|Friday Five: Innovative Rain Barrels|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 20 April 2012|
Whether you’re heading into winter or into the rainy season, it’s not too late to get your rain barrels in place. Take a look at how some of our Daily Dirt readers made their own rain barrels using old water softeners, gas tanks, and more!
1. The Old Water Softener
"After changing out my water softener I had the perfect rain barrel, the old salt tank. I Added a spigot on the bottom, raised it off the ground & routed my down spout into it for summer." –Allan
DeDE in MN says, "When our old water softener gave out, my husband took out the resin bed and disposed of it. He turned the outer container into a rainwater collector by setting it on 6" cinder blocks, adding a faucet near the bottom and cutting a hole for the downspout in the cover. It already had an overflow tube in the upper side.
This works great all summer. It is covered and we just drain it in the winter (MN) and reattach the downspout to the original gutter until the next late spring. Cover keeps the mosquitoes from breeding in the water and no leaves accumulate in it. The faucet near the bottom allows a scrub pail or sprinkling can under it. The softener tank is another item that didn't make it to the landfill!"
2. An Old Gas Tank
"We took a old gas tank that had seen better days but did not leak. I painted it school bus yellow with a black happy face. It sets on end and a sump pump fits in it along with rain spout so plug sump in and pressure to water to my hearts content. The one I have holds 500 gallons." -- Marjorie
3. Brute Trash Cans
Vivienne in GA had this advice: "You can also use regular brute trash cans with lids. Simply add a spigot with a wood shim for additional support, screen wire mesh for the lid (cut out a hole, attach the screen), insert the downspout. Voila! Always, remember to use teflon tape as the spigot is installed so it doesn't waste or drip water. The brute cans are very strong & the release spout at the top is not necessary."
And finally, a couple of other resources readers might want to look into.
4. Aileen writes: "Found this on line and thought I would pass it along for other subscribers. There is another system named, "rain water hog", that addresses the imperfections of the typical rain barrels, such as low water pressure and catching an insufficient amount of water for your needs. Here is the website address: Rain Barrel Source
5. Another reader, Ed Rudberg started his own rain barrel company and had this to say: "I read your article on inexpensive rain barrels. I started looking for a rain barrel three years ago and had the same issue. Therefore, I started a company that has made partnerships with food/beverage companies and barrel refurbishers to obtain reused plastic barrels and create rain barrels. We sell them for $60 plus shipping and we do bulk purchases with municipalities to provide them to users for a lower cost depending on volume purchased."
Photo source: http://rneighbors.org