What you will need to make your own rain barrel . Two cinder blocks . You need the cinder blocks to make the outlet valve easy to get to, more water pressure and to be able to place your watering can underneath . This is a 32 gallon trashcan that cost about $14 and is easy to cut. If you want to use a trash can with thicker plastic or the popular 55-gallon food grade quality recycled barrel (beeter for colder climates), you will need a drill bit to make the holes .Silicon sealant, usually found in the gutter section of the hardware store. A saw to cut the gutter and a thin board to protect your wall .Two plastic water heater outlet valves. One valve is to let water out for watering the other is let the excess water out at top .You can attach hoses to these valves .If you want to daisy chain more barrels you will need another valve . These valves open with a screwdriver or a key . These type of valves can be found at Lowes but not Home Depot . If you can't find such a valve near you, you can order one one the right .The green gutter extension goes from the gutter to the top of the barrel . You will also need a measuring tape, level and a marker .
Make sure the ground is level where you wish to place your trashcan, Test the cinderblocks with your level. It doesn't have to be perfect, but make sure it is inside the inside gauge . Fill your can up with water to make sure your can has no leaks and is stable and the water is level at the top.
Get the watering can you plan to use and make sure the water heater valve is high enough and mark the can with a marker. You want the valve to fit inside the trashcan as tight as possible. so make a very small hole to begin with. Use a knife with a long thin blade, a big knife will cut more than you want .
Put silicon gel around the valve.
There are two types of outlets you can use. This is a rain barrel with an outlet valve about 2 inches from the top. You can attach a hose to direct the excess water where you want .
This water barrel uses a second gutter extender to connect to an outlet pipe . If you are worried about excess water around your house in a heavy rain, you should use this .
This is a daisy chained water barrel. The barrels are connected with a hose at the bottom and fill up at the same rate . Screw the connecting hose to the two outlet valves before you insert the valves into the rain barrel. Make sure the valves are pointing the same direction after you connect the hose to the valves or else you may get a kink in the hose .
The small hose was cut from a hose with two female ends that clamp on .
The finished hose .
This is a rain barrel with an old hose with holes drilled into it with a plug at the end used to water plants. It can water plants for 4 ~ 5 days .
Aluminum gutter strainer with screen to keep out derbis
Other DIY raibarrel websites
You may need to add a filter to keep out leaves and derbis .
Rain water is usually soft and free of dissolved minerals. This untreated water is great for your indoor plants, your garden and lawn, or washing your car.
Do not use collected water for drinking, cooking or bathing unless you have a proper filter .
You may need to put a mosquito killer or filter in your barrel, these will not harm your plants . Or you could put a gold fish or Siamese fighting fish in and let them have at it .
* DO NOT USE ANY CONTAINER WHICH HAS PREVIOUSLY HELD CHEMICALS OR PETROLEUM PRODUCTS. EVEN TRACE AMOUNTS OF THESE SUBSTANCES MAY BE TOXIC TO PLANTS.
You can buy screens to hide your rain barrels
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A guide to alternate water collection, with a focus on rainwater harvesting in the urban environment