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If you still plan to water your lawn and garden with treated municipal water this year you are about to flush money down the drain.

It’s simple and inexpensive to collect rainwater from our roof and use it to water our lawn or garden.  Here are a couple of set-ups our neighbor Frank McComb installed.  First he got some rain barrels.

stacked 275 gallon totes

50 gallon barrel


Frank uses totes and barrels that had been previously been used to transport juices and concentrates.  He paid $50 each for the 275 gallon totes on the left and $10 for the 50 gallon barrels on the right.

Slotted Inlet w/ Mosquito Screen

Flex pipe from downspout to barrel

A few feet of flex pipe connects the downspout to the top of the barrel.  A simple slotted leaf barrier  with a piece of screening below it keeps unwanted stuff out of the barrel.


The last piece of the puzzle is a spigot.  A lot of totes come with a spigot or a threaded outlet where one can be added.

The Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper newsletter announced that Headwaters Outreach Manager Bonny Putney, who is certified in rain water collection, hosts a series of rain barrel workshops over the course of the year, and kicks off 2012 with workshops on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and again on March 7 at the City of Atlanta Water Works Lodge (655 Green St., Atlanta, GA 30318). New this year: The $40 fee not only includes a rain barrel, installation kit and instructions, but also is good for a one-year UCR membership. Workshops start at 6 p.m. Register:




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