We have a number of rain barrels and 275gal totes that we have acquired in various ways. We needed a way to filter the water coming from the rain gutters before storing it in the totes (we figured they would be hard to clean out later). I also wanted a way to divert water into multiple barrels so that when it rains we can fill multiple containers in parallel. After evaluating many different designs i settled on a two 2.5 gal bucket system with 1/2 inch hoses for the divert-er.
Step 1: Supplies
- Two 2.5 gallon buckets and lids.
- One tube of Kwik Seal silicone.
- Gorilla Glue
- One replacement water filter for, what i think was, a pool pump (i got a two pack for $9).
- Window screen. I used an extra one i had in my garage.
Four 1/2" barbed couplings.
50' roll of 1/2" tubing for drip systems.
The whole thing cost about $25.
Step 2: Tools
- 1 1/2" drill bit
- 5/8" drill bit
- 3/4 " drill bit
- hot glue gun
- scissors or sheet metal clippers
Step 3: The Design
Ok here is the idea. We have two buckets, one sits on top of the other. Water obviously flows top down so that is how i'll explain it.
The top lid is the first line of defense against leaves and other gunk from the rain gutter. So cut a 6" hole and cover it with the window screen.
At the bottom of the top bucket drill a 1 1/2" hole in the middle and place the water filter over it secured by the silicone. Also drill a 1 1/2" hole in the lid of the bottom bucket.
Now we have filtered water in the bottom bucket. Next the diverting of the water.
Drill 5/8" holes an inch from the bottom of the bottom bucket. These must all be as close to equal from the bottom as you can get them so that water is diverted evenly. Stick the 1/2" couplings through the holes and attach the hoses to the couplings. Then route the hoses wherever you need them.
Step 4: The Top Lid
Cut a 6" hole in the lid. Easily done with a hole saw, but i don't have one so i took a bowl and traced a piece of paper. Once i had my paper 6" circle i folded it in half and then in half again. Unfold it and the crease will be the center of the circle (thanks to my wife for that idea). I used a small drill bit through the center of the paper and lid. Then i was able to trace the outline of the 6" circle. After that i drilled small holes along the edge of the circle and used my sheet metal cutter to cut out the circle. Set aside the 6" of plastic from the hole to be used later.
I cut out enough screen to cover the hole. Flip the lid upside down and hot glue the screen to the bottom of the lid.
Step 5: The Top Bucket and Bottom Lid
Cut a 1 1/2" hole through the bottom of bucket and the other lid. Use the silicone to seal the filter on top of the hole. Then also apply the silicone the lid and place the bucket on top of the lid sealing the two together.
Take the extra plastic from the prior step and use the silicone to seal it to the top of the filter so no water gets in the top.
Step 6: The Bottom Bucket
Drill 5/8" holes around the bottom of the bucket. Space them out however you like, but make sure they are equidistant from the bottom so that the water is diverted equally. I chose to drill my holes 1 inch from the bottom.
Apply a generous amount of silicone to the coupling and then push it through the hole from the INSIDE. That way if you need to pull the hose off of the barb you will be pulling against the bucket and won't pull out the whole coupling.
Do this for all 4 couplings applying extra silicone where needed to form a good seal.
Step 7: Update
One thing i've learned more than anything else from this project is that silicone is NOT GLUE! After a field test i had to add gorilla glue to almost everything.
The hoses were a little harder to manipulate than i thought they'd be. While attaching the hoses to the couplings, the couplings came loose from the bucket. I had to gorilla glue and more silicone. I found if i just don't move the hoses too much the couplings are ok.
Step 8: Putting It All Together
Finally put the lids on their respective buckets and cut your lengths of hose however you desire. I put most of the hoses into my barrels and one of them into a 3/4" hole i drilled in the top of my 275 gallon tote.
Place the buckets underneath the down spout and all of your hoses to the selected containers.
Sit back and wait for it to RAIN!