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[APD] Re: Continuous Water change system

I don't actually have a rain barrel at this point. I'm just getting started and looking for a reservoir (50-100 gallon capacity range) that is easy to find locally, safe and cheap... a rain barrel seemed like it might work really well, would probably be easy to find locally and convenient since you can get them already plumbed with a bottom drain... what about other plastic trashcans, would they work?

Yes, most trash cans will work. It would be best to use FDA-approved containers since those will be food safe which should also make them tank-safe. The only common garbage cans I know of that are FDA approved are the Rubbermaid "Brute" containers -- with the notable exception of the red ones. There is apparently something about the red pigment that prevents the red containers from getting FDA approval as I've seen many lines of containers where all are FDA approved except for the red ones.

My real question is whether one of these things is likely to leach chemicals into the water... is there a particular type of plastic I should try to get/try to avoid?

Polyethylene should in most cases be safe. It's also common and is one of the cheapest plastics out there. Lots of water pipe is made of this material.

Otherwise, any recommendations for a reservoir (and where to get it)? I live in the city (San Francisco Bay Area) so it would need to be commonly available. I'll check the local hardware stores for food grade plastic barrels (will they be specifically marked as "food grade"?).

They'll be marked as "FDA approved" in most cases, or will be sold for food service use. For the size containers you are looking for you'll probably have to look in the commercial supply houses since the hardware stores usually don't have much beyond 5-10 gallons except for flimsy trash cans. You might try a water well supply house or contractor -- they will frequently use large tanks.

I've tried web searches... but if you don't know what to search for... it is often hard to find ;-)

There is a lot of info and products at http://www.usplastics.com. The shipping costs are pretty bad for the larger containers though due to the size. If you have water well or farm/ranch supply places around those will be the best places to check.


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