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Make Your Own Rain Barrel
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by Lisa Goodrich

The "Water, Water Everywhere" article is in the September 2009 issue of the Sierra Sentry; here are the directions for making a rain water collection system.


Electric Drill

15/16” Drill Bit

Saber Saw (you can use a hand drill and hand saw)


Clean Plastic Drum (55 gallon best, use only barrels that have carried food products)

¾” Spigot (with male threads)

PVC Cement



1. Drill 15/16” hole at the first even part of the barrel, about 6” to 8” from the bottom.

2. Screw ¾” spigot into hole (should have a snug fit)

3. When spigot is about ¾ of the way in, apply PVC cement to threads and finish tightening

4. If using a downspout, use a saber saw to cut a hole in the lid to fit the spout. After inserting downspout, caulk around the hole.

5. Other option: Take off the lid of the drum or trash can and cover the opening with a fine fiberglass screen. Place the container where water flows off your roof.

6. Elevate barrel on 2 or 3 cement blocks to allow easy access to the spigot. If you want more pressure, raise the barrel higher above ground.

7. Add a second spigot at the top of the barrel so you can direct the overflow through a hose into a specific part of your yard.



Copyright Sierra Club Northeast Florida Group