According to EPA estimates, homeowners can save an average of 1300 gallons of water during peak summer months if a rain barrel is utilized. And though you can always buy one read-made, we feel it’s so satisfying to have hands-on input with every aspect of your garden.
If you’d like to make your own rain barrel, keep the following info in mind:
Create drainage holes. You’ll want one in the top in case of overflow, and one at the bottom to capture the usable water.
If utilizing a faucet/spout, make sure of a watertight seal. Insert a rubber washer on the inside and the faucet through to it from the outside.
Install a filter. Rain water isn’t necessarily “clean.” It carries along with it the pollutants and particles it has passed through on its way down to you. Nylon screen works best, as it won’t rust.
Make sure you install a downspout and that you clean the downspot regularly – particularly if the water you’re collecting will be used for drinking and/or cooking.
Don’t be ashamed of starting with a ready-made rain barrel if you’re short on time or uncertain of your technique. As long as you get started on the road to utilizing more rainwater, you’re doing yourself – and the environment- a favor. Later, as you become more confident, you can create your own barrel(s). Watch out – before long you’ll be spreading the word and encouraging your entire neighborhood to get in on rainwater harvesting!
Click here for instructions if you’re ready to take the plunge, and go to p. 2 for images of the best (and easiest!) barrels to make yourself. (All images: gardeningchannel.com)