Saturday, May 10, 2008

Roll out the barrel

I really want to get a rain barrel this year. Our water bills are crazy high (so high I think they are a mistake as we rarely do laundry, shower together, have only water saving fixtures and are only 2 people) so anything to help is a good thing. Anyone have good luck making their own? Have a good source for buying one? The ones I see online are on the pricy side.


danielle said...

I've been wanting to get a rain barrel myself for two years! I'm still trying to see if I can get a 55 gal barrel real cheap from the Pepsi plant in order to make my own.

There was a guy selling plastic barrels locally on Craigslist, but they previously held soap, so that didn't seem like the best option. Ebay has a varied assortment, prices vary.

As for buying, locally, the Jones Falls Watershed Assoc. sells them for $60 and the Herring Run Watershed Assoc. sells them for $70. Also, check out their calendar for workshops where you build your own with their assistance.

Parks and People is having a workshop on Wed. May 21. You build your own at the workshop it is $60. $80 if you just buy one pre-assembled.

I've done a lot of research on this. Let me know if you need more info.

Abby said...

We've had a couple of youth groups in the area sell them this year as fundraisers. I don't know the newspaper low-down in your area, but the one with the most local information might be a place to turn to!

Otherwise, I want some SO bad myself. I like the ones made from old wine barrels - but they're so expensive. I know that Gardeners Supply sells several kinds. (Love that catalog.)

Aimee "Roo" said...

It's something we have wanted too, but haven't sprung for yet. Another cool option is to make a series of ponds that drain into one another, with the last one having a spigot for a hose. That is what we have decided to eventually build. Much prettier than the barrel. :)

gina said...

It would seem to me mosquitos might be an

Lynch Family said...

The non-profit I work for sells a truly excellent rainwater diverter (, but we don't ship barrels because it is a waste of fuel and truck space. The website does have a tool for locating a barrel near you.

One thing you need to keep an eye on is that you need overflow protection. Some home-built systems have a garden hose at the top so that when the barrel is full, water drains off the top. This is not enough: the volume of rain coming in will easily exceed the amount that can be let out by the hose, and in that case either your barrel will overflow or your downspout will back up and your gutters will overflow. Either way, you have rainwater collecting against your house. So whether you buy or build, make sure your solution addresses this problem.

Good luck with your project. I agree about a soap barrel, but I have seen some that have held veggie oil, which would probably be great:pretty much flavorless, and if there was any residue, it might help to inhibit insects. We are near Kikkoman up here (WI), so we get a lot of soy sauce barrels--pre-marinated veggies, anyone?