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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Long term water storage options?
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WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 08:33
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Installing a sandpoint this past weekend didn't go well so i'm looking for alternatives until i make another go at it.

We have a 30' 5th wheel with a 50 gallon internal water tank. I'm thinking i'd like to get 1 additional tank to sit next to the camper and another tank to put in my truck or on my trailer. This way i can fill up at home and then when i get there i can top off the camper and whatever is left put into the tank sitting next to the camper. I already have a little 12v transfer pump so whenever the camper get's low i can easily top it off with tank sitting next to the camper.

What's better for long term storage...the milky white colored tanks or the black ones?

Do i need to put anything into the water to keep anything from growing in it or from it getting any kind of funky smell?

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 08:38
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Black. Sunlight causes algae
Google the right amount of bleach to add for drinking water and measure. You don’t want too much

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 08:47
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Here is a PDF that has CL2 amounts for given water volumes.

HERE

ICC
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 09:18
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Black (or undergrond) for storage. White for transport so you can see inside that tank more easily.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 10:14
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Maybe white and just put a tarp over it. That way i can take it off to see inside when i need to.

ketchgould
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 11:28
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The 270 gallon white pallet sized tanks sell on craigslist for about $60.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 11:42
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People have been painting IBC totes or covering them with plack plastic for years now. It's a prety tried and true method. A black covered tote is actualy what I use for water storage and fill up 1x in the spring. We dont drink or cook with this water. We use it for washing hands, showering and that's about it. You really dont need potable water to take a shower nor wash hands. We pumped from a stream last spring. This year we will pump from our spring.

Is there any source of water on your property? Non potable water is prob 80% of our water useage.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 13:46
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Yeah we have no intent on drinking it for us or our dogs...just handwashing and showering like you said. We have a pond but it's only source of fresh water is snow melt and rain runoff. I think i would have to filter it pretty good before i'd want to put that into my camper.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2021 13:57
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We have a diy rain barrel for utility fed by only one section of metal cabin roofing (not a whole roof side into a gutter). 35ish gal black 'pickle barrel'?, we never used anywhere close to 1/3 of it at any one stay, had a full barrel to dump at season's end while winterizing. I have a diy '1st flush diverter' to not let the roof debris get in right away, then the rest goes in the barrel top filter. I can pop the top and see clear all the way to the bottom at any time. At 1st of month I toss in a good splash of common bleach and stir. No algae, no bugs.
As has been said, most water use is utility, we use this for everything except drinking and food prep. For doing dishes it has been boiled, but Ive washed 'dishes' at streamside in years gone.... figure this is way better.
Might get it tested sometime 'just to know' how it rates.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 30 Apr 2021 10:52
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So i bought a IBC tote (250'ish gal?) this week for our water tank. Cost me $50. Now that i have a tractor and bolt on forks on their way, i figure i can easily move this around as needed.

For some reason i don't want to paint it so that i can easily open the lid every now and then and confirm everything is ok inside. So, i think i'll get a black/silver tarp to wrap it up and prevent algae growth.

I plan to put a PVC fitting on the spout with a hose adapter so i can use it to fill the camper and whatever else i may need.

Any other watchouts, suggestions, etc. i should keep in mind with this sort of setup?

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2021 15:49 - Edited by: NorthRick
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"For some reason i don't want to paint it so that i can easily open the lid every now and then and confirm everything is ok inside. So, i think i'll get a black/silver tarp to wrap it up and prevent algae growth."

I pump lake water into one at my cabin. It contains a lot of tannins and the water has a brown tint to it when I fill the tote. I add about a cup of bleach to it and within an hour the water is clear. And, it stays clear all summer. I do not use this water for drinking.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2021 15:52
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I should add that the tote is neither painted or covered.

scott100
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2021 18:32
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You can get black fitted covers for ibc totes on Amazon. A little pricey but look better than a tarp. Have access hole for fill.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 30 Apr 2021 22:48
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As I understand it you dont need to fill a water tank from the top port, you can t-in at the outlet and pump in from there (if that makes what you are doing easier).

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 1 May 2021 07:30
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Will1E what was the problem with the sand point ?

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 1 May 2021 08:08
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I have the bladder of one IBC tote covered with black plastic. I wrapped it like a Christmas present and used black duct tape along with a thin 1/2in wide strip going up the tank that I did not cover so I can see the level. I think you will find that 275gal will last a long time for showers and hand washing. I have only filled it in the spring. We are up about once a month for a weekend.

scott100
Member
# Posted: 1 May 2021 08:36 - Edited by: scott100
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We do the same with ours (not the same cover method), though I put 3 in parallel. I found out that our water supplier will deliver 275 gal or 1000 gal for the same price (you're paying for delivery), so might as well take advantage of that. Current price is $120 so not too bad.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 3 May 2021 08:16
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Quoting: Aklogcabin
what was the problem with the sand point ?

The project halted due to the Titan post pounder i rented not being able to drive the pipe. I think it's made for driving up ended pipe for something like chainlink fence vs. a close end pipe that's pushing the soil away.
So, the sandpoint project is on the back burner right now due to other higher priority projects. And since i have the tractor now, its quicker and easier to just fill the tank in my truck and offload it at camp.

Quoting: Brettny
I think you will find that 275gal will last a long time for showers and hand washing.

My wife like's her showers and i suspect after day long ATV trips we will all be looking forward to showers. I suspect we will go through it pretty quickly.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 13:26
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Quoting: WILL1E
My wife like's her showers and i suspect after day long ATV trips we will all be looking forward to showers. I suspect we will go through it pretty quickly.


IMO, there is no reason 2 adults cannot both shower with less than 10 gallons of water. That is based on personal experience of myself and my partner. I don't use much at all, no hair to wash. She has longer hair and does use more water than I, but together 10 gallonswill do the job. That is 10 measured gallons not a guess.

scott100
Member
# Posted: 3 May 2021 17:11 - Edited by: scott100
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Last season, we got a little bit more than a month out of each of our 275 gal tanks, so somewhere between 7 and 9 gal a day for 2 of us. That included showers, dishes, and cooking, dog's water, but not drinking water for us. We can conserve water pretty well, though.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 4 May 2021 07:55
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While not convenient, with the IBC and now my tractor, hauling water every few weeks/months to keep her happy is a small price to pay. Once i get the sand-point in/done, it will be icing on the cake!

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 4 May 2021 08:04
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Quoting: ICC
IMO, there is no reason 2 adults cannot both shower with less than 10 gallons of water. That is based on personal experience of myself and my partner. I don't use much at all, no hair to wash. She has longer hair and does use more water than I, but together 10 gallonswill do the job. That is 10 measured gallons not a guess.

After a long day of riding ATVs let me tell you 10gal isnt enough. Theres dirt in places you didnt even know existed.

Will. We used about 50gal for 6 people to shower after a day riding ATVs. That didn't include hand washing. Also your tractor isnt going to lift a full IBC tote. Your looking at 2,200lbs for a full 275gal tank. I would be willing to bet it wont lift a half full one. Get a second tank and a pump.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 4 May 2021 08:45
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Yeah, cleanup (both for people and the rigs) consumes alot of water at the end of the day!

My plan was to only fill the tank halfway for that exact reason for the first time.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 4 May 2021 16:31
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Quoting: Brettny
After a long day of riding ATVs let me tell you 10gal isnt enough. Theres dirt in places you didnt even know existed.


We have had this conversation before but I disagree completely. If your conservative a couple gallons for a nice hot shower is way more than enough. Now if you refuse to shut the water off while you soap up you can easily more than double water usage but trust me I get plenty dirty and get plenty clean with way less

Navy showers and no wasting time but during deer season we can shower 3 men with 3 gallons And we are not complaining about not being clean enough

Long hot showers with high flow heads are nice but certainly not necessary to get clean

ICC
Member
# Posted: 4 May 2021 17:25 - Edited by: ICC
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Quoting: FishHog
We have had this conversation before but I disagree completely. If your conservative a couple gallons for a nice hot shower is way more than enough. Now if you refuse to shut the water off while you soap up you can easily more than double water usage but trust me I get plenty dirty and get plenty clean with way less


Exactly, it is all how you approach any problem. I've spent a good portion of my life working in a desert climate, hauling in every drop of water.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 5 May 2021 06:10
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No long hot endless showers arnt necessary but neither are showers for a weekend away or a vacation cabin. I'm not building something to be barly adequate and I dont live in a desert. In fact we have almost to much water on our property..the stuff comes right out of the ground.

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 5 May 2021 08:21
Reply 


And you can certainly do what you want but recommending to others that 10 gallons isn’t enough for a shower is leading them down the wrong path

I’m on a lake so water is endless. I pump into a 250 gal tote to feed the cottage. I don’t waste water and the electricity and propane to heat and pump it but we have decent showers.

In 18 days for my wife and I we used about 1/4 of the tote. That’s maybe 60 or 70 gallons or less than 4 a day with showers every day for 2 of us

When the lake is warmer I bath in the lake but this time of year I’m not that tough

Again do as you wish but others certainly do with much less and it’s hardly inadequate

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 5 May 2021 10:37
Reply 


My beautiful wife n me can take a shower with a hot water canning pot. Heated up on the woodstove. I have a 12v pump and put a 1/4 turn shut off valve in line to control water pressure. And a toggle switch in line on the power to the pump.
Basically get wet switch pump off soap down n switch pump back on to rinse.
If just me I can easily take a shower that lasts 5 minutes or so by restricting the water pressure.
Pump, valve, switch
Pump, valve, switch
Our shower
Our shower


toofewweekends
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2021 16:22
Reply 


Similar setup in our shower house/sauna. A maybe 4 gallon pot on a Coleman 2-burner, a bilge pump in the pot (hooked to 12v battery, charge w/a small solar panel) and we take very satisfying 2-3 gallon showers. Water comes from collected rain water, mostly. Though I'm interested in NRick's experience with lake water & bleach -- we've got the same water source, more or less.

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