Instructables

Rain Barrel Lawn Sprinkler

Picture of Rain Barrel Lawn Sprinkler
So, you live in a townhouse with a small front lawn. It never seems to get the water it needs to "keep up with the Jones who are retired and have a perfect lawn". And you have an erosion problem because your gutters collect water from all the roofs around you. Well, that is what drove me to this project.
 
I knew I needed to put in a "french drain" to deal with all the water coming down the spout, I also knew that I really needed an automatic sprinkler of some kind to keep the grass going through the hot periods here in Northern Virginia. Those thoughts spun in my brain until I saw this at my local home improvement store- for half price I might add!
 
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Step 1: The Parts

Picture of The Parts
This Deck Storage container was just the right size and shape to make a cistern for a small sprinkler system. I couldn't dig too deep for there were pipes in the same area- this is what kept me from doing a french drain in the first place (that and laziness). This container holds about 50 gallons of water and is made to stay outside year round. It has a lid that seals well. Perfect for making a buried rain barrel that could be the water source for a small sprinkler system.

Step 2: Sprinkler Design

Picture of Sprinkler Design

First, let me say that I know this is very small scale. I am blessed (or cursed as some would believe) with a very small front lawn (20' x 20'). I only need 1 zone to water the whole thing. I figured that 8 heads would cover the area.

I'm not going to explain how to install a sprinkler system. If you have ever glued PVC pipe together, you can do it. It is a matter of digging trenches, laying and gluing the PVC pipe, and connecting to a water source. You can also use flexible black pipe. Regardless, the process is the same. Here is a schematic of my system.

Aquabarrel8 months ago
for a nice looking termination point use a DrainBox
http://www.aquabarrel.com/product_drainbox.php
rpkemp31 year ago
Well done!
pcooper21 year ago
wilgubeast2 years ago
Nice project. Where are you sending the overflow from the cistern? Any possibility of turning your overflow into a french drain? That'd keep your roof water in your lawn, particularly if you are seeing a lot of overflow run out into the street.

Congratulations on solving your erosion problem. I think you'll be happiest with a drip system, if only because it is easy and low-maintenance. As an Instructables staff member, though, I say go for the Arduino/float array. :-D
nbonine (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
I have the overflow going out on the sidewalk, but you are absolutely right. I do not like the exposed pipe end there either. If I can convince my wife to let me dig that corner of the yard up (again), I'll do it!
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