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Just wondering how many use rain barrells?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by elkimmeg, Mar 4, 2007.

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  1. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    We have one hooked up to a downspout, actually not right now, but we did last summer and fall. Don't have much need to water anything in the winter! We use it for watering plants. We have 2 plastic 55 gallon barrels that are looking forward to becoming rain barrels as well. Hubby did just one last summer sort of experimentally. We had the barrels, just had to buy the faucet part.

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  2. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Funny. Every time I think of doing a project, I see the topic posted here. Great timing! I plan to tie 5-55gal plastic barrels together in series, then to a clear water electric pump to raise the water approx 15 feet and move it around 50 feet to my giant pumpkin beds. Any advice? Was thinking of just hooking the barrels together toward the bottom with 3/4 inch fittings and hose, then using a pump from Northern Equip that runs around $30. The pump was 1" but I can't remember the GPM rating (1/2 horse with 75 GPM?). Any advice/ideas would be appreciated.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Sounds like a good plan, Gotz. But having never done what you're suggesting, there may be other things you need to consider.

    The only thing I can comment on is protection against your water supply going anaerobic or stagnant. I think rainwater has the potential, in other words, to become contaminated with bacteria and microorganisms if it's left for too long without a supply of oxygen. This is easily remedied with an aquarium air pump and airstone. The cheap ones are about $10 at Walmart, but you might consider spending a few more bucks for a bigger one, perhaps with multiple lines and airstones for each barrel.

    I would try it without the airpump at first and if you start to have problems with the water starting to smell, put an airstone in each water barrel and it should clear up and stay that way.
  4. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Eric. Bugs are good in this case, you should see my 'manure tea' barrel cooking away in the sun in Aug! Hot stuff, but the pumpkins love it. I'm thinking they shouldn't grow too much as long as they are used semi-often, I work in a clinical lab so I'll let you know what grows if needed. I'm more worried about a breeding ground for skeeters so I'm planning on covering good, really don't want West Nile.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I make compost tea, too, but if I don't bubble it, it goes anaerobic and smells pretty bad. Despite the smell, do you know if anaerobic bugs are good for plants?

    I had Dengue Fever when I was a kid. You don't want to get that, either.
  6. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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  7. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I've meant to for a couple years. The barrels are too flippin expensive. I have one 55 gallon barrel of water I keep filled for emergency drinking water. swap the water out from time to time. toss a teaspoon of bleach into it every other month.
  8. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    If you're not using the water for drinking, you can get 55gal plastic barrels for cheap in many places. Car washes are one, a friend gets them from the local airline he works at (deicer and toilet blue). Again, I wouldn't use these for drinking water, but once powerwashed clean I think they are fine for watering the garden. I've heard of people getting them from food process plants also, those may be a better option for drinking water?
  9. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    There's a place north of McConnelsville in SE Ohio that sells 55-gallon "olive" and vegetable oil poly drums (food grade - OK for drinking water) for something like $8/each. I'm getting a few for rainwater off of my timberframe barn for the chickens and garden, ffront of the house roof for flowers, and one for maple sap. Look and ask around; I'm sure that there are lots of places throughout the states that sell these used drums.
  10. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    I got my barrels at the local PEPSI plant in Baltimore for $5.00 each. They are 55 gal and are "food grade".
  11. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    I have just started to collect water for use in the garden and greenhouse. I am collecting the water off of my shed with the use of a gutter that dumps into a screened pipe that I periodically clean to keep the water flowing. I have 4 55gal plastic drums.
    I have figured that 1 inch of rainfall yields about 100 gals. If this works out I will be expanding the storage capabilities.
    I use 1" pvc with connections that are about 1" above the bottom of each barrel, that way any sediment that make its way into the barrels will sink to the bottom and stay there and not go out the piping.
    The pvc fittings are screwed and glued (gorilla) into the side of the barrel.

    So far it is working fine.
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