cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)April 11, 2008

I'm interested in saving rain water to later use in my garden. I've read some posts here about it but I'm looking for the most basic instructions. what to use, how to keep it from going bad, how to get it out of the barrel, and I'm sure a few things i have not even thought about. Does anyone know of a web sight or a post here I'm not seeing that explains this from the beginning?


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Cateyanne:-- I've been collecting rain for my perennial garden for years. You can go design-wise mild or wild.You need to spend a bit of money to save some.
The barrels I started with (1) were polypropolene blue 85L used for collecting empty pop cans at my school. The amount of resources you have require searching out. These I snuck home in my car and modified. So the idea and the cool thing is to spend the least dollars---Get to a hardware store and buy brass spigots and you'll need an overflow pipe. It's no rocket sci. Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Few things to decide. How much water you would like to collect(storage capacity). Method of collection(from rooftop or ponds). Do you want to pump out of the barrel/barrels for a drip system or gravity flow which means that your barrels are higher than where you want the water to flow to. It take seven days for mosquito to go from larvae to flight(water needs to empty or turnover completely in seven days. Aloha

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 7:06PM
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The absolute simplest design is to just divert your gutters into the barrel and use a pail to scoop the water out. That can be a pain, so most folks end up putting their barrel on cinder blocks (or something else that is sturdy) and adding a spigot so they can fill their buckets and drain their barrel.

I'd also suggest using some sort of screen mesh to keep out the mosquitoes.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 8:14AM
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I posted thison another forum but here it is again. All the gutters from my house feed to an underground sump tank. a float activated sump pump sends the water to a pair of 300 Gl tanks at the rear of my garden. I also have 4 55 Gl barrels hooked into the system for a total 800 Gls (and i can easily add more. All the tanks and barrels are conected at the bottom so that if one is half full so are all the others (remember, water seeks it own level). One tank is used to deliver water to my distribution pump for irrigation of the garden the other tank recieves the roof water and can also be filled from tank #1 To keep the water from stagnating i simply turn on the pump and it pulls water from tank #1 and empties into tank #2 as it starts to empty the higher level in tank 2 fills it back up keeping al the tanks all at the same level. There is also a common drain for all containers which runs out into an adjoining wooded area I always drain the system in the fall to avoid freezing and damage to the tanks. A series of five valves control the complete system. Feel free to contact me for more details

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:12AM
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My first rain barrel was a trash can with a screen over the top. Misquettoes was a problem.

My new rain barrels require no upkeep. I will empty them before the they freeze.

Next year I will add another rain barrel. All the work is in the first barrel. The 3/4 inch pipes on the bottom works fine. They don't need to be any larger.

Check out the link below to see my rain barrel and how I made the rain barrel.


Here is a link that might be useful: Best Rain Barrel and Pump

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 8:01PM
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The most basic setup is to simply put a bucket or barrel in the yard to catch rain and ladle the water out. I'd advise a few modifications, but that's pretty much the most basic setup.

Some suggested modifications:

Position it so your gutters divert the water into the buckets/barrels.

Keeping the bugs out by putting some sort of screen/filter.

Add a faucet to the bottom of the barrel so you don't have to ladle or pump the water out the top.

Lifting the barrel off the ground so its even easier to drain the water out of the barrel.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 1:49PM
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I just noticed the other day that my yard waste recycle container is 96 gallons. I used it the other day as a rain catch. Worked fine.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Does anyone have a list of the items in a rain barrel kit? I would like to go to a hardware store instead of buying it online. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Lee Valley has all you need to divert and tap a rainbarrel. You can visit one of their stores, or order online. I'm using their hardware now, and have been for several years. Plants love rainwater, especially if your tapwater is hard and you use pots.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:21PM
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