Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Growing Home: Rain Barrel Production and Installation

In the second check in on Growing Home, we are working on installing our rain barrel. I realize that we are skipping a step here. We made a rain barrel on-site where we purchased the drum itself. Making a rain barrel might seem daunting to you at first, but if you are given the appropriate tools and guidance, it’s really quite simple. I won’t go into full details here, as there are many how-to videos out there, but I will list a few tips to help!

Before we get into that, let’s talk about why rain barrels are such a big deal. Are you currently watering your lawn or garden with water from the tap? If you are, you probably dread your water bill at the end of the month! You’re also probably seeing a pretty steep sewer bill. Many cities offer financial incentives for water conservation, and a rain barrel is one of the best ways to do that. In addition to the incentives, you can save on your water usage and total bill.

How much water can you collect with just one rain barrel? You can fill it up in just one good storm! A 1,000 square foot roof will produce 600 gallons from just one-inch of rain fall! Think of all the money saved by harnessing this water!

If you’re interested now, I’ll list out a few tricks to help you be successful in implementation.

  1. Finding the large drum. This was the most intimidating part for me. I thought surely everywhere I called would be fresh out of them. Online I found suggestions for pickle plants, soda dealers, and even soap manufacturers. Ultimately, Craigslist was the best option. I just typed in, “50 Gallon Drum,” and up popped several places near me. I found a small business owner who deals in drums and even had a kit handy to help me make my first rain barrel.
  2. Get a drum that has only contained food stuffs. Oil or soap drums are no good for supplying water to your lawn and garden for health and safety reasons.
  3. If you’re intimidated by finding the appropriate items to make your rain barrel, buy a kit. You can find the one I used here. Be sure to use a better, metal spigot than the one in the package.
  4. If you’re cheap and know what you’re doing, avoid the kit and purchase the items at your local home improvement store. You can save a bundle this way.
  5. Use a glow rod to fish the spigot fitting down the the hole you drill (as is seen to the right).
  6. Be sure to really tighten your external fitting for the spigot before actually installing the spigot. No tightening = leaks!
      To see how the rain barrel installation went, click here, and I’ll see you next time!

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