Rain collection “barrels”.... and stand

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Project by JCamp posted 05-05-2021 06:38 PM 779 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Rain collection “barrels”.... and stand
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Not a big project or anything but I wanted to get the idea out there in case someone else could use it.
I’ve looked for the big 55gal blue barrels or the IBC totes for a couple years and I’m either missing them or there ain’t any clean ones around me. After watching some videos on collecting rain water again this spring I had about talked myself into using some old plastic storage totes that I have piled up in my garage. It was shortly after that thought that I seen a guy that was using what appeared to be trash cans. I’d never considered that but it was as close to a barrel as I was probably gonna get so I decided to give it a go. The cans were purchased from my local rural king for around $15 each. The water spout and a little hose (mayb 10inched long but built like a garden hose) came from eBay for around $25 together. My guess is the whole barrel set up cost around $75 if you include taxes. Each can holds 35 gallons. I used some old plumbing pieces for the over flow line. The base is made with garden timber’s as posts and very old and used deck boards treated in what I’ll call “farmers” stain that was free.
So far it’s been a handy little system. I’ve used it for everything from washing my hands to watering the garden that’s about 40 yards away. My kids have a blast with it too. They played in the mud pretty heavy yesterday evening so they got to get washed off under the cold water before running to the house for a bath. I intend to add a couple more. One closer to the cars and one closer to the garden on the back of my garage so I can also make a little garden table to clean up stuff before bringing it inside

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

7 comments so far

View Andre's profile


4577 posts in 2925 days

#1 posted 05-05-2021 11:17 PM

Here I thought you had made wooden barrels:) I have been collecting rain water for Decades, even have a solar powered irrigation system on the barrels for my tomatoes!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View splintergroup's profile


5284 posts in 2341 days

#2 posted 05-05-2021 11:51 PM

Looks good JC!

I have a half dozen of those blue, plastic 55’s sitting in my yard for use as rain barrels. The spousal unit thinks they are too ugly to have near the house. Your setup looks like a good “base” to frame up an old-school train depot water tower.

Yeah, I’ll tell her I’ll get right on it! 8^)

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9589 posts in 3528 days

#3 posted 05-06-2021 03:28 AM

Very slick, been using recovery like this for some time. Saves alot of money on water use and is better water for plants and such.

Nice work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View hockeyfan_019's profile


69 posts in 351 days

#4 posted 05-06-2021 12:39 PM

I definitely think it’ll work fine, save your veggies from having to deal with water including chlorine or other stuff from drinking water, and the rain water gets plenty of nitrogen naturally too. But, be careful about the stability of your setup. Those cans will be super heavy when everything is full, and if kids-are-kids and start horsing around by the barrels, it’s possible to knock them over. Ideally you can anchor them somehow to help prevent tipping. Super job though to build a setup for less $$$ than the stores want. It’s insane what the stores want for simple rainwater collection. Finally, you may want to put a screen over the inlet, and create a bigger outflow with a screen too. If you get a gully washer, the input capacity will greatly exceed the outflow of the little tube, so it’ll try to push the lids off, and you’d like to keep debris and mosquitoes out of the water.

-- Most of my tools are older than I am

View metolius's profile


430 posts in 1849 days

#5 posted 05-06-2021 04:51 PM

It looks like that white overflow hose may want to drop down to a third barrel.

I have 4 barrels now, and thinking about getting a pair more.

Its amazing how much can be collected in a single rainy day.

-- derek / oregon

View ClaudeF's profile


1310 posts in 2826 days

#6 posted 05-09-2021 09:19 PM

... But, be careful about the stability of your setup. Those cans will be super heavy when everything is full,
- hockeyfan_019

Over 500 pounds, for just the water alone. I’d suggest embedding the legs in concrete, if you haven’t already


View JCamp's profile


1363 posts in 1669 days

#7 posted 05-18-2021 05:09 PM

I know this is a bit old now but to clarify. I don’t have the legs in concrete, just dirt and crush stone. I do have each of them a couple foot in the ground setting on half blocks so they shouldn’t be able to sink. Also the far back post is the post for my lean to on my garage so it is on a block and in concrete. With that added stability it shouldn’t go nowhere with the exception of a major storm coming through that would take off my lean to in which case I’m sure the barrels wouldn’t last anyway. Also it’s still doing good so far. I haven’t ran it out of water yet but we keep getting rain at least once a week so they stay pretty full

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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