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Food grade container water storage in winter

  • Subject: [cg] Food grade container water storage in winter
  • From: "Sharon Gordon" gordonse@one.net
  • Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 13:14:21 -0400

Although people at our various sites can garden through the winter, the water
is turned off just at the first frost date, and gets turned back on 2-4 weeks
after the last frost date when the water officials get a chance to do so.

So when the gardens need water, people who drive bring a carload of gallon
water containers (which is not enough to water their whole garden).

People who don't drive climb into the river with recycled bucket like
containers and haul water to their gardens this way.  This leads to scary
sights like tiny 80+ year olds who weigh about 90 pounds struggling up banks
with 16-24 pound buckets of water.  Then two people help each other carry
buckets from the river bank to the garden stopping to rest as needed.  Most of
the time the river water is clean enough to swim in, but not to drink
untreated, and upon rare occasions it's affected by chemical spills.  So
putting it on root of salad vegetables can be an iffy proposition.

One woman devised the strategy of buying nonfood safe heavy duty trash cans,
filling them up with water just before the fall frost date and using that
water for spring watering.  She says that this kind of heavy duty trash can is
the only one that holds up under freezing temperatures.  I've read in other
places that food and water should never be stored in plastic garbage cans due
to the way they contaminate it.

So far both of the solutions are somewhat hazardous.  So I am looking for
other solutions that people have come up with.  (We have no buildings to catch
roof water off of which I know that many people do where they have a community
building or are allowed sheds and greenhouses.

Is there a hand/solar/gaspowered pump with filter that we could use to pump
river water through a hose to gardens?  We could put hoses from different
gardens together to reach.

Is there a food safe container we could use that would survive a number of
frosts in the 20-30F range and the occasional 0-20F range?


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