Hey there, my green-thumbed tribe!
It’s your gal, Misses T, back with another fun and practical project for all you homesteading heroes out there. Today, we’re going to make it rain! Well, not literally, but we’re going to catch some of that precious rainwater for our gardens. So, grab your tools, and let’s get started on creating a DIY Rainwater Collection System!
Why Collect Rainwater?
Before we dive into the ‘how’, let’s talk about the ‘why’. Rainwater is free, naturally soft, and great for our plants. Plus, collecting rainwater reduces our reliance on the municipal water supply, which is a big thumbs-up for sustainability!
Materials You’ll Need:
- A rain barrel or large container
- A downspout diverter
- A spigot
- A drill
- A hacksaw
- Some Teflon tape
- A level
- A few cinder blocks (these are used to elevate the rain barrel, making it easier to access the spigot. The number you need will depend on the size of your barrel and how high you want to elevate it)
- Choose Your Barrel: Start by selecting a rain barrel. This should be a sturdy, UV-resistant container made from food-grade or non-toxic materials. It should have a lid or screen to keep out debris and insects. If your barrel doesn’t come with a pre-installed spigot, you’ll need to install one.
- Mark the Spot for the Spigot: Decide where you want the spigot to be on your barrel. It should be high enough from the bottom to fit a watering can underneath, but low enough to allow you to use most of the water in the barrel. Use a marker to mark this spot.
- Drill a Hole for the Spigot: Using a power drill, create a hole at the spot you marked. The hole should be slightly smaller than the spigot to ensure a tight fit.
- Install the Spigot: Wrap some Teflon tape around the threads of the spigot. This will help create a watertight seal. Carefully screw the spigot into the hole by hand. Once it’s in place, use a wrench to tighten it. Be careful not to overtighten as this could damage the barrel.
- Choose the Location for Your Barrel: The location of your barrel is crucial. It should be placed under a downspout of your house where it can collect rainwater. The surface where the barrel will be placed should be flat and stable. You can use a level to check this.
- Prepare the Platform: To make it easier to access the spigot, you can elevate the barrel using cinder blocks. Stack the blocks on the chosen location to create a stable platform for the barrel. Use the level to ensure the platform is flat.
- Place the Barrel on the Platform: Carefully lift the barrel and place it on the platform of cinder blocks. Check that the barrel is stable and not likely to tip over.
- Install the Diverter: Measure the height of the rain barrel and mark this height on the downspout. Use a hacksaw to cut the downspout at this mark. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the diverter into the cut section of the downspout. The diverter will direct rainwater into your barrel. When the barrel is full, the diverter will send excess water down the downspout, preventing overflow.
- Connect the Diverter to the Barrel: Most diverters come with a hose or extension. Connect one end of this to the diverter and the other end to the top of your rain barrel. This will direct the rainwater from the diverter into your barrel.
- Let It Rain: Now all you have to do is wait for a rainy day. Once your barrel starts filling up, you can use this water for your garden, your indoor plants, or even washing your car!
And there you have it, folks! A simple, DIY Rainwater Collection System that’s good for your garden and great for our planet. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start collecting that rain!
Until next time, keep those thumbs green!