Rainwater Use: Be Green and Save Green By Installing a Rain Barrel

To properly install a rain barrel you will need two to four cinder blocks, a guttering elbow, a 15’ or longer piece of garden hose, a hack saw and a shovel.

Step 1: Use the hack saw to remove the lower portion of your existing down spout. Determine the appropriate spot to cut the spout at by placing the empty rain barrel on top of two cinder blocks near the spout. Be sure to leave enough room between the down spout and the barrel top to allow the guttering elbow to rest above the rain barrel lid.

Step 2: Level the ground beneath the down spout to assure the rain barrel will not tip over when full. A full rain barrel can weigh more than 400 pounds, so leveling the ground beneath it is a necessity.

Step 3: Place the cinder blocks side by side on the level ground below the down spout. Leave enough room between the blocks and the house for the barrel to rest securely on the blocks without leaning up against the house.

Step 4: Place the barrel on the cinder blocks. Make sure the rain barrel is centered and secure on the blocks. For proper water flow out of the barrel, the bottom of the barrel should be at least 12 inches above ground level.

Step 5: Install the guttering elbow above the barrel lid. If possible, cover the opening in the lid with fiberglass screen to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the stored rain water. Placing a few drops of olive oil in the water will also discourage breeding.

Step 6: Install a 15’ piece of garden hose on your rain barrel’s over flow outlet to direct excess rain water away from your home’s foundation.

Step 7: Partially fill the barrel with water and test the barrel spigot. Be sure to completely close the spigot once the water has drained from the barrel.

Put away your tools, recycle the down spout remnant and relax knowing the sweet smell of rain will be a little sweeter from here on out.

An average roof can easily fill a 55 gallon rain barrel with only a half an inch of rainfall.

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