does anyone know the shelf life of water? I read someplace that on the old sailing ships some silver was placed in the barrel to keep it from getting foul. we have a cistern that is not attached yet to the roof. I would like to make a filter that the water has to go through before it goes into the cistern (which is nothing but the biggest septic tank available). I met a guy once who homesteaded in Spain and made a filter box filled with some fiber material that is used in bodyshops to protect against paintspray. does that make sense, does anybody know what I am talking about? I sure don't. He said he had the water tested and it was drinking water quality. I am thinking of putting a barrel over the cistern opening and putting some filter in it to catch the worst. we also have a well that used to be marvelous when we first bought the place, which has been some fifteen years. we found that ants always built a huge hill over our well and dropped a lot of debris into it, including dead ants. I thought wells have to be capped in a way that no surface contaminants can get in. when we moved here the water was very mucky and even smelled bad. It has cleared up but there is red fine silt in it now and we have a filter under the sink. that gets expensive. water is a priority for anybody. I do not like to be on city water and besides it is not an option here. a few months ago someone shot a hole in the water tower up the road. It looked like it was peeing. , makes you wonder what some crazy might think of next. .