At last, at last... the power to harness the PNW's most abundant natural resource, rain!
This little project has been in the works for sometime but finally came to be a few weekends ago. I was originally planning on making my own rain barrel with help from my dad. However, we heard word of a rain barrel workshop through our local extension unit. I'm so glad we opted to attend the workshop instead of making our own. Not only were all the supplies provided for us and the proper holes drilled, we were also provided with excellent information regarding rain barrels, water, and water use.
Here's how it works: (Ok maybe it's obvious but my neighbors thought I was using it to make wine...so...)
We turned my rain spot out of the way and used a flex tube to direct the water from the gutter to the barrel. At the entrance of the barrel is a grate to catch large pieces of debris as well as a tight net to catch fine debris and prevent mosquitoes from breeding. The water enters the barrel. The spigot can be attached to a hose for watering, or used to fill watering cans. The hose coming off the side is for the overflow. The higher up the barrel sits the more water pressure you'll get. It's all genius really.
One of my favorite aspects of the rain barrel is the barrel itself. It used to hold soy sauce! Now, that didn't smell so good in the car bringing it home... but what a way to recycle!
Of course, as soon as I set my rain barrel up... it stopped raining. The rain returned a few days ago and when I checked it this morning the barrel was already full!
For more rain barrel resources:
The Rain Barrel Man (saw him the other day on Alberta)
Rain Barrel Guide