Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Rain Barrel? Installed!

It actually rained and actually worked!
A few years ago, my family and I participated in a $15 dollar clinic at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and in coordination with the Monroe County Stormwater Coalition (the organization responsible for the  Be an H2O Hero campaign), that resulted in our leaving with all of the components for installing a rain barrel, and hearts full of motivation. Each of the past few years, I have thought about how we should install this rain barrel which had been taking up space in the shed since I brought it home. I guess we never got around to it. For me, it was something of a risk, as I'm not very handy, but a very willing assistant to my much brighter wife.

As part of my summer of activities, yesterday morning, I (with only a small assist from my wife) finally installed our rain barrel!

If you think this is unkempt you should have seen it before.
After surveying the gutter downspouts to determine the best location for the rain barrel, I decided upon a corner in the back of the house directly off of a patio. This area of our yard (despite being visible from the front of the house), has been among the least "manicured" of our yard, generally being left to grow over with whatever seeds or plants happen to take root. The first order of business was clearing out the area for the barrel. I have been systemically weeding (and re weeding) sections of the yard all summer, so it was time to make this happen...

Long neglected, this area cleans up nicely.
Once cleared, I set up a pad on which to place the barrel, with some old cinder blocks I had been using to keep vines at bay around our vegetable garden. Though I would have liked to have more elevation, the height does leave enough room to place a watering pitcher below and ultimately I will set up a hose so that the collected rain can be use to water the gardens.

Ready for action!
I was a little nervous about cutting away at our downspout, but following the rule of "measure twice, cut once," was able to make the cut in such a way that 1) the plastic replacement downspout could be fed directly into the water barrel, and 2) the existing downspout could be set aside for eventual reattachment.

As evidenced by the picture at the top of this post, despite our summer drought, we were fortunate to actually have a downpour a few hours after we completed the installation. The rain actually filled the barrel to capacity (with quite a bit using the overflow PVC piping to the left).

Next up, maybe I'll eventually achieve my dream of installing a chicken coop!

1 comment:

Sharon Strock said...

How’s the rain barrel working out for you, Scott? You mentioned that the barrel was filled to the brim when it rained, so I’m wondering if you have installed another barrel. You can connect another barrel and place it on another area on your lawn, so you can distribute the water effectively.