DIY rain barrel

Up until this week June had been a very dry month here in Marathon County. In the last few days we've been blessed with a few inches of rain. We had our rain barrel all set up in time and just one inch of rain filled it right up!

Here's our set up:

We started with one IBC tote that Dale got from where he works. You can also pick these up on Craigslist pretty often. Before using it we rinsed it well and used a green cleaner to get out any residue left over from the product is once held. We also had a great heavy duty wood stand made by my step-father to put it up on.

I put a couple of coats of a clear wood water sealer on the stand so it will last for a long time. The tote itself we took out of the metal frame it's in. It comes out really easy. To help prevent algae growth once the IBC tote is filled with water, I spray painted it dark grey to keep the light out. I used one of those paints they make just for plastic and I highly suggest getting a spray can gun tool. It makes the job so much easier! I picked the color so it would blend in with our pole building and the chicken coop it will be next too.

When we had the gutters installed a few weeks ago I asked them to leave an elbow at the height where the tote would be later. From that we used two flexible downspout extensions to tie into the top of the tote. Dale used a 3" circle cutter on his drill to cut a hole into the cap to fit the downspout into.

The two pavers are there to support the plastic downspout. We wanted to leave enough room to walk through behind the coop and between the pole building and that left the downspout with some sag. During a heavy rain we were afraid the added weight might add too much for it so the pavers are helping hold it up for now.

A few fittings from the plumbing department were needed to get the connections all set up and now we are in business! One side of our 40 x 32 pole building's roof runs off into this rain barrel. A half an inch of rain filled it up half way. It can hold 300 gallons total. Dale also drilled several over flow holes in the cap so the extra water just flows up and over the top. We re-used 9 patio blocks to set and level the rain barrel on and also so the over flow water won't make a mess around the base.

So there you have it!! For under $75 we have a great DIY rain barrel made from an IBC tote!!

I've used it several times already to fill up the chicken's water and I was surprised that the water hadn't really warmed up much yet either.

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