Mother Earth Living


Conserve Water by Harvesting Rainwater: How to Make a Rain Barrel

Simple, homemade rain barrels harness one of nature's most basic and valuable resources, reducing water costs and stormwater runoff.



Once used for making wine and spirits, oak barrels offer Old World charm, though they can be heavy and usually require plugging a too-high bunghole and drilling a new one for your spigot. Try local wineries and distilleries or Kentucky Barrels (www.KentuckyBarrels.com).
Carol Steinfeld
The Save-the-Rain Diverter is a downspout insert that you flip closed when the rain barrel is full. Available from Gaiam (www.Gaiam.com).
Carol Steinfeld
Place your rain barrel's inlet drain directly below your home's downspouts for easy collection.
Carol Steinfeld
If you're planning to drain your rain barrel with a spigot, not a pump, elevating it as much as possible increases water pressure.
Carol Steinfeld
Rain barrels easily can be attached to long drip-irrigation lines for gardens and yards.
Carol Steinfeld
Laurie Gates uses a 50-gallon plastic barrel previously used to transport pickles from Europe.
Carol Steinfeld
In this larger, 12-barrel configuration, a downspout pours into the top of the first barrel and then fills each barrel equally from the bottom up.
Carol Steinfeld
At this home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, rainwater is pumped from a series of 12 plastic, 50-gallon barrels to an elevated 100-gallon tank.
Carol Steinfeld
Once used for making wine and spirits, oak barrels offer Old World charm, though they can be heavy and usually require plugging a too-high bunghole and drilling a new one for your spigot. Try local wineries and distilleries or Kentucky Barrels (www.KentuckyBarrels.com).





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