The One about Making My Own DIY Rain Water Barrels

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While we have had a great rainy January 2017, the drought in the the western United States is still there and we will need to continue practicing water conservation.  And for plants, the best way is to save water during these drought years is to utilize rain water for the upcoming spring to water your plants.

As Colorado has passed a law allowing rain barrels and California has had their recapture law established laws allowing collecting of rain water through storm drains/rooftops.  The majority of the states allow rain barrels but its important to check your state’s laws when it comes to collecting rain water, as many states have strict rules due to mosquito abatement.

Decided to create two 32 gallon DIY Rain Barrels from Rubbermaid Roughneck garbage cans purchased at Home Depot as I think the commercial ones are way overpriced. Originally ,I went to Lowes to get the Blackhawk trashcans but reading the reviews and worried about the sun cracking the trash cans, I decided to go with the Rubbermaid Roughneck garbage cans which received positive reviews.

I purchased a 1-inch Bosch Daredevil hole saw and drilled a 1-inch hole for the 3/4 ball head Hose Bibb.

I went with ballhead 3/4 Hose Bibb, so a turn of the lever will easy to shut/allow rain water into watering cans.  I wrapped plumbers tape (more than what is seen in the photo)

I used 3/4 Nylon Hose Barb for the interior, to lock the ballhead into place.

Pipe cement to go on the outside to prevent any water leakage.

I also drilled a 1-inch hole and put in a 3/4 flex pipe adapter on the top side of the trash cans for drainage if the barrels get too full.

I then put a Phifer aluminum screen to put on the top of the trash cans to prevent mosquitos or insects from getting in.  To keep it on tight, you can use duct tape or a bungee cable.

We’ll see how this one works out! As I will use the rain water from the patio roof drain for water that will be used later for the garden plants.

I then drilled several holes with my hole saw on the top, center and bottom of the lids and put the lid upside down to collect the rainwater.

After completing the DIY rain water barrels, I recommend purchasing two 8 x 8 x 16 cement blocks per trashcan (as you will want to elevate the barrels, so you can put the water can underneath the ballhead for water).  Position right in an area by the roof that drains water, otherwise you can purchase Downspout Extensions to your drain to collect water into your can.  But will need a different modification which you can find on YouTube.

With this rainy week, my DIY rain barrels have since reached 75% and 50%, so they are full and now I’m considering having more because this would be great water to use for sprintime planting.

We’ll see how things work out but for now, my DIY rain water barrels are working!


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Dennis A. Amith