Thrilling title I know, took almost a second to come up with it! I filled three 15 gallon water barrels using a sink adapter and my RV water hose which is much easier than filling the barrels using jugs so that part was very easy. The hard part is that I still had to move the barrels about 15 feet by hand. That was also part of the test as how easy these barrels would be to move using muscle power and a dolly. Not to bad at all to move with a small dolly and I can drag or walk the barrels that 15 feet if that’s as far as I had to go.
The weight of the barrels full is about 120 pounds and they are 14 inches across and about 25 inches high. so they can easily fit in a corner or in a closet. The large 55-60 gallon barrels weight 450-480 pounds so they are not very mobile and tend to stay in a spot after filling. But the 15 gallons could be put in truck, mini-van or trunk of car by 2 people and transported to someone that needs water. The 15 gallon barrels I got from my Beer Lady used but clean for $25.00 each.
The reason I got these smaller barrels is for some of my non-prepping family members and or neighbors in case of a water or power outage longer than a couple of days or up to a week. This is about the best compromise I can come up with between cost, amount of water and mobility. I don’t want to watch someone die of dehydration, but there is also a limit on what I can afford to do to help out and not put myself at risk. If they have some bottled water or some water in a hot water tank this could easily give them some time to adapt to no tap water on hand. If they “wake up” and prepare, I can use these barrels for my water prep.
I know I preach about storing water a lot since my water test. I don’t think I was all that unusual believing the one gallon per day per person as a plan was good enough for preparing. But I think the minimum amount of water for storage is two gallons a day and 3-5 gallons is more realistic, if you have a place to store it safely. If you put a small 15 gallon barrel in each family member’s bedroom closet that is a week of water and if you have a 40 gallon water tank that would give you well over 2 weeks of water for a family of 4 with very little up front cost($100.00) or taking up a lot of floor space!
Once you have those two weeks taken care of you can add some rain barrels for plants and flushing the toilet and getting your good water filter and bleach or iodine for purifying collected water. Heck even hanging up a tarp and using a couple of five gallon bucket to collect rain water would stretch your water supplies.
You don’t want to be Bear Grylls and drinking your own urine which can kill you. There is a reason your body gets rid of urine it has ammonia, salts and minerals in it. Even people that use Humanure compost it for a year or dilute urine with 7-10 parts water for use on plants. Tap water is cheap and good water filters will give you a lot of safe water for what they cost.