Rain Barrels: How To Choose, Install & Use Them For Off-Grid Water
If you really want to go off-grid, you will need rain barrel so you can harvest rainwater and repurpose it.
We try to conserve rainwater on our farm, especially since we’ve lived on properties that required an electric well pump – and when the electricity was out, guess what! No water! Not good when you have livestock.
I know many of you would prefer to not be on county or city water so you can better control the chemicals and toxins your food supply and family are exposed to, and using a rain barrel is a place to start.
Today, I’ve invited my friend Chris from Faded Bluebird to tell us all about how to choose, install, and use a rain barrel so you can start supplying your own water!
How to Choose, Install, & Use A Rain Barrel
Water Conservation has become a big thing here in Oklahoma……and well, everywhere. Continued pollution of our finite fresh water sources, extreme droughts and an expanding population that strains our water infrastructures has made water catchment more popular among the masses and less of a “OMG, you’re one of those!”.
I have a system of three 55 gallon rain barrels set up in my backyard, and I’m proud of my hippidom! On a good year, I don’t have to use municipal water at all in my garden.
I’m hoping I can convince you to join us on the green side of life. Don’t worry it won’t hurt, it’s easy and it might make you King/Queen of your neighborhood.
Can You Legally Own a Rain Barrel?
Until we can educate more people about the importance of water and how to handle it wisely such as using pervious pavement, there are several State and Local governments who have banned water catchment.
So the first thing you need to do before buying a rain barrel is check to see if you can legally own one. You may also want to check with your Home Owner’s Association as well.
I know that it doesn’t make much sense to ban water catchment when you are in water crisis, but believe me, there is method to that madness and it is done for the greater good. But, that’s a whole other post!
What Rain Barrel Should You Buy?
Here’s what you’re looking for. You want a rain barrel that will hold at least 50 gallons, because just a 1/10 of an inch of rain on a 1000 square foot roof will produce about 62 gallons of water.
Then check for the following: Does it have an overflow? You are interrupting your guttering system to install this barrel, and the guttering is in place to protect your foundation.
If the barrel doesn’t have an overflow that allows you to redirect the water where you want it, then when the barrel overflows, and it will overflow, it will just puddle around your foundation.
The overflow will also allow you to connect another rain barrel later! And believe me, you will want another one, or two…..
Also, look at the shape of your barrel, if you are going to place it against the wall, having an overly round barrel puts the catchment hole further from your guttering. You might consider a flat back rain barrel, or be prepared to buy a flexi-downspout as well.