the coal fired power stations over 150km away that sets them off!!!

(those that think coal is 'clean' compared to reactors are kidding themselves- coal contains all sorts of fun radioactive stuff- that when its burnt is sent straight up the stack and covers the surrounding areas...)
 
Not uncommon...
The nuclear reactor in Sydney here in Australia at Lucas Heights has radiation monitors, they they often go off- but its not from the reactor, its coming from the coal fired power stations over 150km away that sets them off!!!

(those that think coal is 'clean' compared to reactors are kidding themselves- coal contains all sorts of fun radioactive stuff- that when its burnt is sent straight up the stack and covers the surrounding areas...)
so basically the engineers who designed and built the power plant were not smart enough to have stack particulate scrubbers installed? Riiiight...
 

diy solar

diy solar
Back
Top