Filling a 55 gallon water drum

Question: I live alone with two dogs just outside of a large US city. I have about 30 gallons of store bought water for my dogs (stored in the basement where it’s dark and cool ) and 30 gallons in 5 gallon containers for me. I also have family living nearby (including a daughter with young baby), so I could see her coming to stay with me in an emergency situation. For that reason, I’m considering a 55 gallon drum in my basement. When it’s time to replace the water with fresh water I should be fine since I have a drain in my basement floor. My question is about filling! I have a hose that would reach to my basement for filling, but it’s not a potable hose. Will treating the water before sealing the barrel take care of that? 


  • Comments (3)

    • 2

      Short answer:  No. 

      Treating water kills bacteria.  It does absolutely nothing to remove chemicals that may have leached from the lining of a non food-grade hose. 

      Long answer:  Personally, since the water is only for emergencies, I would not worry too much about the type of hose used.  If I were in your position I would simply let the hose run outdoors until cold, clean water that did not taste like rubber was coming out of it, then bring it into the basement and fill the barrel.  What you definitely do not want to do is use water that has been sitting in the hose a long time, especially in the sun, which will have taken up a lot more chemicals than cold water running through it for a few seconds.  Remember that  unlike bacteria, chemicals don’t multiply in the water once it’s no longer in contact with the source of contamination.  I think most of us have drank from a garden hose at some point in our lives anyway, and this is water you will either never use, or use for a short time until it’s gone – not like using a hose to permanently supply drinking water, which over years of use might add up to enough chemical exposure to cause health problems.  It’s totally a personal choice, but hose water doesn’t scare me much, unless it’s been sitting in the hose awhile.  Sometimes I drink it just because I’m too busy or tired to walk to the house for a drink of water.  

      • 2

        Great answer.  Nothing better than to take a sip of fresh, cool well water from a garden hose on a hot summer day.  I have one of these 160 gallon tanks that I got at Walmart plus I use water bricks.


    • 2

      I would just buy several RV hoses and connect them together.  Spending some extra money on hoses can give you some peace of mind.