• Jonathan Desai

Collect and Conserve: Backyard Rain Catcher

The weather is unpredictable, and unless you live in an area that is used to receiving a lot of rain, it can be difficult to maintain a well-hydrated garden from rain alone, without use of a sprinkler or daily watering. The solution? A DIY rain barrel that can keep naturally falling rainwater you can use whenever you need (and that can help keep water bills down, too)!


  • Large plastic barrel

  • Power drill and ⅞-inch drill bit

  • Marine glue

  • ½-inch galvanized washer

  • ½-inch faucet

  • ½-inch wide hose

  • Jigsaw


  1. Using the power drill and drill bit, create a hole about 4 inches from the bottom of the barrel (with enough room to attach a hose). Place a thin line of marine glue around the inside of the hole.

  2. Slide the washer onto the end of the faucet, and screw the faucet into the hole. Ensure a watertight seal by applying more marine glue to the back of the washer, if need be. Attach the hose to the faucet.

  3. Drill another hole, about 1 inch in size, 3 inches down from the top of the barrel on the opposite side from the faucet.

  4. If there isn’t already a premade opening on the top of the barrel, create one using the jigsaw. The hole should be big enough to rest your downspout over.

Tips for using the rain water catcher:

  • Use the attached hose to water your garden, and drain water into a pitcher to water indoor or hanging plants.

  • Fill a pitcher with four parts water and one part sugar to make sweet nectar that attracts hummingbirds.

  • Fill a bucket to wash down patio furniture, cars, and other dirty outdoor items.

  • Be sure to completely empty the rain barrel every month or so, fill two-thirds full with a soap and water solution, drain, and allow to dry to prevent build up of dirt and grime.

Courtesy of Reminder Media, American Lifestyle

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