Rainbarrel Workshop

I love a good diorama. Especially a diorama that is on a lazy susan.

Maybe it is the teacher in me but this is a great learning tool. Everything labeled, plastic bendy straws for gutters, it’s perfect!

Labels. Every diorama must have good labels.

The workshop itself was pretty informative as well. Everyone paid $30 and was walked through the step by step construction of a plastic rain barrel. There was a short lecture at the beginning all about rainwater, its uses, the legal issues with collecting rain water and different code restrictions. There were examples of different kinds of systems ranging from small collection set-ups for livestock watering to full systems to provide for an entire household. I’ll elaborate more on those later.

The barrel construction was incredibly simple. We drilled a 1″ hole about 2 inches from the bottom using a spade bit. Squeeze a ring of silicone caulk around the threads of a faucet (ours were especially fancy faucets), and screw the faucet into the one inch hole until it sits flush against the drum.

The top of the barrel has a 5″ diameter circle cut out for the filter /water entry. The filter was also incredibly easy to put together. We cut the bottom from two plastic flower pots of the same size as each other and as the hole cut into the barrel. You turn one pot on end and place a square of mosquito mesh over it. Next you slide the other flower pot on top. This keeps the mosquito mesh wedged tight between the two pots and snugly in place to filter debris from rain water and keep mosquitoes from breeding.

After that, the filter pots go into the hole and your barrel is done! The silicone caulk should be allowed to cure for at least 24 hours, then it is a good idea to take a hose and fill the drum up to the faucet level and check for leaks. Any leaks found can be sealed up with a little more caulk.

At the end of the workshop we took home two completed 55 gallon rain barrels. Again, I love my van. Keep Denton Beautiful hosts a number of workshops like this and if any of the others are nearly as informative and productive as this one than they’ll definitely be worth attending.

For our tiny home we plan on using every possible surface to collect rainwater for our garden and potentially our own consumption (for showers and food). We’re looking at a couple different kinds of filtration systems for home use but haven’t settled on one that fits our needs – there are size and weight requirements (tiny and light). If anyone has some good suggestions for water filters I’d love to hear them!

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