Instructables

Collect rain water with a wine barrel

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I think I read all instructables on this site about collecting rain water.

Finally I've decided to build my own one with a wine barrel because I didn't want to destroy the look of my future-to-be terrace. I always found rain water collectors super ugly. It's usually an old plastic tank or barrel; handy but not very nice to the eye (and I didn't have the motivation to build something like this to hide it.

Anyway, here's how I did it.

Material

- a wine barrel (found on eBay for 50 EUR) - make sure to get one with a lid and a cork (usually it's a special cork located in the belly part of the barrel)
- a rain water collector to hook up to the gutter (found on eBay for 19 EUR - but otherwise available in nearly all DIY shop) - I choose that model because the collected water would come out via a little tube and not an "open-air" half-pipe
- driller
- flat wood drill heads
- some screws
- an old piece of board about the length of the barrel's lid
- a handle

 
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Step 1: Prepare the barrel's lid


Usually wine barrel's lids are a bit wobbly.

They are made of some planks inserted in each other, and are supposed to be inserted in a groove at the top, inside the barrel. Because of that I had to make the lid stronger so it would resist to frequent usage.

I found an old piece of wood board in my garage and screwed it tight at the back of the lid. I made sure to use rustproof (inox) screws. In order to be able to close the barrel and properly put the lid back on, (and because the lid is round) I had to saw the 4 corners of the board as you can see on the picture.

Last year we bought a new kitchen and we received two extra handles (don't ask me why), so I've decided to use one of them for my barrel.

The screws that came with the handle weren't long enough to go through the thickness of the lid + the board attached at the back. So I used a flat drill head to make a wider hole and reduce the thickness so I could properly attach the handle.

Make sure to place the handle in the middle of the lid, it's not only more beautiful but also easier to manipulate when you open/close the barrel.
mkrueger72 months ago
Did you worry about the wine impacting your garden? I purchased a whiskey barrel and was surprised with how fragrant it is - I'm slightly concerned if it will be harmful to my plants.
TheTunaMan1 year ago
While we all know about the need to save water, This is an area where you need to be careful. The water all runs over petrol based shingles, which shed there particals on a daily basis. Even when only using to water a garden, YOU still take in what the shingle releases. It would be a great idea to filter it as if you were going to drink it, because in essence you will be. Just a thought from a Roofer with 20+ yrs on the job. JMHO


nice rain barrel! are yo french?
chouf (author)  didgitalpunk3 years ago
close ;-), i'm belgian
sunshiine3 years ago
Great idea.
bgmd4 years ago
 Great.  I've got an oak barrel and will do what you've suggested.  But how do you get the top off without destroying it?
chouf (author)  bgmd4 years ago
 hi bgmd,

i'm not a "barrel expert", but as far as I know, i think you'll have to remove or loosen the top metal band in order to be able to push a little bit the planks aside so the top can come off its groove.

the way it works now with my barrel is that the lid is no longer in the groove, but on top of it (see my drawing on imagehsack  here). Personally the top came off quick easily, I only had to loosen a bit the metal band (I used a flat screw driver and a hammer to tap the band up)

hope this helps
Rocksterr4 years ago
Nice handle!  I appreciate the aesthetics of  using a natural wood wine barrel as opposed to those ugly, plastic barrels.  Very classy set-up.
chouf (author)  Rocksterr4 years ago
tx ;-)
what about cleaning the water of impurities would blech work 1tbs per gallon so how big is the drum
chouf (author)  albylovesscience5 years ago
hi, there the barrel is 225 liter so I think it's about 49,5 gallons. btw, by "blech" did you mean "bleach"? I wouldn't be in favour of using bleach as this is really not ecological and secondly as I'm using the water for my plants and flowers, they do not need sterilized water. For the impurities, there a built-in filter in the rain water collector that filters leaves, moss and other debris
ohhh thats a very good idea you should make a second ible for actual drinkable filtrating barrel probably a layer of sand smashed coal sand smashed coal then sand again and a lump of clay in the second layer for some better tasting water I learned that from the colony on discovery channel
chouf (author)  albylovesscience4 years ago
btw, i found a solution to have "clean" water in my barrel. (not frinkable, but just clean-er) I put in the barrel some charcoal pieces from my fireplace and this is enough to prevent any fungus to develop or stuff like that. It's like those filter jugs, some work with "active charcoal", this is the same principle, the charcoal will ensure the water remains +/- clean. For the moment it's floating in the barrel, but I'm planning to create a little net with some fence wire I have and have the charcoal trapped in it (a bit like a fishing net)
Grady4 years ago
Frozened Juice Concentrate Distributors will usually sell there big plastic ones, along with the hardware, to put a spigot toward the bottom & one toward the top that all you have to do is screw on a water hose.
PS1185 years ago
Classy! Great idea!
chouf (author)  PS1185 years ago
tx
This is an excellent idea for those who do not want to invest in a rain water barrel. Given the water shortage situations in several states in the US, water conservation is important. Some more tips on how to conserve water can be found at http://tr.im/vh3u
Ninzerbean5 years ago
Love it love it love it - I have been putting off getting a rain barrel because they are so ugly, now I can get started on this with no restrictions about putting it out front or in the back out of sight. Way to go!
It's a bit pricier, but the wine barrel looks great! Did you not add a spigot?
chouf (author)  Weissensteinburg5 years ago
i was planning to install one and put the barrel a bit higher on some concrete blocs, but it was so quickly filled with water that I didn't want to waste all that clear water ;-) for the moment I'm using a watering can and it works fine until I have enough water of course; as it'll not be easy to get the water at the bottom of the barrel if the level is getting low
I know exactly how you feel...my barrel can fill up in 10-20 minutes with some moderate rain, and I'll fill up any spare buckets lying around, just so I can use even more of that water later.