Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,867 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many people use rain barrels to supplement the watering of their gardens and cut down on costs? If there was no central water supply it seems that this would be your primary way of watering when no rain is available?

Anyone know of some good retail rain barrels?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
We use rain water for all our needs, both in the home and in the garden. We have a 30,000 litre rainwater tank, but also gather rainwater in several barrels.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,790 Posts
I have three barrels. I keep telling myself that one day I will connect them, with a float valve, to my self-watering containers so I don't have to do anything but plant and harvest.

You can get prepared barrels from just about any large hardware centre, garden centers or famer co-ops/suppliers. Many people will save some money by sourcing barrels from other places (food and drink factories, ...) cleaning them out and putting their own hardware in (tap, overflow, inlet screen).

There are several threads on the board about the subject and I bet a search will show them up. Here's a link on a multi-barrel set up:

http://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/articles/adams/audrey/water_barrel.htm

Cheers,
-Per.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
I use them. They are wonderful. I now have 5 55 gallon barrels. I can water my small garden for almost a whole month with those.

In an emergency I can also put my canoe in the yard and let it catch the rain.
 

·
How's it with stains?
Joined
·
283 Posts
I'm planning on setting some up when we get into a place of our own where I can do it right. For now though I just leave the kiddie pool out and try to stay on top of keeping the skeeters out of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,613 Posts
I picked up 3 x 55 gallon plastic barrels for 5 bucks each used. They previously had cooking oil in them and required some serious cleaning at the car wash, but cleaned up nicely. I havent used them yet but will be this summer. I am planning to put in a drip irrigation system that the barrels will supply the water for.

I suspect that three barrels isnt enough as dry as it often is here inbetween rains, so I will likely have to add at least a couple more. Running them on a drip irrigation system is probably the only way I can make my water last a while and water things enough to keep them alive.
 

·
Wild Edibles Expert
Joined
·
10,167 Posts
I think barrels are quaint but not too effective, unless all you get is very little rain. Here in Florida rain barrels are inundated very quickly. A cistern is more appropriate, something that can hold a lot of water and have it when you need it. A 55-gallon barrel isn't that much (for a garden.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I think barrels are quaint but not too effective, unless all you get is very little rain. Here in Florida rain barrels are inundated very quickly. A cistern is more appropriate, something that can hold a lot of water and have it when you need it. A 55-gallon barrel isn't that much (for a garden.)
I agree with this.

Also you can get a cistern for not too much money...

Try septic supply places, farmer's supply, craigslist etc.

We're going all out this year and putting three 1500 gallon ones in.

We are also putting a rain chain off our goat's new shelter to fill their water bucket with.

There is a guy in Texas who has figured out how to convert rainwater into potable water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,771 Posts
Check your state statutes

In my state, as in many others, rainwater is considered the property of the state and it is not legal to store it in barrels.

It's not often prosecuted, but if you run into an authority that decides on that day to be a butthead, you need to understand the possible consequences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
In my state, as in many others, rainwater is considered the property of the state and it is not legal to store it in barrels.

It's not often prosecuted, but if you run into an authority that decides on that day to be a butthead, you need to understand the possible consequences.
In Oregon rainwater usage is encouraged. My city requires no permits for any above ground cistern. They are quite permit happy too, so this was refreshing.

ETA - we are flooding right now - I bet the state wishes every home had a 5K cistern...it might have helped ha ha
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,790 Posts
In my state, as in many others, rainwater is considered the property of the state and it is not legal to store it in barrels.

It's not often prosecuted, but if you run into an authority that decides on that day to be a butthead, you need to understand the possible consequences.
I think I've heard that that is the case in Colorado as well. However, here it is not only permitted it is encouraged. Two of my three barrels were actually purchased from the city under an incentive program to collect rainwater. They even deliver the barrels to you (at one time they also installed them for you but not any longer).

-Per.
 

·
RESET CONGRESS!!
Joined
·
9,462 Posts
Oh for goodness sake. I forgot all about rain barrels. My grandparents always had rain barrels around. I could save some $$ watering the garden this year ! Thanks, gang !
I like this site. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,613 Posts
Yes it is very dry here more years than not. 2005 saw the lake drop 14 plus feet the last time I checked before torrential down pours in May 2006 filled the lake back up which is where we all get our city water from. We ended 2008 at least 7 inches below average as of Nov 08 and I think we got less than a 1/2 inch more during December 08. The lake is currently 8-9 feet down using my calibrated eye to size it up with which isnt too terribly bad as long as this comming spring bring considerably above average rain fall, otherwise we will have another drought here in North Texas. So yeah its pretty dry here a majority of the year.

Yes 55 gallon barrels will fill up pretty quick when we do get rain here. I really wish it was feasable to put in a 2000 plus gallon cistern (Thats a stellar idea for sure), as that indeed is the answer in the long term for a reliable source of water for the garden, and that I also had the fun dollars available to do so, too. Since thats definitely not happening anytime soon, Im kinda thinking that 5 barrels for 25 fun dollars and a drip irrigation system for a small garden is better than gambling on a wet year in 2009, or doing nothing.

So should I scrap this idea and write it off as wasted time and effort?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I noticed a Good set up the other day while visitng the zoo with my kids. The zoo has metal roofed buildings and uses a 3 barrel(55 gal) drain system for each down spout. The center barrel has a screened top to filter leaves and each barrel is connected by water tight garden hose fittings about 6 inchs from the top. the center barrel is on top of a cinder block rasing it 12 inchs higher than the other 2. all the barrels have a water drain 12-14 inchs above ground level. A Sign by the water barrels read All animals at the Atlanta zoo are supplied with water from our rain water barrels.
Thorshammer new poster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
I've got all mine very inexpensively or for free, so I don't know where one purchases them. Check local food processors, surplus stores, avoid anything that had something that wasn't edible in them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,460 Posts
How many people use rain barrels to supplement the watering of their gardens and cut down on costs? If there was no central water supply it seems that this would be your primary way of watering when no rain is available?

Anyone know of some good retail rain barrels?
In the summer of 06, I put 4 barrels in the rafters of my barn. I ran the gutter downspouts into a plastic trash can with a float activated pump in it. The barrels are on their side with the large bung hole facing up. they are all connected together, with the pump plumbed into the pipe at the top. Also, the top pipe tees off to a pipe that runs through a wall to allow overflow when the barrels become full. The small bung holes at the bottom are all plumbed together and a pipe runs down the wall to a typical hose pipe bib. This system works very well and the height of the barrels in the attic actually gives pretty good pressure. We have had 2 summers in a row with bad drought conditions and I have never run out of water for the garden. In the fall, I drain the system, and remove the trash can and pump from the downspout.:thumb:
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top