We think of the Pacific Northwest as rainy and wet, but in summers, we actually have a drought. Between the months of May and September, we receive 20% of the annual rainfall. Much of our household water is sprinkled on our lawns and gardens—a inefficient use of a precious resource! Saving rainwater can an efficient and inexpensive way to reduce our use of municipal water.

Using a barrel to catch water flowing from our roofs is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to conserve water and divert it from the storm sewer. An added bonus: Rainwater is unchlorinated, softer, and warmer than tap water, qualities that plants like.

Here are plans for a very simple rainbarrel (alternative rain barrel plans) you can make in minutes. It is made from a 55 gallon barrel which you can find from many sources--car wash operators, restaurants or food processing plants. It is important to use a barrel that did not contain toxic materials.

We will also be including creative rainbarrel designs that others in our comunity are using. Each roof and landscape is different--so be creative when approaching this project!

Here are links to several other informative rain barrel sites:






Other Rainbarrel Fact Sheets:

Utility of Rainbarrels for Irrigating Home Gardens

Stacked Rain Barrels

Linked Rain Barrels

Rain Barrel using a chain

Elevated Rain Barrel

Painted Rain Barrels

Artful Rain Barrels

Compost Websie