This afternoon, my husband and I spent a couple hours working on a BIG craft — a rain barrel. My father-in-law somehow remembered that I wanted a rain barrel, and gave me an article from his farming magazine about rainwater harvesting. I have wanted a rain barrel since we moved here in 1999. The garden centers always had some for sale, for approximately $100. They never went on clearance and I was quite discouraged. I gave up hope of ever having one.
I was quite inspired by the magazine article. I followed the links given in the article, found one with instructions for a rain barrel, showed it to my husband, and after a month or so, we now have our own rain barrel. Our cost was $14, including the barrel and hardware.
We had two main concerns going in to the project. One was connecting the current downspout to the barrel. The downspout we chose to use already had pipes and elbows appropriate to what we needed. We just rearranged them. Definitely easier as a two person job. We didn’t know this would be the case until we started the project with the barrel in place. The other concern was having a no-leak connection from the barrel to the garden hose. After strolling around the hardware store, we found a good solution for about 30 cents.
In typical McGuire fashion, we had to abandon the instructions while browsing the store. We left the instructions at home and used them as a guide for idiots who can only follow instructions and cannot think for themselves. It also meant that we spent $5 less than what was called for. So, ha! to all the followers of the world, and yay! to the leaders. We also went “shopping” (for free) and borrowing in my father-in-law’s garage for a couple things, mainly drill bits and corrugated pipe. This, like the required instruction-chucking, is a McGuire family tradition. Had we not have been able to get the pipe, and the PVC pipe that we already had in our own garage, I probably would have been able to request and gotten some via freecycle.
Now if it would just rain. I may see if I can get Josh from Team GamSci to make a video of the next rain barrel construction and put it on YouTube.
It’s wonderful to see people thinking about water conservation and catchments. At http://www.aridsolutionsinc.com/ we actually sell child safe and animal safe rain barrels. Our website, though, also has information on other ways to conserve water and other products to help reduce waste emissions into the environment. Good Luck in all your endeavors.
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