Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rain Barrel Instruction Sheet

The South Plains UWCD Rain Barrel Workshop was a huge success. The SPUWCD made 23 rain barrels out of 44 gallon trash cans. Before I post pictures of the workshop, I wanted to share our insturction sheet with you, on how we made the barrels.
How to Build Your Own Rain Barrel

Building a rain barrel is necessary when beginning your rainwater harvesting program at home. Harvesting rainwater is a conservation strategy that may be implemented quickly and cost effectively, with minimal disruption or inconvenience to the homeowner. Capturing rainwater runoff from your roof and storing it in your rain barrel provides a water supply for your plants, landscape and other non-potable uses. Below is a suggested method for building your rain barrel from a heavy duty plastic trash can. We recommend a dark-colored trash can than restricts the sun’s rays from reaching the water. This will inhibit the growth of algae when water is stored inside the barrel.

Parts List: Heavy duty trash can with well-fitting lid, ½” faucet, ½” conduit lock nut, rubber washer, window screen

Tools: Drill, ¾” drill bit, pliers, hot glue gun, scissors, permanent marker, utility knife (optional)

Instructions for the Lid

1. Using the drill and ¾” bit, create a “sieve” type pattern in the lid by drilling multiple holes in the center of the lid. Alternatively, you may cut out a solid 4” or larger hole using a utility knife.

2. Place the screen on the underside of the lid and trace it so that the piece is more than large enough to cover all of the holes. Using the scissors, cut the screen.

3. Hot glue the screen on the underneath side of the lid. Make sure it is secure, as the screen will keep unwanted debris from entering the rain barrel.

Instructions for the Barrel

1. Locate a spot near the bottom of the barrel where you want the faucet installed. Be careful not to place it too close to the bottom, as that location may prohibit the connection of a water hose.

2. Using the drill and ¾” bit, drill the hole for the faucet. After completed, the hole should still provide a snug fit against the threads of the faucet. On the inside of the barrel, you should now place the rubber washer over the threaded end and then secure the faucet by using the locknut. Tighten snugly using a pair of pliers.

Instructions for Us

1. Place the lid securely onto the barrel.

2. Place the barrel under the roof overhang, near a roof valley, or under a downspout. You may also use a rain chain and place the barrel directly beneath it. Any of these locations allows the capture of runoff.

3. After the barrel has collected water, open the faucet for filling watering pitchers, or attach a hose for watering plants or other landscape items.