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    • #270139

      I came accross this bit of infor while searching tonight for a diy. thought it was helpfull so i am posting :). hope you all find it helpfull too.

      i checked with my city and no luck but we do have coke plants here too. i supose they will be doing the same as in jefferys article. anyone have any ideas how to find out without annoying anyone??

      3 Ways Under $10 to Make a Rain Barrel
      Written by Jeffrey on February 26, 2007 | Comments (22) Why harvest rain water? The world is 2/3 water is it not? True, it is, but Sam Davidson at cites a fact from that less than 3/10 of one percent of that water is suitable for domestic use.

      Don’t you think we could find better uses for the commodity of fresh water (which we take for granted in this country) than to water our plants or wash our cars?

      Recently, I posted a two part article here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green that shared 3 Alternatives to Drinking Bottled Water [part 1, part 2]. Part Two, introduced the idea of harvesting rain water for such purposes as landscape care and more. If you could have a rain barrel for less than $10 dollars (or even free), would you do it?

      You may be thinking that it’d be pointless and take forever for, oh, let’s say an eighty gallon barrel to fill with water to use. But did you know that one inch of rain on 1,000 square feet of roof can produce 6,000 gallons of rainwater? I sure didn’t!

      This obviously means that any rain barrel is going to need an overflow hose.

      Let’s discover some cheap ways to obtain your very own rain barrel. These are all diy projects, but are of a very basic nature. virtually anyone should be able to complete them with ease.

      meredith at the fun times to guide to brentwood, tn commented on the second part to 3 Alternatives to Drinking Bottled Water with some quite handy information on this topic. She informs that Metro Nashville Water Services was giving away free rain barrel kits early this year! There is apparently a waiting list for the kit now, but check with them to see if some are still available.

      In the mean time, they do provide a handy guide to making your own rain barrel.

      Many municipal governments offer free rain barrel kits of some sort, so check with your local governing body to see if they offer something of the sort.

      Check with your local bottling company. Many of them sell their barrels for under $10. You may even luck out and find one for free!

      Then all that is left is to buy the inexpensive hardware from your local Home/Hardware store, and you’re good to go!

      If you’re in Nashville, Coca-Cola on Craighead St. sells their 55 gallon drums for $6. They’re only available on Thursdays from 6:15am-noon, and you need to call Ana Monchellas Williams at (615) 383-6230 before you come to let her know how many you need.

      One commenter on the above referenced article at says, “Nashville Drum and Barrel has 55 gallon plastic drums (food grade) for $8 a piece.” Nashville Drum and Barrel is in Fairview, TN. That drive would be worth it for an $8 barrel, considering the skyrocketing prices of pre-fab rain barrels at hardware stores and the internet.

      Fun Rain Barrel Making Tip:
      Get everyone involved by having a Rain Barrel Painting contest! Gather your children, family, friends, neighbors, and the like to make (unless you want to construct them all yourself) and paint your new rain barrels with low or no voc paint!

      here’s one example of a nicely decorated barrel (and another how-to guide for constructing it)…you might recognize it from the above bullets ;-).

      no one wants to have an ugly white, green, or blue plastic drum disrupting their nicely landscaped lawn. make this an opportunity to enhance your home’s unique look and show your loved ones how fun it can be to live green!

      oh and cant leave out the diy’s

      diy rain barrel

    • #413255

      Great idea to do. This is something that we all should think about doing. It sure would save our water supply.

      I live out of town, so this would save me on my electric bill. Since I don’t have city water, but if you do, it would save you from paying a large water bill too. Thanks for the post and the site.

    • #413256

      This could really save on water >3> I think I’ll play with the idea a little bit and see what I can come up with

    • #413267

      important tip: for those wanting to use a rain barrel remember these points:

      #1 Make sure the base is secure .. Toss down a deep layer of small rocks, consider putting cement base down .. Water is heavy – 50 gallons is about 400 pounds

      #2 MOSQUITOS – you need to put a cover over the opening .. this may mean using something like a pair of panty hose or fine netting with a draw string .. This won’t completely eliminate the problem but will help

      #3 tap it. Check the local hardware store for various taps, there are some that are self tappers (personally I would hesitate if you are up north – ice etc and down south heat may make the plastic drum softer) .. Drill the hole slowly, make it a tight fit, use silicon caulk (exterior grade) to seal the facucet.

      Leave a short length of hose attached, this will put less stress on the fitting, vs taking it on and off – you can attach long length to the shorter length.

      #4 You can run rain barrels in tandem, one should be lower than the other so the overflow fills it.

      #5 Empty them once the growing season has ended – especially up north


    • #413268

      I actually figured if you wanted to use it for watering plants you wouldn’t need a cover for it…

    • #413272

      the problem with open top is the mosquitos .. some areas are prone to diseases spread by the mosquitos to birds, then back to humans etc .. not a good thing

      Putting in the hose fitting although a tiny PITB in the beginning is enormously great time saver and body saver afterwards .. If garden is down hill then you can run the hose to that area and have water with a little pressure .. even if same level because of the pressure of the water on top it will drain from hose just not as fast ..

      This saves your back from hauling water back and forth

      Using a hose even to fill watering cans is much easier than pushing them in the can and pulling out (rough on back – not a good posistion for you)

      Ria (who in her younger days did stupid things to her back and paying for it now as an old lady)

    • #413273

      Ask before you use it to water vegetable gardens! the Missouri Dept. of Conservation took samples around the state of folks rain barrels and ALL of them had very high toxic chemical rates.

      We were told we could use it to water grass and flowers but do not use it to water something you will eat! If you won’t eat the snow because of what’s in it, then you won’t want to use the rain either! It’s so sad to know how much we’ve dumped into our environment that will take years to flush out and remove.

      Between the chemicals farmer have used since the 1950’s and the stuff floating out of our factories, we have a lot to clean up before the rain/snow will be fit to use again!

    • #413274

      It’s not just the rain – the barrels must be food safe .. If not then you are putting crap into the water, which is going into the garden ..

      I managed to get 8 55 gallon drums from a bakery .. I think they had molasses in them originally.


    • #413276

      O-O Wow… I didn’t realize thank you guys… I might’ve watered veggies with tainted water…

    • #413279

      I use food grade 55 gallon barrels I get from my Amish neighbors that had vinegar in them. I was so shocked when I received my report from the State about what was actually in my rain barrel! Your State should be able to test your water sample for a nominal fee.

      I only use 2 of them now as I only water the flower beds with it. I don’t pay for water as it comes from our lake except for the filters we have to maintain. We just paid $240 to replace the carbon in our big carbon filter after 3 years and the RO filters cost me $66 every 18 month’s.

      the multi-media filter is $164 every 3 years. then we have bleach and softener pellets and goop we add regularly for the iron removal. But the water itself is free.

      We water livestock and water the huge gardens with it. But we just have a hose hooked to the rain barrels and its gravity flow to water the flower beds down the slope by the root cellars. I would definitely have the water tested before watering animals or my vegetables with it!

    • #413300

      same idea if you are storing food .. I have some older tupperware (big cannisters almost 5 gallons – probably about 4 gallons) the outgassing on this makes my stomach turn .. I am changing over to 3+ gallon size mayo tubs ..

      no outgassing

      Unfortunatley finding the FREE bigger glass jars is getting harder and harder .. You can find them in feed stores etc but they are high priced

      All my pasta, rice, beans are in canning jars (its pretty too)

      I used to only use the canning jars, but now am using any jar that is glass (not as easy for storage but cheaper)


    • #413445

      Sun and Earth who make cleaning products in PA give their barrels away but you have to pick them up at their plant. Since their products are biodegradable there is no problem using their barrels. I am planning to go and get a couple and use them for composting too.


    • #413446

      @catlady 105560 wrote:

      Sun and Earth who make cleaning products in PA give their barrels away but you have to pick them up at their plant. Since their products are biodegradable there is no problem using their barrels. I am planning to go and get a couple and use them for composting too.


      biodegradable does not mean food safe though, some items are both, others are not

      check with them and ask

      to be honest if it was just me i wouldn’t worry about it much, but if i am feeding kids then i tend to err on the safer side


    • #414117

      So how do I find out who has them here? I need 4. We have cocacola companys but I am not sure if they are warehouse or botteling.

      I dont want to annoy people on the phone but I supose if I have to….

    • #414118

      you could just call, chances are whoever answers would have an idea where to send you (via phone) inside the company.

      check large bakeries too .. Thats where mine came from ..

      they may have a deposit on barrels and have to return them ..


    • #414124

      bakeries! another greate idea! thanks!

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