Rain Barrel originally for pool chlorine = bad idea?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bobchristenson, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I know the title of this post initially sounds like a bad idea and there are people out there that won't even feed their chickens municipal water (because it's chlorinated). I try and have a balanced view of caring for my flock's health but not going overboard when it comes to treating them like coddled pets....that being said....

    I just got a couple 50g barrels that were originally used for pool chlorine. I'm converting them to rain barrels and obviously flushing them VERY well (tops are sealed so I basically flush them continuiously with water for hours until the water coming out doesn't smell like chlorine anymore). I clean them well enough that I feel OK about watering my vegetable garden with the result.

    Next summer when I set them up, I'd like to use them as a source for my chicken water. It would be rain water coming from a shingled roof, so that may be a double whammy.

    Whatta ya think? Am I gonna kill my cluckers? I'd love to hear some balanced input on this...thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As part of my civil engineering degree, I took classes on water treatment and sewage treatment. Hopefully I can give you a balancing view.

    A properly desgned, built, maintained,and operated water treatment plant will not send any water through the systemn that smells like chlorine. I know there are lots out there that don't meet that criteria. My water treatment professor, who was an recognized expert in the field, had a lot of city managers that did not like him because he let them know they were not using properly trained operators and were not spending the money they needed to so they could maintain their treatment plants when he was asked to evaluate their plants.

    Chlorine will evaporate if given a chance. If you have flushed them like you say you have, they are probably fine. If you can't smell it, the parts per million shoudl be low enough that they won't cause any harm at all. Even a very faint whiff won't hurt them but I would not use it if I could smell it. Reasonable precautions.

    I'd also suggest you water in a way that the water has some surface area so it can breathe. Some kind of bowl or something. It's probably OK but I would not use a nipple system. Again, just a precaution.

    I'll mention a story. A couple of years back, a lady posted that whe was cleaning her waterers with bleach and a rooster snuck in and drank some of it. He died. But that was concentrated liquid bleach, not what you are talking about at all. Chlorine, which is what makes bleach bleach, can be dangerous, but not in the concentrations I think you are talking about.

    Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

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    Excellent feedback from an expert! How lucky am I?!? Thanks so much for your thoughts....

    (the backyard chickens community rocks!!)
     
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    What about a bucket from bromine tablets? It says on the bucket not to reuse it for anything but it's a really nice bucket and straight to the recycling bin seems so wasteful! Is the plastic really going to retain the chemical?
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know about bromide. That was not part of my water treatment study.

    I hate to waste anything like that too but I truly don't know about yours. But if you want a nice food grade plastic bucket, try asking at a deli or bakery. I get them from 2 to 4 gallon size with lids free at the bakery in my local (not huge chain) grocery store. Walmart said they are not allowed to give them away but th esmall local store has not problems giving them away. They even wash them for me most of the time.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    "of the five roofing materials tested, metal (specifically Galvalume[​IMG]), concrete tile and cool roofs produce the highest harvested rainwater quality for indoor domestic use. The study also showed that rainwater from asphalt fiberglass shingle roofs and increasingly popular “green” roofs contain high levels of dissolved organic carbon (DOC)."

    from
    http://www.engr.utexas.edu/features/rainwaterharvesting

    Is there a way to filter out DOCs is what I would be wondering. Also there will be a lot of particulate matter from the asphalt roof from what I have read.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: DOS' would require EXTREMELY fine filters.
    Particulate matter is much easier to filter using screens and sand filters

    Asphalt roofing will also be releasing CHEMICAL contaminants
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You could make a lean-to shelter with safe roofing and collect the water from that (angling it so that the asphalt shingle roof doesn't run off onto the shelter). Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012

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