I don’t know about where you are, but here in southern Oregon spring is in full swing! I am loving it, that’s for sure. I know that this is when a lot of you out there are getting torrential downpours. April showers bring May flowers, right? When I was growing up in the Portland area I coined the term April showers bring May showers! It’s true, although thankfully here in Ashland it’s not quite as dismal as that. While we do get rain pretty reliably here for 9 months out of the year, we definitely have a summer drought where we don’t get any rain whatsoever for 3 months straight. So setting up a rain collection barrel makes a whole lot of sense for us. To be honest, it makes a whole lot of sense for any self reliant homestead. All of that rain that comes off the roof of your house or barn is useable, especially for watering plants and hand washing clothes. Of course, you can also buy a water filter (Berkey filters are awesome) to make it drinkable as well. So, here we go… I’m going to show you how to make a rain barrel!
Here is most of what you will need. Of course we forgot a couple of things for the picture, but don’t fret! I will make sure you have what you need. This is a pretty simple process, actually. Besides what is shown here you will need 4 rubber O rings and a PVC reducer (you’ll see what this looks like in the pictures below). A small piece of screen is also helpful. Also, you don’t need to use the exact pieces in the picture above, just try to find something similar.
This is where you’ll need rubber O rings. We made them ourselves out of a piece of pond liner. Get creative! These are what go into that hole you just drilled. Someone will have to climb into the barrel to put these pieces in their place in the hole, feel free to laugh at that person!
You’re going to do the same thing at the top of the barrel. Drill a 7/8 or 1 inch hole, use the rubber O rings, and instead of the spigot you’ll just have a piece that a hose can fit onto. Luckily you don’t have to crawl into the barrel to put this one in!
Now you’ll put that PVC reducer into the hole, and it’s very wise to add a bit of screen to the bottom of it first. It’s not shown in the picture here, but we did add it. It helps to keep mosquitos and other bugs out, as well as debris.
And there you have it! This really took no time at all, just a couple of hours on a lazy day. I think building the stand took longer than making the rain barrel itself! That’s not too much to ask for water security. It’s so nice to know that we have tons of water outside at any given moment. Right now we have 3 of these rain barrels set up. You can even chain them together if you want instead of having them all attached to a downspout.
As we all know, water is the key to life… so you should start collecting it as soon as possible!