Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rain Barrels

I've been wanting a rain barrel for a couple of years now. I imagine that it would be so much easier to water my back yard garden with a rain barrel than hauling pails of water or an uber long hose from the one water spigot on the side of my house. I also think it might be helpful in keeping my basement dry.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that the city of Minneapolis and the EPA are offering rain barrels at 50% the retail cost to residents of Minneapolis. $48.15 to be exact.

You order them online & then pick them up after May 1. There are also a bunch of local sales where you can buy them mentioned on the wesbite. You have choice of green or brown.

I've actually seen them sitting in a back corner down at the ReUse Center priced at $90 and had been toying with the idea of picking one up this summer. Now I am a happy camper.

If you order one, drop me a blog comment. I may need some support this summer when I try to attached it to my downspout :-)

16 comments:

The Litter Box House said...

Oooohhhh! I've wanted one of those but they are so expensive. My parents are Mpls residents... would it be naughty of me to get them to buy one for me?

StuccoHouse said...

Mum's the word from me :-) They are pretty nice, aren't they. I wish they allowed 2 per person....my parents would love one.

Leslie said...

I keep reading about various places offering these (also nice compost bins) but never here. One of these centuries I'll need to just break down and pay retail, because the theory of building my own is exactly that.

Then again, Partner and I DID decide to take $200 each for play money from our tax refund...

merideth said...

ooh i'm so jealous. Beth will be too. We've been trying for awhle to figure out where we could put a rain barrel. Though our summers are almost totally dry, we would make good use of the collected water for plants in the spring. Lucky you on the rebate!

Dulcie said...

We actually HAVE a rain barrel sitting behind our garage and not collecting rain (a previous owner was an avid gardener and she left it behind). Maybe I'll try to install it!

Ranty said...

Rain Barrels are SUPER EASY to make! My husband and I made some at our last house. (They don't look as nice as the whiskey barrel variety though, I must admit.)

You take an old food-grade barrel, either found for free on Craigslist from someone dismantling a dock or purchased for 20-some bucks at Western Container, then buy a spigot and a metal flange-type thing for the inside. Add silicone, cut a hole in the top, cover that with mesh, adjust your flexy downspout towards it, and voila! Rain Barrel. :-)

Ranty said...

Oh, I forgot, it's good to have an overflow spout about two-thirds up, too. But we didn't add them on ours, despite always meaning to...

Ellen said...

I've seen those on the ReUse Center's website. I hadn't seen the price, though - too bad!

It makes me wonder if St. Paul has a similar program...

StuccoHouse said...

Last summer I posted about the Mpls. compost bin deal. I got one :-)

I tell ya, St. Paul may not have rain barrels, but I was pretty darm jealous of your city's lateral sewer line replacement payment plan last fall when I had to replace by sewer line.

I found another Mpls. deal that I'll post about in a day or so.....

The Litter Box House said...

I'm such a mooch. I got my compost barrel from a friend for free. She never used it, so lucky me! I'm going to start using it this month. My gardens are going to be so happy...but maybe not my neighbors!

Nadja and Sean said...

Hmmm- no deal for us St. Paul-ites, though, that's too bad. Keep us posted on how it's working and we might try it also. I saw that at the Re-Use Center too and was really intrigued.

Darrel said...

We want to add one to our garage in St. Paul. Turns out these aren't too hard to build. Apparently Vine Park Brewery gives away the food grade barrels.

Anonymous said...

i have one that i made at one of the local art fairs - you paid $20 and made it. mine is a plastic container but i painted it blue. i got 4 concrete blocks (like your basement walls are made of) - i got mine of twincitesfreemarket.org; put them on end (tall) and put the rainbarrel on top. Cut your gutter with a saw, attach a flexible gutter tube and drain it into the tank. i got lucky and had a weird gutter just hanging up off my garage into the plants (well, actually onto a small gate that eventually rotted some of the wood) so i just attached the flexible gutter tube to it and snaked it to the top of the rain barrel. the reason you prop it up is to get better water flow since it works like a siphon - you've got to get the hose lower than the bottom to get the flow going.

Anonymous said...

sorry i meant to say it came bright blue and i painted it green! i use it to water my plants int eh alley, make my compost bin (also $20 through mpls deal a while ago) moist, and to get exercise watering other things around the yard and saving the environment. eh?!

Joe H said...

I bought one of the plastic rain barrels from the reuse center last summer and it cracked over the winter. I even drained the water out of it last fall and it still broke almost in two pieces.

StuccoHouse said...

Joe - Bummer. Sounds like you may have gotten a defective one. I inspected mine yesterday for the first time since winter and it weathered things fine. I'd march your broken barrel right back to the ReUse center and ask about a replacement.

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