+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy smelly water in my rain barrel

    I have installed a 55-gallon rain barrel to provide for my garden but I'm hesitant to use the water due to it being green and smelling rancid. Any suggestions as to why this is happening and what remedies there are.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    You might not want to use that water to water things you are going to eat, but it should be fine for grass or trees.
    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!

    Oklahoma City, OK

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    The bacteria is probably anaerobic and will die as soon as the water hits the ground. It may even supply some nutrients. It should be perfectly safe to use on food plants or any others. I wouldn't spray it on a vegetable that I'm going to pick and eat right away, especially raw and unwashed.

    I have heard that a few bits of Kibble or other dry dog food will clear it up, so would a bubbler for a fish tank or a windmill aerator. A small decorator waterfall would also work. The Japanese bamboo pipe waterfall would be neat and I've seen them on 55 gallon barrels in Japanese gardens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    Go to your local petstore and get some "Feeder ****fsh". We generally sell them for 25 cents apiece. These are the same kind of ****fish you win at a carnival. Set the bag in the water, then add 1/4 cup of water from the barrel to the bag. Wait 15 min and do it again. Repeat this at least 4 times, then dump the fish in. They will eat whatever algea/plant matter is making it green as will as eat any mosquito larvae that may be in there. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3

    Smile Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    I second the recommendation for ****fish. I used them when I had rainbarrels in a previous location. They worked extremely well. The water was very clean and it was great fun to watch the fish!

    One note: ****fish are invasive. Do not dump them in a stream or river at the end of the season. I recommend finding a small child with a fishtank; returning them to the store (some will take them back); or giving them a 21-flush salute.

    I loved having no smell, no mosquitoes, etc., with just a couple of fish nibbling away.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    There is a great system for rain barrels called RainReserve. It is a closed system to prevent mosquitoes, bugs and critters from getting inside your barrel. It also sends overflow back out the downspout. Mine came with all the tubing, fittings and spigot. So far it has survived heavy rains and winters. It is a definite must have if you have rain barrels.

    http://www.rainreserve.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: smelly water in my rain barrel

    The ****fish seems like a good idea, unless they're for watering veggies. Many fish carry parasites, like flukes and tapeworms. We stopped using them in our aquarium (feeder fish) as we never knew if they were causing infections in the other fish. They also excrete feces in the water, which isn't good. And if they die, then you're using water with dead animals in it!

    A bit of chlorine won't harm your veggies (it degrades into water and hydrogen) but will take care of both algae and bacteria.

    Here's a link on that:

    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/...480819326.html

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •