Multiple Rain Barrels





Introduction: Multiple Rain Barrels

About: Schools out, so I got nothing big to keep me busy. I'll prob'ly make some more instructables soon.

NC has mega droughts, and even though it is beginning to look better, I can't help but fear the worst. So I calmed my fears by making this collection of rain barrels. Well actually, my dad did everything, but it looks cool and works great so I don't feel bad. It's a bunch of barrels connected with pipes and then there are three other barrels in case we get really heavy rain, but they aren't connected so it makes emptying the system a lot harder.



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    13 Discussions

    For an easier design with less thinking and planning look at this one:

    I picked up a 1000 liter tank from a local second hand store. It is plastic with an aluminum cage around it. I placed it in my yard behind the trees and ran my downspout in the fence to supply the water. I also placed a bilge pump in it with a switch and 12v rechargeable battery (added a small solar panel to keep the battery up) now I have running water to water plants. A little note I add a mini chlorine tab to stop algae buildup (I also use these in my ponds to keep the water clear)

    my dad works for a company owned by interbake foods and his section of the company makes ice cream cones he gets the barrels steel or plastic that hold molasses for free all the time,in fact he can also get big huge 500 pound boxes of cones that fall on floor or don't meet spefications for free. just giving another idea of where to get them from

    1 reply

    Hi, just a "gotta ask ", u don't happen 2 live in or near Maine? I know it's a long shot, but we live in rural Maine w no running water, etc. I'm raising 8yo & am fighting cancer w no medical, LOL, yup, I'm a wreck, loser, whatever. But if I don't ask or try then I'm really a sad case. So forgive my forwardness, any help or ideas r truly wicked appreciated. Thinking of making a cedar slab (free 2 us) gutter system. Any thoughts? Thanks, msJan

    Your garden will love you for this simple idea!!! I have collecting rain water a couple of years now, Set your barrels up on a simple stand for easy gravity feeding or set to a timer pump ect. I have a number of barrels some collecting water on the house some on green house. I have a sump pump, picked up cheep @ a yard sale, when a barrel get fuul I drop the sump in hook up a hose and pump it to a empty in garden, I keep one barrel empty add my compost or worm tea bag,( 5 gallon paint strainers work really well) fill with water and put pump in and aireate the whole barrel, also oxegenates the water then I feed my plants, they love it.
    Thanks hope this helpes.

    plastic barrels can also be gotten for free from Universities-like a vet school or from dairy's such as a cow dairy. You might also check local container companies in your area. Some sell or even give away used barrels. Just make sure they are cleaned out very good. Don't want to kill your plants with leftover residue in the barrel-like detergent or soap.

    I am interested in rain barrels but am finding the barrels are quite expensive is there a more frugal source for them and if so where might I find them

    6 replies

    I was able to find some 55 gallon drums in Seattle area for 20 dollars each.  A food bakery place had them containing some kind of sugar originally.  They posted on craigslist, I responded and picked them up.  Now to build my barrel system for this summer.

    Check into car washes and marinas (if you live near water). My barrels are were used to hold soap. they are exactly the same as the food grade barrels from the bottlers. They were free. The bungs on most plastic barrels already have 3/4" pipe threads. You just need to drill the rest of the hole out so that it goes all the way through. I think that is what e-mag was talking about. The boiler drain should be installed a few inches up from the bottom of the barrel to avoid clogging the spout with sediment though.

    If you are intertested in gatting a barrel for collecting rain, I suggest contacting a local bottler (soda pop company). They often sell them for $10 or so and are food grade so you don't have to worry about leeching or residual chemicals. I also fitted mine with a boiler faucet piece, which fits nicely at the bottom and allows for hose hook up to fill a watering can or use a soaker hose. Good luck!

    Your best bet is probably craigslist or freecycle. I got mine from one of my dad's business friends so thats how we got them got so many so cheap.