Congratulations! You have chosen a water system that is free, fun and good for the environment. This food clean rain barrel will help you harvest untreated rain water by simply hooking it up to your down spout. You now have your own source of water that is independent of your public utility. Environmentally, you are leaving the water where the salmon and all the other wildlife need it and you’re keeping it on its’ natural course (especially if you run the overflow into your yard). Gandhi once said that whatever you do may seem insignificant but it is most important that you do it. I think he would have approved of collecting your own water. Happy harvesting!
Locating your barrel
Walk around your house and look at your gutters and down-spouts and chances ahttp://county.wsu.edu/chelan-douglas/gardening/general/demogardens/Pages/default.aspxre you will find a functional water catchment system you didn’t know you had! (Your roof is the catchment area and the gutter and down-spouts are the delivery system). You will want to hook into one of your down-spouts to harvest the most water (the yield for every inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof is approximately 500 gallons of water!). You will also want to consider the barrel location. If you want to use a hose you will need to have the barrel above your garden and if you also want to use a watering can you’ll need a stand. I use four 8” cinder blocks (See drawing on reverse)
Attaching the barrel (a.k.a. gutter liberation)
Place your stand and barrel near the chosen down-spout. You’ll want to disconnect or hacksaw the down-spout a few inches above the barrel as it sits on its’ stand. This should leave enough room to reattach the elbow piece from the bottom to divert the water over the barrel where it will drain through the holes. This may require a bit more creativity/plumbing to get the water from the down-spout into your barrel but usually it’s pretty simple. Next, make sure your stand is well balanced because a full barrel is going to weigh approximately 400 pounds (an earthquake strap around the barrel will help) then place the barrel on the stand and use that elbow piece, or whatever it takes, to divert the water over the top of the barrel You may have wondered what is sticking out of the top of your barrel? Well… it’s the water overflow valve and you’ll probably have a lot of overflow! You may need to direct it to keep the overflow away from your foundation and attaching a hose can easily do that. Environmentally, diverting it into your yard is better than back into the drain so you might want to experiment with that. You can also divert that water into another barrel or container for future use (i.e. summer time!). Click here to send me an email or go here if you would like to contact me by phone or regular mail. I’ll be there for you.
Uses For Rain Water
1) Flowers, trees, shrubs and garden. 2) Seedlings in a green house. 3) Cooling compost or rinsing out your compost bucket. 4) Where no plumbing is available. 5) Indoor plants. 6) Your lawn. 7) Keep water away from the foundation. 8) Wash your vehicle on your lawn or gravel. 9) Wash your hands, tools or muddy boots. 10) Water available to flush your toilet. 11) Cool yourself off on a hot day. 12) Mix cement (my latest cool use). 13) Your creative use here!
Rain Barrel Accessories
The following are some great places to shop for things you may need for your water catchment system: In Tacoma, try Jones Glass and Used Materials at 1912 S. Wilkeson St. (Just off of S. 19th and Sprague). (253) 272-4351. You can barter with them for gutters, down-spouts, hoses and an occasional block or two. In Seattle try Second Use. I’ve gotten blocks, gutters, down-spout pieces and spigots and like Jones, I just enjoy going to these places and their frugal ways. The Seattle location is at 7953 Second Ave. S. (206) 763-6929 Their web-site gives great directions and open hours. Check it out at www.seconduse.com. Also, in Seattle is Earthwise at 2462 1st Ave. S. (206) 624-4510. If all of these fail (along with my creativity) I go to Lowe’s or Home Depot for blocks mostly.
I do not recommend drinking the rainwater from your roof. It may contain animal droppings, dust, or roof composite. Also, I cannot guarantee the safety of watering your vegetables with rainwater from your roof either. In my personal opinion, however, if your roof is made of a non-toxic substance and hasn’t been treated with a moss inhibitor or something it should be fine for that. Metal roofs, especially, are great for rainwater harvesting. There should be no trouble of course with non-vegetable uses.
I have sold over 400 rain barrels in the last few years and haven’t heard of any problems at all with mosquitoes. If you do notice some of the hatchings in your barrel, however, simply add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the waters’ surface
Subvert The Dominant Paradigm
For your viewing pleasure, here are some places you can see my Rain Barrels:
Save The Humans:
"Plastic production is a highly polluting process and the less one uses the better. But if you must use plastic bags, reusing them is the only responsible thing to do, economically and environmentally. I hope this product will help." - Dan Borba
Price: $125.00 each + Tax Washington state, Local Delivery or Pick-Up, No Shipping
Includes 4 buckets with lids. Click here to contact me for ordering.
For an additional fee, installation and delivery are available in the following counties:
Pierce (Tacoma" Free Delivery) | King | Thurston | Lewis | Mason | Jefferson | Kitsap