15 April 2013

Rain Barrel Project

I've had this rain barrel workshop on my calendar for a couple of months now and I was excited to go on
Saturday!  My co-worker has a three barrel setup at his house and we've discussed them quite a bit as I pulled as much knowledge from him as I could.  homebase made a visit to the big city on Saturday and so I had a friend to take to the workshop, put on by Polk County Conservation out at Jester Park.  There were dads & sons there together, a mom and little boy, a lady and her mom, everyone out to see how they could harness the rainwater, help with storm runoff and maybe save a little off their water bill.
We had a great instructor, fun, knowledgeable, and laid-back.  And I wish every project I did was like this, all the tools you needed, laid out for you, with the right drill bits, all the necessary pieces, and clear instructions.  It made it very easy.  Punch out three holes, put in your plumbing hardware and that's about it! 
We did have to make a trip to Home Depot later for some cinder block to set it up on but we were able to reuse a piece of flexible downspout that the previous owner had left behind.  And the install was super easy once I got the dirt leveled and the base laid down.  I put it up that high for a couple reasons.  One, the flexible downspout only came down that far.  Two, I'm planning on adding another barrel and barrel 1 needs to be higher than barrel 2 and barrel 2 still need to be a little bit off the ground so you can hook up to the spigot. 
I realize that the finished product may look like we are cooking up meth
in our backyard so we will have to see about painting the barrel or something even though it is behind the house.  Or putting up a little blinder enclosure with those old barn boards.  But I'm excited to use it.  And I also put up a rain gauge (which I forgot to check last night).  Even though we only got a very short sprinkling (~.15"), the barrel is nearly half full already!  The math behind it is pretty crazy.  It is pulling from ~450 sq ft of roof so if we get a quarter-inch of rain, it should pull ~70 gallons...which is why I need the second barrel!
Anyways, it was a fun project and it's a relief to see the start and finish of a project in the same day.  Now, on to planting the garden!


  1. You don't mess around.. we go to the workshop one day.. the next you have it attached and viola! it rains.. so fun to go with you... now look for a birdbath you two and you will be set.. filled of course with captured rain water. Wonderful fun.

  2. Making meth.....shooting cats and squirrels.....we will surely win our neighbors over. ;)