One easy way to help protect lakes, rivers is to redirect your roof gutters and downspouts away from hard surfaces such as your driveway andcollect the rainwater in mosquito-proof containers known as rain barrels.

The collected water can be used to water lawn, garden or even wash your car! Whatever options you choose, keeping stormwater off hard surfaces and allowing natural infiltration will keep your property looking great, protect your drinking and recreational waters and maybe even save you money.

Supplies

  • 55 gallon plastic drum
  • 3/4″ brass hose bibb (faucet)
  • 1 1/4″ nylon hose barb
  • 1 1/4″ sump pump hose, 6′ long
  • Plastic plant pot, 9″ round
  • Fiberglass window screen
  • Section of a bicycle tire tube

Tools

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • 5/8″ hole saw (for nylon hose barb)
  • 1″ hole saw (for faucet)
  • Utility knife or rasp to scrape/file away burrs on the cut hole

Step by Step

Step 1. Drill small hole in center of barrel cap.

Step 2. Use widest part of flowerpot as a stencil to draw a circle on barrel cap.

Step 3. Use stencil to cut a hole from the cap.

Step 4. Remove cap and place window screen over the open barrel, secure with cap.

Step 5. Drill hole for faucet about 2 inches from bottom of barrel with 1-inch hole saw. Wrap plumbers tape around the hole and secure faucet to barrel.

Step 6. Drill hole at top of side with 5/8th” hole saw. Secure hose barb to barrel with screws.

Step 7. Position rain barrel in a secure position near gutter (rain barrel is heavy when full).

Step 8. Cut gutter about 6″ higher than top of barrel.

Step 9. Add on elbow joint facing opening of barrel, use the needle-nose pliers to crimp the two pieces together.

In the fall empty your rain barrel and store upside down to keep the barrel from cracking.

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