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 Can someone PLEASE tell me where I can find some food grade barrels near the chicago area? or where they come from. i have been looking for a while with no luck. Thanks.

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try Craigslist

 yea, i have. but isn't there somewhere that uses them all the time? like a food processing plant. what would one of those be called? then i can google it. no good googling food proccessing plant. is there another word for it?

Some juice or soft drink bottling plants might get syrup in barrels.

Water facilities may get chlroine in blue barrels

I got mine from a chemical company that was able to tell me that the previous contents were food grade glycerine which rinses out easily.

Many fertilizers are also shipped in blue barrels or IBC's but those won't count as food grade but if you are ok with eating food that was grown with fertilizer, then for a backyard system you can decide how you feel about using a barrel that once contained something like miracle grow.
  (just make sure it was fertilizer and not herbicide or pesticide)

look for somplace that makes bbq sauce or sauces tomato sauce, paste, olive oil all come in plastic barrels ,also on carigs list place add under wanted

Some car washes use barrels for their soap.  The soap has to be safe so I think the barrels would also be safe to use.

Ralph, how do you mean soap has to be safe?  Soap actually is NOT safe for fish.  Soap kills fish.  Now if you can rinse it completely away you might be able to render soap containers safe but rinsing soap containers completely free of all soap residue is not an easy task.  (Just add a drop of dish soap to an empty juice bottle and shake it up with a little bit of water and then see how much water it takes to rinse all trace of sudsing completely away to demonstrate this to yourself.)

If you have ample free water and a lawn that really needs water, then rinsing out soap barrels might be fine but if you are on water restrictions or don't have a good place to dump the water to, a different type of container might be better.

FYI once you rinse all traces of soap away, you may still want to leave the barrels sit with water till they start to grow algae before you subject fish to them and then you might want to use some sacrificial goldfish to play canary in the mine before you hook up such barrels to your real system.


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