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Build a rain barrel

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Conserve water by collecting rainwater and using it for your garden or lawn.

Rain Barrel Photo


  • Recycled food barrel (try checking with large restaurants or food distributors)
  • 2 to 4 concrete blocks (to allow room for a bucket to fit under the spigot)
  • 3/4-inch hose spigot
  • Drill
  • Saber saw
  • 3/4 x 1-1/4-inch threaded pipe nipple (used as overflow connector)
  • Window screen
  • PVC cement


1. Wash out the barrel with a solution of 1/8-cup bleach and 5 gallons of water.

2. Drill a 15/16-inch hole a few inches from the bottom of the barrel. Thread the spigot halfway into the barrel, apply PVC cement onto the threads and continue screwing it in until snug.

3. Using the same procedure as the spigot, install the 3/4-inch overflow connector a few inches from the top of the barrel.

4. Choose a good spot for the rain barrel. It needs to be close to a rain downspout and a short distance from your plants and gardens.

5. Raise the barrel off the ground by placing it on concrete blocks. Reconfigure the downspout so it empties directly into the barrel. Use the screen to cover the open hole in the barrel to prevent insects or debris from getting in.

6. If you’ve installed an overflow, you can attach a hose and direct the water to another part of your yard.

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10 Comments on Build a rain barrel

  1. ScoutCommish // June 9, 2009 at 7:19 pm // Reply

    This is a great project guys! It may take a little time and effort to get the stuff to do it, but ask your parents or another adult for help and it will be much easier to get the parts.
    Car washes, restaurants, pickle processors all will have these barrels. Just look around. You’ll be surprised.

  2. Mikethemaster // May 27, 2009 at 7:26 am // Reply

    go green!!!

  3. cool status

  4. macinsplince // May 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm // Reply

    its kind of nerdy but cool

  5. mommyof2leader2wolves // May 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm // Reply

    You can get your rain barrel at a full service car wash.

  6. this is so fun

  7. jordan4762 // May 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm // Reply

    Higuy, It Says Ask A Resturant!!

  8. cool )= -o

  9. SKITT KID // May 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm // Reply

    Im going to start to build this today. What a way to conserve water!!!!

  10. scoutsislife // May 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm // Reply

    this is really cool i never thought to do this this is a really good idea i really like it. i am going to build one for my family

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