Rain barrel care

We live in Northern Ohio. where hard freezing is common in the winter. As a consequence, I disconnet and drain (almost completely) our three rainbarrels in the winter. But because of sun exposure, algae develops in the barrels, and is hard to remove and prevent.
The barrels are primarily to irrigate flowers, but also for a strawberry patch and a squash patch. So a concern is that we don't harm our edibles.
I've read that painting the barrels helps as it keeps the sun out. One of ours was a grape juice barrel, and is solidly blue, so the sun can't get in. but two are translucent. I'm disinclined to paint them. as paint doesn't stick well to plastic, and it's convenient to be able to see the water level if they are unpainted.
I've read that applications of bleach will control the algae, but the writers warn to not use the water in the barrel for a few days, when the chlorine will have dissipated.
Are there other ways to keep the algae from growing and clogging my taps?
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put something around the barrel that will block the light would be one longer term solution. often you can find pieces of wood for little or no cost (pallets, brush piles, unwanted trees, etc.).
if you clean the barrel to get rid of the algae using bleach rinse the barrel out after you are done and then let it refill (and then keep the light out). it helps to scrub it a few times as the bleach works through the layers of algae, but we get things clean here within about a half hour and then rinse the bleach away. usually takes only a little bit to do it too, so don't pour a gallon of bleach in when only an ounce or two might work. of course, empty the barrel first before putting in the bleach and scrub it around to cover the surfaces and then let it sit for five or ten minutes before scrubbing it again. after a few rounds if there is still algae left, add a little more bleach and scrub it again.
songbird
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