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Make Your Own Rain Barrel

May 26th, 2009

 

how to build a rain barrelMake your own rain barrel following the instructions discussed in this article. This is one of the most detailed plans to make your own rain barrel that you are likely to come across.

To conserve the municipal water used on our flowers, shrubs, and tomato plants, we installed an easy-to-manipulate 150-gallon plastic farm-type stock-watering tank underneath our back deck where it became a hidden rain barrel. We drew the spout-collected rain water from the tank with a small portable electric sump-pump having a garden hose attached to its outlet. During the manual watering of our plants, we controlled the flow with an adjustable nozzle at the outer end of the hose.

Items used

  1. one 150-gallon plastic stock-watering tank with a drain plug, 35"H x 39"W x 58"L (acquired from a discount farm-supply hardware store)
  2. one portable 110-VAC submersible sump-pump, flat-bottom floor-type with hose attachment, 1/4-to-1/3-hp, or equivalent
  3. four inexpensive wooden slats, 1" x 2" x 40"
  4. one roll of fine-mesh aluminum window screen, 64"x44" or larger
  5. eight 1"-long speed screws and a compatible screwdriver
  6. small box of 1/4" staples and small hammer, or equivalents
  7. one garden hose 5/8" by 50′, or as needed with adjustable nozzle
  8. one electrical extension cord (length needed to reach an outlet)
  9. one 110-VAC outdoor electrical outlet (switch-controlled if possible)
  10. one rain-gutter spout from the house rooftop

Assembly

  1. Attach the wooden slats across the top narrow width of the tank by screwing them down to the rim.
  2. Place the sump-pump with attached hose on the floor of the tank at the desired location. Let its electrical cord and attached garden hose hang out over the rim.
  3. Spread the screen over the slats atop the tank to cover it entirely. Staple the screen down to the slats. Let the screen portion above the pump and its cord and hose remain as a loose flap in case the pump must be serviced or removed.
  4. Tighten the drain plug.
  5. Place the tank close to the chosen gutter spout. If possible, hide it behind or under a deck or bush, or camouflage it as desired.
  6. Route the end of the gutter spout to the top of the tank above the screen so that the tank will collect the rain water.
  7. Extend the extension cord to the power supply.

Water collection

The experts say a one-inch rain will yield a total of 600-gallons of water from a 1000-square-foot home catchment area. Our home is slightly over 1000-square-feet. Thus, our tank filled to overflow from one spout during the first rain. The overflow drained away from the house via a sloped terrace.

We had no trouble drawing water from the tank all summer since we had adequate rainfall this year. A larger tank would have filled just as easily. The tank’s fine-screen covering kept it and its collected water free of excess debris, which consisted of wind-blown grass, leaves, and miscellaneous material coming from the screen-covered roof gutters.

Two advantages

Two major advantages came with harvesting rooftop water in this manner. First, the tank was not an eyesore because it was hidden. Our deck is surrounded with shrubs.

Second, the sump-pump provided adequate water pressure at all times, even when the water level in the tank got low. In fact, with our tank-and-pump arrangement, we could have run multiple sprinklers for the lawn, too. We might try that next summer although it might require a slightly different pump.

Author: J Delms

Further information. Rain Barrel Guide, How to Use Rain Barrels for Water Collection http://www.rainbarrelguide.com Author contact: j__l__d@sbcglobal.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Delms

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