One easy way to help protect lakes, rivers is to redirect your roof gutters and downspouts away from hard surfaces such as your driveway or the nearest street. Instead, direct stormwater to your lawn, flower bed or rain garden. Another option is to collect rainwater from rooftops in mosquito-proof containers. The water can be used later on lawn or garden areas. 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.

Make Your Own Rain Barrel

What You Will Need


  • 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


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

Step By Step

Step 1. Drill hole in top of barrel and draw outline for widest part of flower pot.

Step 2. Cut out the hole.

Step 3. Cover flower pot with netting, secure with tire strip and insert in hole.

Step 4. Drill hole for faucet about 2 inches from bottom with 1-inch hole saw. Wrap plumbers tape around the

Step 5. Drill hole at top of side with 1 5/8th hole saw. Screw hose barb to top.

Step 6. Adjusting gutter: After positioning rain barrel in a secure position (rain barrel is heavy when full), cut down spout and add on elbow to direct water into opening.

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

Rain barrel image