Rain water harvesting can be done inexpensively:

I made this rain harvester for about 3 to 5 cents a gallon (not including the cost of the barrels which can be FREE).

I avoided the normal cost of a rainwater harvester which usually includes the supplies needed for each barrel: spigots ($4), outlet flanges ($5), overflow flanges ($5), pipe etc. etc. Now, I'm all for saving rain, but I'd like to save some money while I'm at it! :-)

So, I figured out how to connect my barrels together for 3 to 5 cents per gallon!
I currently have 2400 gallons of capacity, and have spent about $120.These pages (see links on right) will show you how.

55 Gallon Barrels - where to get them :

Food factories that get ingredients in barrels (Smell those pickles)!
Soda factories that get 55 Gallon Barrels (I'll have a super size)!
Car washes (You can even wash them out right there)!

These can be used for rain barrels!

Post some more ideas on where to get barrels! (I'm going for 10,000 gallons!) I'll even send some rain to whomever posts an idea!


Barry said...

rain barrel kits can be found at www.aquabarrel.com

Anonymous said...

Very Cool! This is by far the most attractive and 'on purpose' looking rain collection system around. I love that is is already expanded to the max. I bet you need that in Austin, too. Thanks for sharing.
CJ & Co.
Jacksonville FL

pelenaka said...

I am truely impressed and inspired!
We have extreme diffaculty obtaining the black barrels but for $5 I pick up white ones from a local cheese making company which we paint black.
Stacking them would really help with space issues. Great straightword directions & pics
~~ pelenaka ~~

Ananda Jane said...

love the system!
wondering where you picked up the black barrels...

Anonymous said...
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LisaZ said...

Whoa! Long comment above mine...

I got two white barrels yesterday at the hospital from the laundry supply. They held laundry detergent so much rinse them well. Any reason they should be painted black?

Chris the rainharvester: said...


Personally, I wouldn't paint them. I think paint would flake and look bad later. I think dark colored barrels keep algae from growing, but I think algae would be ok for fertillizing the garden (but I'm not sure). Be cautious about using barrels that contained chemicals in a vege garden.

Jerry said...

This is a great idea... it leads to some reliable form of insurance that you will have water for the landscaping on your property, without a huge outlay of money to get it in place. Excellent! Could white barrels be wrapped tightly in dark plastic to inhibit the growth of algae?

Chris the rainharvester: said...


They probably could be wrapped. I'm curious what you'd use to wrap them with? I was thinking big heavy duty trash bags. But those would degrade in the sun.


Anonymous said...

Some people use fencing to create a trellis in order to hide the barrels with evergreen vines. Clump bamboo would work in most zones.

Chris the rainharvester: said...

Ananda Jane,

I put a specialized search function on the last page

If you type "Black" into the search, it will find LOTs of sources for black barrels.
Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Dairy processing plants receive their cleaning chemicals in 55 gallon drums.

Gerber baby food plants receives their fruit in 55 gallon drums.

Anonymous said...

I found a local supplier who had 200 litre barrels that had been used to hold olives. I bought ten of them for $35 (Canadian) each.

Buhle said...

If the rainwater collection tank was cement built,would it need to be painted black?Can the water be used for drinking purposes without treatment?

Rainwater tanks said...

Water tanks like these can really come handy for the storage of water, either for domestic use, agriculture purpose. There are several types of water tanks. Underground water tanks are good for collecting rain water.

amprotec said...

It really needs a lot of though and planning before it is installed, along with a maintenance plan to keep the water safe to use.

Rainwater Collection

rainwater harvesting said...

55 gallon barrel. You can find these barrel with us. Need every planning to built it. Rainwater collection

water crisis said...

Barrel is the best technique used for conservation of water as well as for rain water harvest. i like this blog and the information contains in it.

projects said...

Rainwater harvesting is a technique used for collecting, storing, and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and other uses. This is a great idea. I am truely impressed and inspired!

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