Building Your Own Rainbarrel

Bernie Waibel
Seward Neighborhood Group – Minneapolis

Many folks don’t realize that pollutants exist in our yards, on our roofs and in our streets. Rainbarrel use keeps storm water from washing these pollutants into the streets and then into the nearest lake and river: our streets are truly our streams. Rainbarrel use and keeping storm water on-site, also allows the aquifer (the water in our soil) to recharge. Additionally, for those who want water for washing or gardening, there’s nothing better or less expensive than storm water.

Storm water from a roof can be very plentiful. A rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof will produce 300 gallons of rainwater! A typical rainbarrel will hold about 55 gallons maximum. For advanced rainbarrel users, you can connect two or more barrels together to hold more water.

The perfect rainbarrel will be: inexpensive; made ideally of salvaged materials for sustainability; durable; reliable; made using locally available parts and, secure so as not to allow animals or children to fall in.

If this perfect rainbarrel is not available at your local garden center or you do not want to buy it online or cannot afford it, consider building your own.

Make your own!

Visit The Twin Cities Green Guide’s DoIt-Yourself section on rain barrels or email to have instructions sent to you. Follow my easy instructions paired with step-by-step photos to help you build your own rainbarrel. For about $35 and a few hours of sweat equity, you can have a rainbarrel that will serve you well for many years. Best of all, you will have one that you made yourself!


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