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Making Rain Barrels

May 23rd, 2009

 

rain barrel setupMaking rain barrels is a great way to join the recycling craze. Not only does making rain barrels recycle rain water it also recycles used plastic barrels. This article takes a look at how you can use rainbarrels to reuse rainwater.

Most of us take water for granted until it doesn’t rain for a month or two and the city asks you to stop watering your lawn and garden. One of the best ways to help guard against this is by recycling rainwater. There are many ways to collect and recycle rainwater but one of the best and most cost effective is to setup a simple rain barrel.

It is estimated that an inexpensive rain barrel can save you as much as 1000 gallons of water over the course of a normal summer by simply recycling rainwater.

Of course, the exact amount will vary depending on the amount of rainfall in your area but the savings from recycling rainwater in most cases will be substantial. The idea is to position the rain barrel under a roof drain downspout so that it collects rain running off the roof of your house and recycling the rainwater on your plants and lawn as needed. You can buy a ready-made rain barrel but it is also very easy and inexpensive to build your own.

Almost all the materials are available at your local hardware store. The main item you will need is a large plastic drum. Getting one is not as difficult as it may seem. Most soft drink manufacturers around the world are willing to sell you an inexpensive 55 gallon plastic drum. Usually the plastic drum you get will have its top sealed so you will have to drill a hole in the middle top of the drum. Many people will put a screen or other type of filter over this hole so that leaves and other debris do not get into the rain barrel. If your roof gutter system already has grills or screens to keep leaves out then you won’t need to worry about a filter for the barrel. Usually it is a good idea to raise the barrel up off the ground by putting it on cinder blocks. This will help protect the ground underneath and make it easier to recycle the rainwater you collect in the rain barrel. You will undoubtedly have to raise the height of your downspout as well so that it is slightly above the level of the top of the drum.

Now that we have the drum setup for collecting rainwater, we need to arrange a way to get it out. The simplest way is to drill a small hole in the lower side of the drum a couple inches up from the bottom and glue in a PVC male adaptor then attach a 3 to 4 foot length of plastic hose to this adaptor. Of course, it is important to keep the end of the hose above the top of the barrel so that the barrel doesn’t drain. You can notch the top rim of the drum as a holder for the hose or alternately you can attach a plastic valve to the end of the hose. Finally, at the end of the hose you will want to attach a plastic adaptor that allows the attachment of a standard garden hose. This setup will use gravity to drain the drum. To use the rainwater collected simply put the end of the garden hose on the ground you intend to water, open the valve if you used one and the drum will self-drain out the end of the garden hose. To stop the flow either close the valve or raise the end of the garden hose above the top level of the drum.

Author: Michael Russell

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Recycling

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

Be sure to check out this video about making rain barrels.

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Rainbarrels For Conserving Water

February 23rd, 2009

 

Rainbarrels are a great way to conserve water around the home and garden and this article discusses different ways you can save water including rain harvesting.

Tips and information on saving water at home and in the garden.

As the warmer months approach, now is a good time to start thinking about how you can save water over the summer months and beyond. We often think of the water in our taps as a never ending supply, but in fact it is very important to conserve water, as only a very small amount of the earth’s water is fresh, about 3%. And when you consider that almost 70% of that is frozen, there is not much left for human consumption. The threat of global warming and the issues of lower rainfall that may bring to some areas, also means that we need to start thinking now about how we can reduce our water consumption.

There are actually many simple ways to save water around the home, reducing your dependence on mains water and therefore also saving you money. Some everyday tips include only using the water required in pans and kettles, not running the tap whilst brushing your teeth, showering rather than bathing and making sure that washing machines and dishwashers are only used when full. None of these cost anything to implement, but some additional very inexpensive water saving devices can help further. Install a Hippo in your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used to flush, and invest in a water butt for your garden to collect rainwater. This can then be used to water the garden or wash the car. Whilst not reducing your overall water consumption, you are lowering your dependence on mains water where drinking-quality water is not necessary. 
rain barrel with spigot

More expensive options are full rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems. Rainwater can be used for household tasks such as toilet flushing and in washing machines, whilst greywater (water previously used in handbasins, showers and baths) can be processed to be reused in toilets and washing machines. These systems are more of an investment but can significantly reduce your dependence on mains water.

<< SIDENOTE: Rainbarrels can be very cost-effective and rather inexpensive for collecting rain water. >>

The summer months in particular can see an increase in water consumption due to the needs of a garden. As well as using rainwater as much as possible, you can reduce the amount of water needed with a few simple measures. Water plants in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation and use a watering can rather than hose or sprinkler. Don’t worry about watering your lawn as grass is very hardy and will soon recover even if it turns brown during a hot spell.

All of these water saving tips can really help to reduce your water consumption. Try to think carefully about any water you use and you will soon see a difference in your water bill.

UK Energy Saving
UK Energy Saving Home Page

By Hayley Jones
Published: 5/27/2008  

 

Rainbarrels Around The Home

Also known as water butts in the UK and rainwater tanks in many parts of the United States, rain barrels are water containers wherein rain water from rooftops is collected and stored.

Protecting the Environment with a Rain Barrel

Collecting falling water in a barrel or container is not a revolutionary new idea. The concept of a rain barrel and other types of rain catchers has been in use as long as agriculture… pretty much as long as civilization.

Installing Rainbarrels, Rain Chains, And Underground Cisterns

In January’s Sunset Magazine there was a short article about installing rain chains, rain barrels and cisterns in order to collect rain water, and I was really interested in it because I was planning on doing at least 2 of them.

Rain Barrels And Gardens

Saving money and the environment often go hand-in-hand, a match made on Earth.

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