Monthly Archives: March 2012

Rain Barrel

Wow, I haven’t done an entry in a while. Winter is fading quickly into Spring. Fruit trees and daffodils have been blooming for ten days already. I’ve been cleaning out garden beds and doing some finishing touches on my deer exclosure (which is working!), and we’re finally getting some rain. So, now is the time to tackle some of my problem spots, including the tendency of a certain gutter to overflow and cause some flooding into Peter’s office.

The city gave a rain barrel workshop some weeks ago, and along with instructions, gave out free food grade barrels to convert into rain barrels. I decided that overflow location was the perfect spot.

With all my supplies and tools assembled, I set to work. The barrels used to contain liquid smoke, so they did need a bit of a rinse before getting started.

A good base is of course essential, since it will be supporting some 500 lbs. of water when completely full.

I put the base exactly where the overflow was falling, and made sure it was perfectly level.

The barrel is an open top design, because it’s not at a downspout, and I put in an extra large overflow, that leads directly to the drain.

The whole project would have taken about 2 hours, except the nut holding the outflow pipe to the barrel got stuck on the thread and I couldn’t tighten it down, or loosen it again. I didn’t have any tool large enough for that size nut, so in the end, a few days later, I just used aquarium silicone to seal the pieces in place.

The barrel got it’s first test this past weekend when we got 1.63 inches of rain. The barrel appears to have caught all the overflow. The real test will be when we have a gully washer downpour. That’s when the gutters really back up. Time will tell, but I hope I’ve solved the problem, and made irrigation water more easily available to that very sunny garden.