Tag: IBC Tote (Page 1 of 2)

Pumps for unloading recycled water

pumpsThere are many different manufacturers of pumps that are excellent at unloading recycled water tanks, barrels or bags. They all serve a purpose, but vary by size, weight and capacity. Some pumps may look the same and function the same but are branded differently.

We’ve chosen a few that we’ve seen most often, they’re mostly purchased at Harbor Freight due to price and availability. Many people hauling recycled water wanted to do so on the cheap and Harbor Freight helped to make that possible.

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DIY: Storing recycled water in an IBC tote

Use a wand when hand watering.

Use a wand when hand watering.

Its late in the day, you just picked up a load of recycled water but you don’t have time to water the yard. What can you do? Unload your tank into a temporary storage tank and water the plants when you have time.

In this guide, we’ll show you what one recycled water hauler built to make his life easier.

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How much does an empty IBC tote weigh?

IBC Tote

IBC Tote

275 gallon IBC totes are the most popular option for hauling recycled water. They’re solid plastic tanks with a steel cage around them, can be easily strapped down to a truck bed or trailer and have large openings for filling and draining.

Sometimes called plastic totes, carboys, 275 gallon tanks, water totes, 275 gallon plastic water tanks, truck bed water tanks, you get the idea. They come in 275 gallon, 300 gallon and 325 gallon varieties.

But what do the tanks weigh when empty?

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DIY: How to prime a utility water pump

Hydrostar Pump from Harbor Freight

For anyone that hauls recycled water, whether it be in a water bladder, 275 gallon tote or a 50 gallon barrel, a pump is a great tool to use to unload water fast. In this post I’ll show you how to prime a pump.

It is very easy to prime a pump, especially when the hose on the suction side of the pump is already full of water. I have removed the vent plug on my Hydrostar Portable Utility Pump and installed a small ball valve to act as an air relief.

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Recycled Water in the Vegetable Garden

Tomato plants water with recycled water.

Tomato plants watered with recycled water.

Last summer Bret hauled a lot of recycled water. His front yard was lush and green while his neighbors’ yards were brown. Given the mandatory water rationing California experienced due to drought, he had to find new ways to water his vegetable garden. If recycled water made his grass really green, what would it do to tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, sunflowers, kale, or romaine lettuce?

“I was nervous at first, but decided to use recycled water anyway due to the city watering rations. I read about other places that used it on crops so I figured I would give it a shot,” said Bret G., recycled water hauler and friend of the blog.  Continue reading

275 gallon tote vs. Water Bladder vs. 55 gallon barrel



There are plenty of articles lately about new fill stations opening in Southern California (more importantly – the 4S Ranch area of San Diego County), and even more people on Twitter arguing that recycled water is not the answer (sigh). This brings up a perfect opportunity to share what recycled water haulers have learned about the containers they use.

Enter the RecycledH2O Container Shootout

Lets compare a 275 Gallon Tote to a Water Bladder to a 55 gallon barrel

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DIY: How to minimize IBC tote water slosh

In the last post, the safety hazards associated with driving with a half full IBC Tote were looked at. A full tote, weighs 2600 pounds and has very little to no sloshing, except when taking corners, the mass of the water will work to pull your vehicle over. This was experienced by a passenger in an F350 carrying 275 gallons of water.

When a tote is half full, there is about 1250 pounds of water that moves, so when you turn left, that water moves with considerable momentum to the right. If physics calculations were performed we could figure out how much force is being applied to a vehicle at any given speed if we knew the mass.

Lets call this mass of water moving in a tank as slosh. How can you minimize slosh in an IBC tote?

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Sloshing Recycled Water in an IBC Tote

The most common tank to use when transporting recycled water is a 275 or 300 gallon IBC tote. When full it weighs ~ 2500+ pounds, if we include the weight of the tote, its more like 2600 pounds. That weight in the back of most half tons trucks is too much and thus begins safety hazards associated with transporting recycled water.

Honda Ridgeline above capacity

Honda Ridgeline filled above capacity

Lets cue up a recent photo of a Honda Ridgeline filling up a 275 gallon tote. Please note that a Ridgeline is only rated at 1500 pounds payload capacity. A Ridgeline should only haul ~ 165 gallons if we include the weight of the tote. Direct your attention to the significant drop in the back end of the vehicle (and the wear and tear on the struts/read end) and the significant rise in the front end of the vehicle. This makes steering difficult and travel is rather unsafe.

All recycled water fill stations have stressed to not take more water than your vehicle can hold, but yet people still do it. This article has been designed to show you through a Youtube video what happens to water in a tote full and half full.

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Why is there a 300 gallon limit on Recycled Water?

300 gallon IBC tote filling in the back of a work truck.

This question has plagued me for a months and something I always wondered. Why is there a 300 gallon limit at a Free Recycled Water Fill Station?

Is it because most IBC totes are 275-300 gallons? Not quite.

Is it because its written in Title 22 of the Recycled Water regulation? Good luck reading 86 pages, you won’t find it there.

Is it because any volume more and you should get a water meter for the truck hydrant fill program? Nope!

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