Conservation of water, or water safety, is one of the most crucial needs for human beings. A very large quantity of water can be obtained from rains, if we follow some simple ways to collect rainwater. Rain barrels are drums used to collect rainwater from roofs that drains down through downspouts. These are containers placed strategically on the ground, close to the house walls. Rainwater falling on the roof is directed through pipes into these barrels and if there is an overflow, the remaining water can be diverted for other purposes. Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water which would otherwise have been wasted. They also reduce dependency on water supply, and consequently reduce water usage bills.
While building a rain barrel, you should take care of the following:
- The container should be opaque, which will ensure that no bacteria or algae can thrive in it.
- Rain barrels should be made up of a sturdy and tough material, which would not rot and last for a long duration.
- Rainwater should be properly screened to prevent debris or unwanted material from entering the barrel.
- All the openings should be properly covered up to ensure safety and avoid any untoward incident, especially if there are kids in the house, and to avoid pests entering the barrel.
- There should be exact and tightly fitting hoses attached to the valves for directing rainwater in or out.
Building a Homemade Rain Barrel
A list of equipment needed and the procedure for making a simple rain barrel is given below.
Tools and Equipment
To make a rain barrel at home you will require a heavy-duty barrel, preferably a plastic one, a raised base for the barrel―these can be cinder blocks or any other base that will raise the barrel, a hole saw, drill bits, pipe tap/taps, a garden hose, a plastic hose or a soaker hose, a faucet, a hose adapter, and teflon tapes.
- Cut a round hole in the barrel lid using a suitable hole saw. The size and your requirements can entail the use of a keyhole saw, drywall saw, or a saber saw.
- Make two holes in the barrel. One should be at the top for an overflow outlet, and the other at the bottom for a faucet.
- Use pipes of suitable material and twist them into the holes for threading them.
- Repeat the same threading procedure with a hose adapter and the faucet using teflon tapes. Fix these into the upper and the lower holes respectively.
- Cover the barrel by placing a ventilated screen on the barrel, with the louvers on the upper side.
- Attach a hose to the upper end, and direct it to your garden, away from the home or into another barrel if you are using more than one.
- Place the barrel on a raised platform, made using the cinder blocks. Cut a suitable downspout hole into the barrel, and direct the pipe from the roof into the rain gutter downspout. The pipe can be cut approximately 5 inches above the barrel, and then attached to an elbow joint to direct it into the barrel opening.
- Finally, fix the faucet at the lower hole and check for system usability.
Thus, you can be prepared to use some clean and free water for a wide range of purposes. Since rainwater is devoid of any impurities, a homemade rain barrel can be used to wash cars, water plants and lawns, and a variety of other needs. This simple procedure can help conserve water, and hence, you are not only helping your cause but also lending a hand in the conservation of a vital resource.