This was the first rain barrel we installed. I went to a seminar put on by DNR and the city. They discussed the need, the benefits, etc and subsidized the cost. The best part about it was that it started out white. No need to paint it! I don’t like the bottom drain so much but it surely works.
My parents got some blue barrels that were originally full of vinegar. I painted them (is it that obvious?!) and hooked them up. Both drain to the location the down spouts originally fed.
Don’t forget to install a drain! I didn’t have drains at first thinking that it wouldn’t flood too bad…well, I got a lesson in how much rain runs off of a roof in a downpour. Drains are critical unless you don’t mind the water running down your foundation.
I hooked two barrels together on the side of the house where the gutter drains the largest amount of roof. I could probably use 10 barrels on that area but it wouldn’t look too hot. Anyhow, I also saw some other folks who had a contraption built to allow the first several gallons to pour out rather than go into the barrels. Basically, on mine the water goes down into the big pvc pipe which holds a small plastic ball. As it fills, the ball floats up to the neck between the big and small pipes. When it reaches the top, it seals the large vertical pipe and redirects water into the ‘y’ and down into the barrel. There is a small leak in the big pipe so it drains ‘automagically’ between downpours. The two barrels are joined together by the hose that connects the two via their spigots. I just leave both spigots open most of the time (but I can close the individually when I want to use some water). Water will level itself between the two barrels without my intervention.
I could probably use some lessons in spray painting but it blends with the house from a distance…unless you ask Emily.