Lo-Tech Rain Barrel

May 31, 2009

Cheap, Eco-Freaky, Prototype

First of all, let me begin by saying that we have had success with the new litter box. According to the Security Tapes (which is what I’m calling the laptop video) and physical evidence, they have been using it five times as often as the old box. No messes on the floor so far, which is a good thing. Y’know, other than this very, very wrong thing – there’s nothing wrong with them.

Ok, back to a real post. I’ve been toying around with the idea of a rain barrel for home. We have one at school, and it’s pretty cool. It has a screen so bugs and junk can’t get in, a spigot to get the water out for your plants, and it’s super-strong so that it doesn’t burst in the winter.

Before spending all that money, I thought it would be a good idea to prototype one. Then I got really lazy, so I just put a tub under the downspout. After a night’s rain, it was full! This water lasted a week, and I used it for the few plants that I water. If it weren’t going to be mosquito season soon, I’d just go with it.

Sorry about that dead plant on the corner, Brad.  It couldn't survive me.

I didn't even have to lower the property value for this!

Hmm.  It might be time to clean the gutters.

Free water! Cheap girl approves.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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24 Responses to “Lo-Tech Rain Barrel”

  1. Brad Said on:

    That dead plant is Lloyd’s Hedera Helix ‘Erecta’.


  2. Peggy Said on:

    Hey, I have a dead plant in front of my house too. I didn’t even realize it. I asked someone before everything started blooming what it was…’cause it’s kind of strange looking…I forget what it is…but it’s dead. Has it always been dead since we’ve moved in I wonder???? I like to think of it as ‘dried’.


  3. Rae Said on:

    Lauren, go back and look at quote post. 🙂


  4. Deanne Said on:

    So what will you do when it rains really hard to keep it from overflowing into your basement and making a big mess?


    • Lauren Said on:

      Fortunately the tub is tipped and the stuff that spills out the corner goes onto the old splash guard from the downspout, so it’s going away from the foundation still.

      I hope.


  5. Curt Said on:

    Lauren, before you go out and buy any barrels, I might be able to get you a(some) free plastic barrels. I believe they are 15 and/or 30 gallon. Let me now if you are interested.


  6. Deborah Said on:

    It is illegal to have a rain barrell in Utah. It’s considered stealing the community’s water. Kind of weird because then I just water with the hose, which is using water. Go figure.


  7. Deborah Said on:

    By the way, today was my last day of my first year of teaching kindergarten!


  8. Gravity Gardener Said on:

    You may want to be careful keeping an open container of water out. Mosquitoes would love to move in. I made a rain barrel out of a Walmart Trashcan. Step by step with pictures if interested.



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