By Ashley Scroggins
In honor of spring and Earth Day, I thought I would try a sustainable project that would save me money in the process. I’ve always wanted a rain barrel for my garden to keep the water bill down in the summer, but they can be expensive. So, I found this project from Better Homes and Garden and tried to see how hard it would be to do it myself.
It wasn’t that bad…kind of.
1 Large plastic trash bin ($29.98)
1 Tube of watertight sealant ($1.69)
2 rubber washers ($1.42)
2 metal washers ($2.57)
1 hose clamp ($3.48)
1 spigot ($5.82)
Window screening ($14.48)
Start by using your drill to create a hole near the bottom of your barrel. This is where you’ll insert your spigot. Use a drill bit that’s a little smaller than or the same size as the spigot.
Place a metal washer onto the threaded end of spigot, then put a snugly fitting rubber washer over the threads to help hold the washer in place and prevent leakage.
Next, apply a bead of waterproof sealant over your rubber washer and insert the spigot into the hole. Wait for the sealant to dry, then run a rubber washer, followed by a metal washer onto the threads of the spigot inside the barrel. Secure the spigot in place inside your barrel with the hose clamp. This is important because it will keep your spigot from coming loose from your barrel.
Carefully cut a hole in the lid of your rain barrel. This hole should sit under your home’s downspout so the water runs right into the barrel. Cut the hole so it’s large enough to accommodate the water flow from the downspout.
Cut a piece of landscaping fabric to sit over the top, then put the lid over the top of it to secure it. This will create a barrier that prevents mosquitoes and other pests from getting in your rain barrel water.
Now that the hard work is done, all you have to do is get your rain water barrel in place. Position it directly underneath your downspout in a spot that’s most convenient for you to use it. Then just wait for it to rain!
Readymade rain barrels cost around $80 or more. My husband and I thought the project was so simple, we ended up making 2 rain barrels (one for each side of back corner of our house). At just $59.44 a piece, we saved over $40…PLUS what we’ll save on our water bill this summer!
We’d love to hear what you think or if you attempt to make your own rain barrel this spring. Let us know how it turns out!