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Article: Roll out the barrel, the rain barrel that is!: Great read, one question though

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Forum: Article: Roll out the barrel, the rain barrel that is!Replies: 6, Views: 122
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Davidsonville, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2008
4:56 AM

Post #4685495

Thanks for the information, Just this past month I had 4 rain barrels put in my backyard to help ease the amount of water that was coming in during the rainy season. I just posted this on another forum the other day, do you have any suggestions as to how to control the smell of stagnant water? I have 1 that was full for 4 or so days and the smell coming from it was horrible, it is right under an Oak tree so at the moment there are lots of leaves and pollen falling around, although it does have a mesh ontop preventing anything from entering. I end up dumping the water now after 1-2 days to avoid the stink...but would rather keep it longer so that I can water my plants. They are only about 1 month old so I don't think they need cleaning yet, when I take the top off you can see a film ontop of the water...not sure what that is. It's mainly the one under the Oak tree that is having the problem that I've noticed, the others smell but not as much.

Any suggestions to keep the smell down and also is it bad to put the stinky water on my's not like a little stinky, we're talking alfalfa tea stinky! LOL

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Allen Park, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2008
2:49 PM

Post #4686390

Actually I'm in Fl right now on vacation, (Tarpon Springs)

I went to a seminar last week on water conservation put on by the Pasco county extension.

Check with the extension service in your county, I've never encountered that problem in Michigan.

East Lansing, MI
(Zone 5a)

March 21, 2008
3:36 AM

Post #4689353

The fact that the water smells indicates that bacteria or algae is growing .You will need to disenfect the barrels before storing any more water. I recommend scrubbing the insides of the barrels with a solution of bleach. Use one part bleach to ten parts water. After scrubbing thoroughly rinse out the barrels. If you don't do this the stagnant water will breed mosquitos. This is just the type of water that mosquitos prefer. I am a Master Gardener and Landscape Contractor.
Austin, TX

April 7, 2008
6:56 PM

Post #4771411

Is the oak tree you are referring to a live oak? If so, it is the live oak catkins (or aments, are slim, cylindrical flower clusters, wind-pollinated and with inconspicuous or no petals) that are making your water smell. I have the same problem this time of year and donít collect water for 3 weeks or so until the catkins are gone.

This message was edited Apr 7, 2008 12:57 PM
Davidsonville, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2008
7:49 PM

Post #4771665

Hello everyone, well after cleaning out the barrels with bleach (frankford's suggestion), the next rain came and it was ok for a few days, I had thought the smell was gone...but alas the smell is returned (mind you I even tried putting a capful of peroxide in there...maybe it needed more) fjtexas, your comments have me wondering, I think it has something to do with the pollen from the oak tree (not sure if mine is a "live oak" or not)...but out of the 4 barrels that I have and this being the only one under the tree which has the smell, I am thinking that it is the pollen...The smell isn't as bad as before...and the pollen has died down a little now, so with jftexas's thoughts if I wait a couple more weeks it should be ok.

Thank you for all the wonderful thoughts and suggestions...we'll get to the bottom of this eventually.
Austin, TX

April 7, 2008
8:05 PM

Post #4771753

The live oaks I'm referring to have little green fuzzy clusters on them. See 2nd photo down on this page:

Davidsonville, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2008
9:13 PM

Post #4772013

YUP that's the oak tree we have, that pollen was's stopped falling now, so hopefully I wont need to wait much longer and I'll have clean water again. Thanks fjtexas.

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