55 gallon drums

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I friend has a dairy farm and he gets an iodine additive for the milk in 55 gal. drums and they throw them away. Anyone out there know if these would be safe to wash and use for water storage for riding out this yk2 storm? Mary Howe

-- Mary Howe (doesnotmatter@thistime.com), November 11, 1998


I don't think that would be such a good idea. Are they plastic drums? If so, it's almost certain that some of the iodine will have leached into the container. Metal I don't know, but I wouldn't chance it. Someone said, wisely, don't re-use a non-food container for food EVER.

Try calling your local Pepsi or Coca-cola bottling plants, or look in the yellow pages under beverage distributers. They have lots of containers they have to either dispose of or recycle. Then your worst problem might be having soda-flavored water, but it sure beats chemical contamination!

We're looking into collecting rain water to replenish our supply. Maybe you could do same?

Good luck!

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), November 11, 1998.

Don't be extreme Arwyn, iodine is needed in the human diet. If the substance in question is sodium iodide it should wash out with water. And if you are using them for water storage any small amount of iodine remaining will help keep the water from growing algae. Of course, if I was using them for dry storage I would probably use a garbage can liner to keep from getting food around the edges that smelled and tasted like iodine - but it should dissolve in 50 gallons of water and not leave much trace behind.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), November 11, 1998.


If the original contents were a milk additive, surely that qualifies as a food additive and I'll bet that the drums are food quality drums.

Iodine is used to make drinking water potable, and to clean the "plumbing" that delivers beer to the tap in your local tavern, among other things.

I wouldn't think that the quantities that the drum had left after cleaning would be a problem, unless it left a taste in the water.

Ned or R.D. or maybe one of our nurses could probably give you a good idea of how much iodine it would take to hurt you. Remember that they add it to salt, it's a trace element in beer and in some measure (I don't know how much) it's necessary for good health (I think thyroid function, Ned? R.D.?)

Entirely aside from the iodine matter, grab onto those free drums! You can store "wash" water in them if nothing else, or use them to make any number of useful things.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), November 11, 1998.

While iodine is used to make water potable, I understand it shouldn't be used by anyone with a thyroid condition -- not sure why.

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), November 11, 1998.

It's concentrated by the body in the thyroid - that's one of the effects/symptoms/reactions of radioactive tracing with some of Iodide isotopes.

What happens (essential, good, bad, or indifferent) depends on what you want to do: replace, use, or suuplement the naturally occuring isotopes; and on what's already happened.

Gotta get one of them there nurse type experts to get biological on ya' if ya' wants more info.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 11, 1998.

Here's a site with information about rainwater collecting and harvesting...Web search returned a lot of sites...


Rainwater collection and harvesting

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), November 11, 1998.

Donna, that link is complete! This Internet never fails to amaze me.

We spent a week in a rental house on Ocracoke a couple of years ago. The house was raised abut 6 feet from ground level, and underneath were these 2 huge polyethylene water tanks to catch rainwater. I think they were 1500 gallons each. The roof drainage was designed to feed all runoff to them. As long as it rains pretty good now and then, this will supply all the water you could use.

We bought bottled water to drink and cook with, didn't want to fuss with boiling everything. But the rainwater could be filtered and treated if necessary.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), November 11, 1998.

I can never get over how much I learn every time I come here. When I read Mary's message, I'd just been in the medicine cabinet, and seen the little iodine bottle with the pretty skull and cross bones.

You're right, Paul, I was being extreme & reactionary. And I'm ordinarily so placid and pensive...:)

Thanks for the links!

-- Arewyn (nordic@northnet.net), November 12, 1998.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I grew up on a dairy farm. Iodine is commonly used to dip cows teats in afterthey are milked to kill bacteria that can cause mastitis. It is washed off before the cow is milked again. Not in a million years would I drink any of it or use any container that stored it.

-- Tom Knepper (thomas_knepper@intuit.com), November 12, 1998.

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