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Rain Barrel Question

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Rain Barrel Question

Post  R&R 1011 on 5/18/2013, 12:24 am

There is an old, open rain barrel thats sitting next to my garden. It has no lid and has been sitting that way for atleast 1.5 years. Anyway, it sits near the creek so Im sure there is a ton of mosquito eggs/ larvae among other gross things in it. Is it possible to clean it and use it? If yes, what could I clean it with to make it safe to use? Or should I just buy a new barrel?
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  bnoles on 5/18/2013, 7:41 am

I would use bleach.

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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  camprn on 5/18/2013, 8:42 am

@bnoles wrote:I would use bleach.
Yes I would scrub it with a detergent like dawn dish detergent, rinse and scrub again with a 10% bleach solution, then let it air dry. You can make a mosquito screen lid for it. I am assuming you want to use it to collect water for the garden.

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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  plantoid on 5/18/2013, 9:09 am

One way of stopping mozzies egg laying in an open topped rainbarrel is to pour 1/2 a pint of corn oil in or any other natural veg oil , it will float a thin layer of oil on the water and stop them ...
Eventually after several years you'll need to clean the barrel and start again but you'll have to do that even if you didn't use the corn oil .

Any corn oil that decays wil go into the water and be put on the gardens so perhaps it's not such a bad idea, unless any of you know different
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/18/2013, 9:52 am

R&R 1011 wrote:There is an old, open rain barrel thats sitting next to my garden. It has no lid and has been sitting that way for atleast 1.5 years. Anyway, it sits near the creek so Im sure there is a ton of mosquito eggs/ larvae among other gross things in it. Is it possible to clean it and use it? If yes, what could I clean it with to make it safe to use? Or should I just buy a new barrel?
Some great advice here.... I would choose a different oil in the US (Corn is nearly 100% GMO) My grandfather used mineral oil (petroleum) but I am sure we never drank any of that water. I would use white vinegar instead of bleach.... but that is me.

How old is this barrel? Old enough to be a wooden or steal barrel? The yes, scrub it. New enough to be plastic? Then replace it, even with bleach you cannot kill bad bacteria in plastic.
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  camprn on 5/18/2013, 9:56 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:

How old is this barrel? Old enough to be a wooden or steal barrel? The yes, scrub it. New enough to be plastic? Then replace it, even with bleach you cannot kill bad bacteria in plastic.
But if the use of the water is to be for watering the garden and not potable water the barrel is fine, in my opinion, for that use after cleaning.

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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/18/2013, 10:05 am

@camprn wrote: But if the use of the water is to be for watering the garden and not potable water the barrel is fine, in my opinion, for that use after cleaning.
True that, I water from a plastic barrel that I keep fish in for added urban fertilizer.... saves me a lot of stinky mixing of kelp goo or fish fertilizer goo. The heart of an off-grid hippy still thumps in my chest (no idea why they call themselves peppers’ now, maybe because it is closer to preppy?) I was thinking drinking water, homestead washing etc. I bet you don’t have to actually clean it at all to water the garden, just kill the skeeters.
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  boffer on 5/18/2013, 10:12 am

@Lavender Debs wrote: ... (no idea why they call themselves peppers’ now, maybe because it is closer to preppy?)

Did you mean 'preppers' and not 'peppers'? If so, I have an answer. If not, what exactly is a human pepper?
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/18/2013, 10:23 am

@boffer wrote: Did you mean 'preppers' and not 'peppers'? If so, I have an answer. If not, what exactly is a human pepper?

A hot momma...... Yes I meant prepper, I have a splitting head-ach and am trying to ignore it by getting my mind on something else.... which did not include proof reading, just blind trust in my spell check. My bad. Thanks for the fix (and I want to know your answer, but I’m fairly confident that I know the why)
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  boffer on 5/18/2013, 10:28 am

Ok, then, I'm going to call Liz a pepper just to see how she responds. Razz

From what I have read, preppers wanted to disassociate themselves from the political implications attached to the survivalist movement by the media. Basically, a prepper is a survivalist without political agendas or motivations, whether real or projected.


I would use the barrel for watering the garden.
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/18/2013, 11:14 am

Grin.... you two sound fun!

Forgot all about survivalists.... the children of hippy hikers with cross-bows and an REI credit card. What I would like to forget about (without giving up any of my opinions) is politics. But such is life these days. We all need a reason to be pig-headed with each other.

Watering the garden = good
Shooting my fish = grumpy gardener
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  R&R 1011 on 5/18/2013, 1:07 pm

Ah Deb, I have the heart of a hippy as well. I havent heard the name preppy before, but homesteading is gaining popularity around here. In fact, there's a shop in Cbus called City Folk's Farm shop where they offer classes on rain collection, backyard chickens, gardening, bee keeping, etc. to the urban "hippies".

Anyway, yes, my rain barrel is just a white plastic food grade barrel. Just using it to water the garden.
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Re: Rain Barrel Question

Post  Turan on 5/18/2013, 1:16 pm

I use an old plastic garbage can for a rain barrel. Every few years I dump it and let the nutrient rich sludge feed the hop vine next to it. I can not say I ever thought of washing it or disinfecting it nor do I understand why any one would.

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