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We plan on moving our two 330 gallon water totes into our garage to use for emergency water storage. Do we have to add anything to the water when we fill them up? We're on well water here. We've been using them to store water for the garden all summer, so they've been sitting out in the sun for months. I had planned on trying to clean them out with some bleach before we move them into the garage. We have a Berkey with Doulton super sterasyl filters to run the stored water through if it's ever needed.
 

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After cleaning,If it's just going to sit, I'd put the correct amount of plain bleach in it to store it. What I read was a teaspoon per 5 gallons purifies water (but you should look it up as well). I do that with the six 7-gallon water "cubes" we have. I figure if it's ever needed for drinking or cooking, my Berkey would get old, but pure enough water to filter. Most recommendations say that even with bleach the water should be changed out every 6 months(another thing you should research and not just take my word for it).

Our well is good water but has a small amount of "rust bacteria"....(Not iron metal rust,just some microscopic red things) and harmless for humans,but a little bacteria that could grow if it sits. So I figure that needs to be killed....and possible algae?(but it usually doesn't grow in the dark...I don't think).

I'm assuming the totes are "potable water" grade too since no other kind is recommended to store drinking water in. We have a 250 gallon outside plus a couple of barrels for rain water but two 330s is great!
Best Wishes!:thumb:
 

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Might also want to paint them to block light. Light causes algae growth. Not sure how much of a problem light will be in the garage.
Algae is only a problem when it clogs up the flow, though it's kind of gross to look at.

As harmful as you think phototropic algae might be, there's a billion WORSE things that grow in the absence of light.

We don't use bleach because we go through our water fairly quick, but if it was going to sit for any length of time then bleach would get added. A Berkey filter is going to take that bleach back out anyway.
 

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While treating for algae is mostly about the gross factor, there are some algae that produce toxins. Just depends on what's in the water to start with. If it's potable water to start with, those are unlikely to be a problem. The gross factor is enough for me to block sunlight out of my water tanks.

I'm not aware of anything particularly dangerous that grows in the absence of light that doesn't also grow in the presence of light, so I don't really know what those billions of things you're referring to might be. Strong UV light will kill a lot of stuff, but the light inside a tote in a garage will not be strong enough to kill much of anything.

Now, in the absence of oxygen, that's another story....
 

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I'm not aware of anything particularly dangerous that grows in the absence of light that doesn't also grow in the presence of light, so I don't really know what those billions of things you're referring to might be.
Well, we could start with Escherichia coli, which loves dark, wet, warm places. Like a big dark container stored in your garage.

Can't survive exposure to ultraviolet light though (sunlight).
 

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E. coli certainly can survive in a translucent tank. The strength of the UV light getting in there would kill little to none of it. That's what the bleach is for. Sounds like it's intended to be stored for emergencies, not everyday use.
 

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Typical 2 liter clear soda bottles are just the right size to allow UV disinfection from the sun. Think it kills some parasites too, can't remember the details.
 

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Yes, SODIS absolutely works if the water is fairly clear, in small transparent containers, and direct sunlight. If it has a lot of suspended sediment, algae, or whatever, it might not be as effective because the UV light doesn't penetrate all the way through. And it needs to be in small containers because the more water the light goes through, the more diffused it gets...that's part of why if you stand in water up to your waist your torso burns a lot sooner than your legs.

The only reason SODIS doesn't work very well in some places is because they don't do it consistently. If they did, it would be nearly foolproof.
 

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So would canning jars work? Don't have any soda bottles.
 

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Not sure...probably if they're laid on their side they would. Only reason I can think of why they might not is the raised design on the sides, but I really don't know.
 
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