terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

My new Rain Barrel July 18, 2007

Filed under: conserve, garden, reduce, reuse — terra @ 5:21 pm

IMG_7435My new favorite thing… rain barrels. They collect water from your gutters via the downspout and store it for later use. It is beneficial to the plants, which don’t need cold, treated tap water. Rain barrels also help you save money on your water bill, and re-use a resource that otherwise goes to waste.

I recently installed a rain barrel in my back yard. I am thrilled! My barrel holds 50 gallons, and originally held Greek pickled peppers. I plan to use it to water my wilting flowers, and keep the lawn more green than yellow. Mine cost $80 for the “blemished” barrel + $24 for the downspout diverter. I put it on a hose box, so the hose and the barrel are in one place, and to get more pressure from the elevated barrel.

The picture shows water rushing into the barrel, just minutes after we set it up. It took about 5 minutes in a heavy downpour for the barrel to fill, so it’s important to have a hose diverter to move the water away from the house. The downspout diverter I got is nice because when the barrel is full, I just close it and the water flows down the downspout as normal.

Make your own!
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is having a workshop in August on making your own rain barrel.

Tip of the day: Lower your thermostat 2 degrees in winter, and raise it 2 degrees in summer.


7 Responses to “My new Rain Barrel”

  1. terra Says:

    I should have mentioned… mosquitoes can’t get in there because it has a mesh top. If I notice a bug problem, I will pour a little vegetable oil in there so the mosquitoes can’t break the surface of the water.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Terra, Mom here. I am so excited about your new blog. I love listening to politics and have many options but I just never seem to find the words to write it down. But, I like you love conservation! I have a rain barrel on the way here to my home in Sherwood, Oregon. It shipped yesterday, I can’t wait. It was so much fun to be able to be with you in Ohio last week to watch you set yours up and then see the first rain fall fill it up in less than 5 minutes, 50 gallons! I had a whopping $179. water bill this month! I have a new house with a Better Homes & Garden yard that soaks up water like no body’s business. I can’t wait to see how my rain barrel saves me on that.
    I must go now but I will be back to enjoy your upcoming blogs! love ya, mom

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Terra,
    I think the rain barrell idea is awsome. I am going to try and get a barrell from a printing company that has plastic barrells from chemicals and use that for my barrell. Hopefully the chemicals can be washed out somy grass doesnt glow.
    Mike Szczukowski

  4. terra Says:

    You could also get one from a brewery! Now that would have some character.

  5. Sue Says:

    Sorry to provide the bad news – but mosquitoes can get through the oil slick you’ve created in your barrel. A better designed barrel can be found at http://www.aquabarrel.com -

  6. terra Says:

    Those are great looking barrels. I had my barrel all summer and never had a mosquito problem. I read that mosquitoes are attracted to shallow water, not the deep water of a rain barrel. But hey, whatever people want to use to save water is great with me! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I just got a new Cascata rain barrel. Check out the pictures on my blog:

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