Saturday, May 2, 2015

Build Your Own Rain Barrel @RutgersNJAES @EPAwatersense @BurlcoTimes

Make Your Own Rain Barrel
With water becoming more and more precious, owning a rain barrel (or two or three!) may be something to consider for your home and gardens. We made our first rain barrel today with the help of Mike Haberland of Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension at the Burlington County Garden Expo.

First we went inside a beautifully renovated farmhouse at the Expo location and watched a presentation on how to make a rain barrel. This Building-a-Rain-Barrel YouTube video is a good summary.

Then we went outside the farmhouse and looked over the supplies that came with the class. We started off by wrapping window screening around a 10-inch plastic colander that will be used to keep debris and mosquitoes from entering the water inlet in the top of the barrel.

We drilled 2 holes in a used 55-gallon, blue plastic Brandy barrel... what a great repurpose project! 
I drilled a larger hole about 3-inches from the top of the barrel to put in 1 1/4-inch plastic adapter piece to serve as an overflow for when the barrel fills up with rain water. See the video for all the details.

Harry drilled a smaller hole about 3-inches from the bottom to put in the faucet. We used waterproof sealant around the inserted materials.
Just as we were working on installing the metal conduit for the overflow segment, a photographer arrived on the scene from Burlington County Times. She snapped a bunch of photos and took our names. We just may be in tomorrow's paper; we'll have to look and see!

When we got home, Harry made a shallow hole where we decided to put the rain barrel and added small stones. Our next step will be to position and level 3 cinder blocks to support and raise the barrel. 

Our final step will be to cut into the nearby rain spout and add a new section to divert water to the barrel. We plan to stop by Home Depot asap to pick up the needed supplies.

Rain barrels help the environment and are a good way to save money and conserve water.
Related Links

Why Save Water?
Rain Barrel Installation Instructions
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