• Jan 25, 2018
  • by A. Easton

What does potable water mean, anyway? I’ve heard the term for years, but it sounds pretty ominous. I checked with Siri (what would I ever do without her?), she told me that potable water is simply clean drinking water: 

"Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drink or use for food preparation". 

So, now that we know potable water just means safe drinking water, let’s talk about a few interesting water facts which may apply to you.

55-Gallon Drum Water Storage

Many of us have 55-gallon drums of water storage in our garages or basements for emergency sake. Those water barrels have been sitting there many moons and have not been changed. Most likely, too, the drums have been sitting directly on the concrete floor. Hmmm - interesting water fact comin' atcha. Did you know chemicals from that concrete may have leached through the bottom of the barrel into the water supply -rendering it unfit to drink? Yep. Your 55-gallon drum should not be sitting directly on concrete. Try getting a board or making a pallet-type contraption with 2 x 4's.

When Did I Change the Water in that Drum, Anyway?

We have good intentions of changing the water to keep safe drinking water on hand, but somehow, it just never gets done. In my case, I’m a widow with no help to lift or move that big 55-gallon drum to refill with fresh water. Water weighs 8.34 pound per gallon, so gee, 55 gallons weighs 458 pounds. I’ve got all I can do to lift my two Chihuahuas at the same time, and they’re only 5 pounds each. LOL So, how do I get clean drinking water back into my drum short of dumping the present contents and refilling? 

The Water Shortage Issue is Still Very Real 

While I’m on the subject of dumping the water, we are facing a water crises throughout the world leading to drought conditions again. While we had a good rainy season in 2016-2017, the rain year of 2017-2018 promises to be another dry year here in California, placing us in jeopardy of facing another drought.

Many places in the world are facing water shortages. Cape Town, South Africa is facing a serious water shortage, so it would be a shame to just release 55 gallons of water, when it is such a precious commodity, worldwide.

When, in fact, there are ways to turn your possibly contaminated drum water into safe potable drinking water.

Make Your 55-Gallon Drum Safe Potable Water

So, the short answer to the question is NO! The chances of the water in your 55 gallon drum being safe potable water to drink and cook with at this point are slim to none. 

First off, you filled it from a tap, probably using a plastic hose. The likelihood of of contaminants in tap water are good. Sad, but true. There is bad stuff in most tap water. That's a fact. Add to that running it through the plastic hose and you increase the plastic leaching into your precious drum water. And it is precious. You may really need that water one of these days. It's there in case of emergency. 

Additionally, if the water has been sitting there for a few years any small bit of bacteria has multiplied like crazy. Plus it may be sitting on concrete. It is not a good situation in there. 

Pump and Filter Your Drum

Potable Water from my 55 gallon drumThe best way to conserve your water storage; and have it's contents be safe potable drinking water is to use an effective pump and filter kit.                                                                                              I highly recommend the AquaDrum™ Water Purification System by Sagan Life. This is the easiest and most fool proof way to get purified potable water out of your large storage drums. Whatever the condition of the water inside - and who really knows - the AquaDrum™ system is a water purifier and pump.

    •  - It will easily and quickly purify the water in the drum by means of it’s highly effective  filtering system.
    •  - It comes with a small hand pump
    •  - By inserting the water filter into the water storage container, and squeezing hand pump, the drum is pressurized
    •  - Purified water will flow from the drum
    •  - NOW your drum provides SAFE POTABLE WATER!


The AquaDrum™ system removes bacteria, such as E.coli; protozoan such as giardia, crytosporidium, and even virus. The purification system will even filter out any chemical elements and toxins which may have leached into your water drum from the concrete. 

It is easy to assePotable Water from my 55 gallon drummble. Simply quick connect the parts together; drop the filter into the barrel and you’ve got 55 gallons of clean drinking water. (The actual filter will do 250 gallons, so that's 55 gallons x 4.5 drums) No matter if it’s been sitting there 6 months or 6 years. Pretty simple solution. Yay! We love simple!

Works with Other Pumps 

Another plus - you can use any type pump system you have with the AquaDrum™, in addition to the hand pump which comes with the assembly. If you have a bike pump, foot pump or electric pump, use any of these; although the pump that comes with the system is highly effective.

Bottom line is that we hope we never have to use our emergency stores, but if need be, we want to be ready. The Sagan AquaDrum™ Water Filtration system is about the most important piece of equipment you should own in case of emergency. We can go without food for a prolonged period of time, but water, gotta have it.

We need water - clean, potable drinking water to survive. The Sagan AquaDrum™ System is very affordable, but when you come right down to it, it's PRICELESS!!!!