The internet is my favorite tool, but hubby cringes every time I mention that I have a new idea I want to try.
He does get extra points, because all groaning aside, he has been a mostly active and supportive participant in my schemes.
The largest scheme to date is the rain barrel system.
I’d seen a few samples and the obsession began: I searched online, reading how-to articles and watching how-to videos; and then shopped for weeks.
I decided to try the most affordable option: I found numerous barrels for $15 each on Craigslist, and less than an hour away.
I arranged to purchase seven of them, and hubby willingly went along with me to meet the man we purchased from and load the barrels into the truck.
These barrels are food grade, 55 gallon, and have a screw top lid. As a bonus, some of the barrels also have a secondary insert under the lid.
I shopped at Home Depot for the necessary parts: hose bibs and nuts, overflow connectors, clamps, hose, and screen. The hardest part was finding appropriate overflow tubing/hose that would fit the large overflow connectors I had purchased.
I’m thankful for helpful employees!
I explained the basic design to Hubby and he set upon making realistic barrels from the picture in my head.
Hubby got caught up in the design, having explained my crazy scheme to co-workers who were looking for updates on the build. He was as excited as I!
He set up concrete block bases, because I wanted to be able to set a bucket under the hose bib to fill with water. The higher the base for the barrel, the better gravity flow/water pressure.
Each barrel also requires air flow and overflow, in order to prevent vacuum when using the hose bib and to allow water to escape when the barrel gets full.
Additionally, the barrels that sit directly under the downspout require an opening for the rushing water, and a screen to filter the debris and keep out mosquitos.
Each opening also requires screen to keep out mosquitos.
Overflow barrels do not need the barrel top alteration. This saves on screen as well.
Our results were mostly right on target. Even a small rain will quickly fill a barrel. Large rains were planned for, by chaining three barrels together for each downspout.
The season turned out to be incredibly hot and dry last year, so having an additional 330 gallons of mineral rich rainwater available for the garden each time it rained was a practical necessity.
Are you using any water conservation techniques?