ChrisC_77
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Location: West Virginia (Zone 6)

Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

I have been harvesting rain water from my garage roof for a few years now. It is os a blue plastic barrel with a lid. Is there any concern with unsafe organisms or bacteria growing if I don't use it ib a timely manner? I am cconcerned about both human and plant health.

valley
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Location: ranches in sierra nevada mountains California & Navada high desert

Re: Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

Hi, I wouldn't think so. Water in barrels, a resevoir or a pond should all be safe. The water in your barrel or barrels are subject to less contamination than drinking water stored in a man made lake, with boats, swimmers and pet dogs on weekends. Have a great day.

Richard

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DDMcKenna
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Location: Florida, USA, just north of Daytona Beach

Re: Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

My wife has been trying to get me to set up a rain barrel for a long time now. I don't know whether or not there is the possibility of sanitary issues or not. My thinking was what if a bird took a dump that landed in the rain gutter and was washed into the barrel. Is that not an issue? And how would you make certain that no squirrels or other rodents didn't get into it? Here, In Florida, we have an abundance of these little lizards, thousands of them all over all the time. They aren't a big deal once you get used to them. They're even kind of cute but I don't know how sanitary they are. And I know they can find their way into anything so a rain barrel would be fair game.

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ElizabethB
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Re: Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

Chris - the water in your barrel is a great resource for watering plants. I would not drink it or cook with it without boiling and filtering it first. My issue with still water is that it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I do not use pot saucers and dump the bird bath at least every other day for that reason.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

If your rain barrel is screened air can get in but critters cannot, no squirrels, lizards, etc. Screening it also prevents mosquitos from getting in. My rain barrels are NOT mosquito breeders! It is unlikely that birds would poop directly in your rain barrel, but the water does come off the roof, so I expect that it is pretty likely some bird poo gets in there that way. It will just break down and become fertilizer. You aren't going to drink this water! I did some looking up one time and posted results here showing that rain barrel water is quite safe for garden/ ag uses, though not for drinking. That was 2-3 yrs ago and it is unlikely that our search function is good enough for me to find the post again.


OK here you go, 4 years ago I posted a bunch of evidence about rain barrel water safety:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... ter#117078
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

tomc
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Re: Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

Water to hydrate plants is not water for human consumption. Your comparing apples to oranges.
Think like a tree
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ElizabethB
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Re: Rain Barrel (Stagnant water)

RBG - is it window screening that you use on your barrels? How do you have it rigged up? Just a frame set on top or something else? I get enough rain to keep a barrel for watering my potted plants. The water from the gutter spout I am thinking of runs off onto the carport. It could easily be redirected into a barrel. Since we are on city water that would cut down on the water bill which gets kind of steep in the heat of summer.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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