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From: Keith ( -
Subject: Re: Rain Barrels
Date: May 24, 2009 at 8:38 am PST

In Reply to: Rain Barrels posted by LisaB on May 24, 2009 at 5:34 am:

I would put a piece of insect screen (the stuff you make screen windows out of) over the top of the barrel. If you wanted it easily removable, you could make a frame to support the screen, with a cutout for the downspout, and place it over the barrel. To access the water, you would just lift the screen off, dip the water out, then replace it when you were done.

We are serious about collecting rainwater. We have a great big 1500 gallon tank under our deck, and another 1000 gallon tank at the other side of the house, and we are preparing to add another 2000 gallon tank. Our downspouts go into the tops of the tanks through a moderately elaborate arrangement of pipes.

Using barrels, there would be a number of issues to consider. When full, they will overflow, so you need provision to direct the spilling water to someplace where it will do no harm.

Barrels have limited capacity, so you may want to fill more than one. You could interconnect several barrels with pipes so that they all fill together, or you could direct the overflow from one into the next. Or, you could arrange a movable downspout to direct water into the next available barrel. Forget about rolling the full barrel away and replacing it with an empty one - the full barrel will be too heavy to move.

You also have to provide for accessing the water once it is collected. The easiest way is to dip a watering can into the open top. If you are using scrounged barrels, you could drill the bottom and add a faucet. Commercially made rainwater barrels will likely already have a faucet installed.


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