water is key to life and the most important survival resource after air and shelter. obviously I've been stock piling potable water. i use 2 and three littler soda bottles mostly.i have currently close to 50 gallons, but away in a closet. 150 if i can fill up my water bob before the water gets cut off. for my family of four that's almost 2 weeks with out the bob and 5 and a half with the bob. but that only allows 1 gallon per person a day and most of that has to go to drinking some to cleaning and food prep. what it doesn't leave room for is the more mundane things things i would need grey water for. for that i have turned to a rain water collection system. basically a 55 gallon plastic drum hocked up to your down spots to collect the rain water run off to store for later.
you can buy these ready maid but there upwards of a hundred bucks. being the tinkerer i am i decided to build my own, the big this is getting a barrel to use. the rest of the parts are cheap and easy to get. so i went off in search of a barrel today, i walked my local neighborhood and asked at path mark and restaurants seeing if they had any food grade barrels they could give me or that i could buy. food grade should always be the first choice so you have the option of using it as drinking water. no luck i searched for hours in a hundred degree heat. i had to walk because we no longer have a car that can fit a 55 gallon barrel. striking out on the food grade and about to pass out from dehydration i return home only to stumble upon a small warehouse paced to the rafter with 55 gallon plastic barrels.
after asking nicely they presented me with an old used barrel free of charge. the only problem is no only was it not food grade it seams this place was some kind of chemical or manufacturing whole sale. and the barrel once contained hazards chemicals. some kind of nickel solution i didn't get a good look at the label a man was nice enough to power wash it out but that also removed the label so i don't know exactly what was inside of it. i wasn't going to turn it down after he did that and after putting so much effort into going out to find it. so i dragged it the 3 blocks home and now its resting on my back porch. now I'm sure it will be fine for flushing the toilet manually.
but what i was hopping you out there could help me with is that i have a bucket garden that needs daily watering can i use the water from the barrel to water my vegetables or would i contaminate them killing them off or even worse poison the produce poisoning me. i think i already know the answer but i might as well ask. Ive seen people use barrels from car washes that use to contain soap and other chemicals to water their lawns and decorative plants but no mention of vegetable gardens also I'm sure what ever was in the barrel was more toxic then anything found at a car wash. so your thoughts. remember this is only a first step and i will look into getting food grade barrels in the future. thank you all in advance for the help and as always,
"Stay alive, because the dead won't stay dead on their own"!©
if you want a food grade barrel sams club sells them on the internet