How to build your own rain barrel

Posted at 6:05 AM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 08:05:33-04

With rain in the forecast in southern Colorado today, there’s a way you can use this moisture to your advantage. We’re talking about rain barrels!
These were banned up until last year, but now you can collect over 100 gallons of water for your home.

Here’s how it works! The rain barrel captures water coming off the roof of your home, which you can use to water your lawn, or plants without it being charged to your utility bill. Plus, it’s easy to make one of these at home with just a few items! 

The first step is to install a flex-fit diverter. The flex-fit diverter routes the water from the down spout right into the barrel. To do this measure 3 inches down from the top of your barrel and make a mark. Then drill a hole and insert the tube. 

In order to connect the barrel to the downspout you’ll need to drill a hole in the downspout as well. Make sure your flex-fit diverter is about 5 inches above your barrel so it doesn’t overflow. 

Finally find a place for your spicket, drill a whole and put your spicket in. This whole process should take less than 10 minutes. 

"You can save money and you can set it so the components meet your needs," said Colorado Water Institute Water Resource Specialist Blake Osborn. "Sometimes people like to put the spicket in lower, so they can capture more rain and use more water. Some people don’t like to do that because sludge can accumulate in the bottom."

Building your own barrel can cost anywhere from $50-100. 

Make sure you have some kind of filtration or gutter guard to prevent leaves and dirt. Any debris could constrict your rain barrel and even start a clog. 

Each home is allowed two barrels, which is estimated to save one household up to 1,200 gallons of water per year.