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Flat Roof Maintenance
Why Basements Flood
Moss Prevention Duration
Measures 66 and 67
Testimonial - Moss Treatment
Moss removal concrete tiles
Water in Walls
Some Reasons for Using a Rain Barrel
- Alternative to putting in a new drainage pipe. Old metal underground drains rot and the pipe collapses under the weight of the soil. It's expensive to dig them up and replace them with new plastic pipes because of the cost of labor and additional difficulties with years of tree roots running through the dirt around the pipes. You can run pipes over the ground, but that doesn't look too great. A good solution may be to put in a rain barrel to catch roof water coming down your downspouts and then use this water to water your landscape. Also, in Portland, you may get sewer water credit for disconnecting your downspouts. So not only will you not have the labor of installing new pipes, but the city may credit you every three months for not using the storm drains.
- Water storage for gardens
- Emergency water collection system
- Divert rain water from being wasted down sewer line and use it to water the landscape
What Rain Barrels Do and Don't Do
Rain barrels hold water. Rain barrels serve as water storage. You can have the water from your downspouts directed into the rain barrels. By putting a water tap on the rain barrel, you can attach a garden hose to it and water your landscape. Running a hose across the lawn or into your garden is much less conspicuous than running a 3 inch drain pipe. By placing the water spigot on the barrel about 8-12 inches above the bottom, it allows debris to settle to the bottom and not clog up the water spigot. Rain barrels have limited storage. They must be drained before they are full, or allow the water to flow out the overflow tubing.
Rain Barrel Use
Water spigots (I use 1/4 turn 3/4" brass spigots) may be attached to the water barrel by first drilling a large hole in the barrel, attaching a "bulkhead adapter" and then threading in the spigot into the threaded adapter. A second hole is drilled near the top where a barbed bulkhead adapter is attached and an overflow tubing connected to direct water away from the area if the barrel becomes too full.
Rain Barrel Locations
Rain barrels are most often located directly underneath and in line with the downspout that it services. The downspout must direct the water down into the rain barrel to ensure that under high velocity the water is going to end up in the rain barrel and not towards the foundation of the house. If it's too difficult to locate the rain barrel underneath the downspout, it may be located further way by piping water to it from the downspout. However, there are not may locations where a slightly sloped horizontal pipe located at chest height would not get in the way.
Rain barrels need to be at least higher (in elevation) than the location to be watered. For example, if you are watering a raised bed garden that is one foot high, then the bottom of the rain barrel must be one foot off the same ground level or higher. Stands for the rain barrel may be constructed from pressure-treated wood or concrete blocks and sturdy enough to support a full rain barrel (50 gallons x ~7 lbs/gallon = 350 pounds (plus weight of rain barrel and its accessories.
Choosing a Rain Barrel
- Block UV light - Rain barrels are best if they block light. If light is not kept out of the barrel, then algae may grow inside of it.
- Durable - The barrel must also be sturdy and rigid enough to stay on the stand.
- Cost versus Aesthetics - Custom turned containers are available, or a recycled one may be obtained for about $30. A wood (think Cedar) enclosure may also be built around the barrel to make it all look better. Keep in mind that the labor in building an enclosure can exceed the cost of purchasing an "oak look" plastic rainbarrel.
- Rain barrel
- Bulkhead adapter with 3/4" pipe thread
- Bulkhead adapter with barbed fitting
- Overflow hose
- Flexible downspout adapter - to move water from downspout to rain barrel.
- Fine netting to keep mosquitos out of barrel