Rain Barrels

prepping-for-spring-in-the-garden-004
A few summers ago I read an article about rain barrels. The whole concept of using the rain water that my husband and I pay for to water my garden intrigued me and so I made a decision to invest in a few of them. Little did I know that they were pretty costly. But last year a friend of a friend was able to get his hands on some large soda pop syrup containers-3 feet in diameter by 4 feet high.  These containers cost me $5 each. I was unable to get my rain barrels setup last summer but they should be ready to install into our gutter system soon.

I’d love to hear if others collect their rain water and if so did you put together your own rain barrel(s) or did you purchase one? And what has been your experience thus far in using them? I’ve included a few links below to tutorials online to assist you in this endeavor if you don’t already have a rain barrel setup and you are interested in building one.

A few facts about rain barrels:

-They can help conserve around 1300 gallons of water during the summer months.

-They are eco friendly because they prevent stormwater runoff. If you are not familiar with the implications of stormwater runoff check this out   for more information.

 -And they help you the owner save your money because you are not paying double for watering your garden. Double because we pay for the  water that runs off our our houses and into the sewers as well as the water that comes out of our hoses to water our plants; this honestly being the number 1 reason for me to want to convert to rain barrels.

 Links helpful in creating a rain barrel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6ndwzVu8Pw

http://home.comcast.net/~leavesdance/rainbarrels/construction.html

http://www.blackstoneriver.org/programs/build_a_rainbarrel.php

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Rain Barrels

  1. I collect the rain water into plastic containers not specifically designed for this purpose. The only problem I could think about is a chance that mosquitos can start breeding there if you don’t use that water fast and don’t cover it with a lid.
    The barrel on your picture looks very attractive. I need to get a real one!

  2. I have read many bloggers experiences with rain barrels, and one in particular comes to mind because she outlined the entire process in a series of posts. I thought she did a really great job and did it entirely on her own…in a very large container. If you haven’t been to The Bicycle Garden blog then check it out. She’s very industreous.

    I just stopped over to see your blog and enjoyed my visit!

  3. Robin

    My partner has set up a few different rain barrels at various places we have rented. Right now we have nine 55 gallon barrels hooked together which are collecting rain from the roof gutter, and which are hooked up to the toilet, so that we are flushing the toilet with rain water. Where we are (California Coast) we get all of our rain in the winter, and we don’t need it then for garden watering, so we decided hooking it up to the toilet during the rainy season made the most sense. See a web page we put together
    http://www.daylightmoon.com/raincatchment/index.htm

  4. Hi, This is my first visit and I love your blog! I am in CA and during this past rainy week have been wishing we had a rain barrel system going. I’ll add you to my blogroll. I won’t be doing big vegetable gardening this year (deer=need lots of fencing) but will follow your progress with interest, esp. with the kids.

  5. The rain barrels are a great idea for some places. I lived in Australia on a farm that got all of it’s water from roof tanks. Occasionally they would get low on water, but it always rained before they ran out. Here in California they don’t work that well, though. We don’t irrigate during the wet season, and then during the dry, after you use the 50 gallons or 500 gallons or whatever, it NEVER fills the tank again. The tank just sits there useless. More passive water harvesting strategies like storing the roofwater in the ground using grading work better out here. The barrels are great, though, if you get summer rain.

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