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Winter Water Storage

Discussions about procuring and purifying water
helicopilot
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Winter Water Storage

Postby helicopilot » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:32 am

In addition to my cases of bottled water and few jerrycans/pop bottles filled with water stored around the house, I always wondered on how I could stock more water outdoors. After all in summer months, I have a few rain barrels that can offer me a few 100 gallons of utility water for washing and, if purified, for drinking. Off course, keeping water in them past first freeze risks to permanently deform or damage the barrels, something I've learned the hard way.

Being in the prairies, snow is not something I can really count on. For many years, precipitations can be limited and the snow is usually very light and therefore would yield very little water if thawed. At the same time, once winter arrives, temperatures practically never climb above zero for a few months.

I've then heard of a way of freezing water for storage using a bag and a box to make ice bricks. You can use anything from Ziplock freezer bags (drinkable water) to make small bricks all the way to garbage bags and shipping boxes to make larger bricks. To make them, you put your bag in a suitable sized box (like a kid shoe box for a ziplock), fill the bag/box about 80% full and close the bag. Leave outdoor until well frozen. Remove box, stack brick out of the sun, repeat. If water is needed later, you can either melt the whole bring inside its bag at room temperature, or chip off small chunks to put in a pot over the stove.

This takes a little bit of time, but it's a very easy and cheap process.
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Goldie
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby Goldie » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:40 pm

This is an interesting usable idea to remember . Some issues are finding the perfect place to store them, and the
correct timing in the spring to move all those bricks before they are floppy bags that need emptying so they don't
flood the storage area. I might try couple bag / box and store it somewhere outside to see how it works in the spring
when it is time to empty. Another problem might be week of winter thaw and the bags start to melt and the
stack of box shaped water bags falls over ? We've ranged from -25 to +7 this week. The +7 was during the night
when it rained and there was water everywhere outside between 2 am to 6 am until it flash froze again. The
sump pumps came on .

Perhaps a 3 sided U shaped area could be made out of SKIDS to hold them up , with easy frontal access.
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helicopilot
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby helicopilot » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:23 am

I've stacked some inside my garden shed. It's out of the sun by being both inside the shed and the shed being shaded by trees. But yes, you are correct, it will be important to keep an eye out in the spring. I suppose an option could be to dig a large hole in the snow in your backyard (assuming you have a backyard AND you have snow...) and stack the bricks in there. The snow would serve as insulation and if the bags where to melt and leak, that wouldn't be much of a mess.
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villager
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby villager » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:25 pm

All good stuff....what about an oldtime sawdust ice-house ?
Also,as i've posted elsewhere, i've made mini root-storage holes in welldrained soil with my post-hole auger, using foodgrade perforated wine-pails. Maybe this could work (unperforated) for water as well, with 2 or 4 tarped strawbales or leaf-mound over the clay-raised lip of the hole with a round cupped snow-dish lid over it.
I'm lucky to have a 15" auger now, but i started with a 12", and shaved the sides with a straight spade and a spud bar till pails would fit. Even if the top one partially freezes, no problem for water or pail, is it? depends how cold it gets where you are?
And what about disguised/painted, recycled freezers outside,or in sheds.. lined with a foodgrade plastic in case of melting ? I use several of these at my garden space to store bulk grainsacks, but drill small vent holes near the top at the back, and line the floor and sides with hi-density foamboard to prevent condensate water from contacting the sacks....also overlappinging the top with hd plastic because most seals are not waterproof.
And then there are drums with lids for bagged ice storage....
I keep a full barrel of water in basement for years, for flushing basement toilet if ever water is cut off a few days.
It's a pickle barrel, and originally i had filled it with filtered drinking water!
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby Perfesser » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:21 pm

I'm pretty sure 2l pop bottles would stand up to freezing, especially if you left some space at the top and squeezed some air out before capping to leave expansion room.
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helicopilot
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby helicopilot » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:21 am

All good suggestions!
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justdoit
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby justdoit » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:12 am

Ice cream pails work great as they are tapered..
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Goldie
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby Goldie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:21 am

Right now we are having a January thaw. So the square bags would melt in this weather also. :(
and loose their shape.
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Denob
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby Denob » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:07 pm

Perfesser wrote:I'm pretty sure 2l pop bottles would stand up to freezing, especially if you left some space at the top and squeezed some air out before capping to leave expansion room.

Absolutely!
2l pop bottles with a bit of air space will withstand really hard freezes.
Many people use them in freezers to fill empty spaces.
Also, 2 gallon plastic buckets for cream cheese will work...I get a lot of these from a coffee shop in Montreal. They do get brittle when frozen though, so don't knock them around.
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Goldie
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Re: Winter Water Storage

Postby Goldie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:06 pm

I buy alot of distilled water in the 4L jug with a handle. I save them all , except I used to get too many
and would put them out for the recycle. I will be saving all of them from now on.

With the handle I can hang the empties from the rafters in the green house or garage .
I have some filled 3/4 full in the freezer and some in the pool are put there in the
fall to prevent the cover from flying up in the air. I like them in the freezer along with the 1.5L water
size so that it fills empty spaces and keeps the freezer colder .

I also have x 1 in the garage and another x 4 in a box in the greenhouse to see when / when they
freeze / thaw. We have the January thaw going on right now.

I have just checked, the x4 in the box are almost thawed, and the x1 in the garage is 1/2 thawed
I was surprised as it took longer for the one in the garage to freeze and now it is taking longer to
thaw. I have it sitting up on a shelf.

I could kick myself for putting so many distilled water empties out for the recycle last summer .

So storing water outside will work in winter, "until it thaws" but the idea of a bigger bag to store larger amounts of water
is appealing as bags are cheap and large amounts of water are needed to do any kind of laundry for even
just socks and undies.
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