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Rain Barrel Water Stank: solutions/ideas?

Posts: 27
Location: Wisconsin
forest garden hunting trees
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I have a rain barrel which collects water from the downspout of my
back porch roof. Over the past month I have noticed the water
beginning to have a bit of a smell to it. The odor has sort of a
sulfur smell. My rain barrel has a lid on top with small holes which
prevent most debris from making it into the barrel.
Under the lid is a fine netting to prevent mosquitoes from using it as
a breeding ground. Also, the barrel does not let light though. The roof which the water drains from has Catalpa, Hackberry, and Oak branches
that hang over it and drop leaves onto the roof (as well as other flower parts from the trees).

The chickens don't seem to mind the water, but it just isn't a plesant thing.
I've heard of using apple cider vinegar to kill bacteria. Has anyone had success with this?

I definitely appreciate the input. Thanks

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You've got some anaerobic bacterial action going on the the barrel. Adding vinegar will move it over into the regime of lactic fermentation bacteria which can probably continue to live on whatever organics leach off the roof and down the gutter. Then you won't have a rain barrel, but a pickle barrel.

The other solution would be to get a little air pump for a 10 gal aquarium and a diffuser stone and drop it down into the barrel. Aerating the water will move it into the regime of aerobic bacteria and you will have a big barrel of very weak compost tea.

Besides giving it to the chickens, what else do you use the water for?
Christopher Kerrschneider
Posts: 27
Location: Wisconsin
forest garden hunting trees
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Whoa, I was looking back though posts and totally didn't respond. Pardon the rudeness.
Thanks for the info! Much appreciated.
Other than watering the chickens, I use the barrel to water my garden. I've heard mixed thoughts about watering the garden with rain barrel water. But at this point, I've chose to do so. It will help save money on the ole water bill.
Luckily this year (in Iowa) rain hasn't been an issue and the barrel has darn near always been on the full side and the garden has not often needed it. (last year was a different story)

I like the aerator idea. It would be cool to hook up a wind powered system. I'll have to do some research.

As far as the stank, its been better as Ive been using the water from it more often in the past month and we have had more consistent rain.

thanks again.
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