We got a community garden plot this year that is 30'x30', has great soil and is is nice and sunny. The only water supply is a nearby, year round, creek which I plan on pumping into 55 gallon barrels and using that for my watering. Unfortunately I was told yesterday by a local civil engineer that the creek has high levels of Cholera and E. Coli which might be dangerous if we used the water for things like spinach.
This is a big deal for me, because there is no way for me to realistically haul enough water for the size garden I was hoping to have. So, I was hoping that I could purify the water before using it. I know that you can at 7-10 drops of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water to make it drinkable. Does that scale to 55 gallons? so we are talking less then 20 ml for the 55 gallon tank. I have 2 barrels, so I was thinking I could pump into one with the bleach and let it sit for a few days before using it. Someone else recommended adding anti bacterial soap to the water, which you obviously wouldn't want to drink, but they said that it should kill the harmful bacteria in the water as well as help with some bugs that attach the plants.
First of all, is this something I need to worry about if I plan on washing my plants at home before eating them? I know at least some other people in the garden use the creek water without treating it.
Do you think that small amount of chlorine would harm the plants?
Does anyone have experience with doing this?
Thanks for any and all feedback.