How To Fill a 55 Gallon Water Barrel

The 55 gallon water barrel is something that most families never think about since what can you really do with it, right? Technically, these barrels are used for storage. You can store water or any other kind of liquid. This being said, you might find that you will want to have water stored safely around the house just in case the worst happens. Yes, you can never go wrong with an ample supply of drinking water should calamities and disasters happen where running water is one of the first utilities to go. Now, you may be asking that with such a huge container, how can I even hope to fill it up with potable water? Well, it is easy through these simple steps.

  • Find a suitable location. Assuming that you have gone out and purchased a brand new 55 gallon barrel, your first task is to find a suitable location for it. Normally, the best place to store this will be in the basement or the garage. You will want to move it wherever you desire prior to filling it up. Moving the barrel once it is filled with water will make moving the barrel a Herculean task. Remember, a 55 gallon barrel filled to the brim with water will weigh about 400 or so pounds, definitely something that even Lou Ferrigno would have difficulty lifting. Hence, make sure that wherever you locate the barrel that it will stay there for good once you start filling it up with water.
  • Open the barrel seal. The seal on these barrels are pretty standard. Well, you may find barrels with a faucet integrated but that would not really do much to fill it up with water right? The seal on these types of barrels can only be opened using a wrench, a bung wrench to be exact. Use it to twist and remove the seal. Once the seal is open, make sure to keep the wrench handy, as you will require it when it comes to sealing the barrel as well.
  • Start filling the barrel. Once the barrel has been opened, the next step will be to fill it up with water. For this, you will need a hose. However, you can’t use any hose you want if you want the water to be clean and drinkable. You will want to use a hose that is specifically designed to be safe for drinking. Most hoses will have high amounts of lead content. This means that the water that passes through it will bring lead along with it. You really don’t want to drink water with lead right? On that note, you will want to use a hose specifically made for clean water. Purchase a hose that is labeled “safe to drink”. Using this type of hose, connect one end to your faucet or water dispenser while the other end is inserted into the barrel. Keep the water running until the barrel is about 90 percent full.

To keep the water in the barrel safe and clean, you will want to add concentrated water preserver. This is a chemical that will make the water drinkable and safe for the next 3 to 5 years. After adding the water preserver, seal the barrel using the bung wrench and that water will be good to drink should something undesirable happen.


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