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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rain Barrel

Obviously there hasn't been much sewing going on this week because I have another garden post for you...

Starting this past Monday thru sometime in August (ya know, peak growing season) my village will have a water ban while we install about $7,000,000 worth of new water lines and update the resevoir. Ughghgh. I wanted to photograph the fire hydrants with the orange 'out of service' bags over them but didn't get a chance. Heaven forbid we do have a fire, our neighboring FD will be dispatched immediately to start pumping water from the creek. There just won't be enough water in the temorary storage container for a fire.

Ever since I bought my house I thought it would be a good idea to have a rain barrel. Finding out 5 days before the water ban went in to effect was that mighty big kick in the toukus I needed to finally make one. Of course, I can only assume that with the water ban and lack of a real winter we will also have a drought...

Anyway, I bought a 32 gallon garbage can. I was going to get the cheaper version at Wallyworld but noticed it was cracked when I got to the register. When the clerk said it was the second one in a week I said never mind and bought Rubbermaid. I also bought a spigot, 2 large washers and some other things that we later didn't use. Luckily, Dad had a few bits that made the project easier than the directions I had found online at bhg.com.

Don't hold the untrimmed grass and weeds against me -
focus on the daylillies or the purple rhoddy in the background

We cut a hole at the bottom of the barrel, making sure there was enough clearance for my watering can. Placed the large washer on the spigot and smeared clear silicon gel around it. Inside the barrel we spread more silicon, added the other washer and the nut. I let it dry several hours and then tested to make sure it didn't leak. 

Next I cut a hole in the lid for the downspout to go thru. The original directions called for landscaping cloth to be placed over the barrel before the lid was added but since it somehow worked out that I cut the hole perfectly to fit the downspout but also managed to not cut the downspout quite short enough, I decided to skip that part. What I didn't figure on was all the crap from the gutters washing into the barrel. Oh well.  

I started by mostly filling the barrel from the hose, knowing that we would be getting some rain this week. I didn't expect the torrential storms Monday and Tuesday would already cause the barrel to overflow but that is what it's designed to do. The original directions called for a kind of cascade system to retain the overflow in other barrels. I just might consider that...


Janet O. said...

Wow--that water ban will make for a challenging growing season. I have very low water pressure so my lawn fends for itself most summers, with the occasional benefit of overflow from the irrigation ditch along two sides of the property. What water I do get from my hose is consumed with the raised bed around 3 sides of my house and the 2 lower beds where our raspberries, corn and squash grow, with a random overnight soaking of the trees and bushes. I can't imagine having to rely on a rainbarrel! But then, I live in a desert state and you don't. Probably makes a big difference, ya think?: )

Michelle said...

We water a lot of our vegetables with our water tanks.
I think every house in the world should have rainwater tanks.
Our water here is very expensive so we like to catch as much rainwater we can.
We have 3 big tanks and I would like another on my sewing shed.
Just have to save our pennies.

Anonymous said...

I lived for over 20 years in a house that had only a cistern. This would have been a wonderful benefit for us at that time.

Kat said...

I live in South Florida and we often have summer watering restrictions. I had looked at rain barrels online but they are so expensive. I think I'm going to try making one like yours!

Denise :) said...

Hey, you did a terrific job with that! Have you considered putting some kind of screened contraption over the end of the downspout to catch the "crap", so to speak? You could make it removable so you could take it off and clean it out, periodically. I hope this does the trick for you during the hot, dry months!!! :)