San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Earth Day Rain Barrel Sale at Earth's General Store
Our rain barrels are a very popular item and we are going to have another truck load sale event. Normally the rain barrels are sold in the store for $80 plus GST ($84.00). Event Brite does charge a $2.74 service fee but if you want to avoid this charge you can pay for the rain barrel next time you are at the store.
On April 20th save money and rain water - the Barrels are only $70 plus GST.
As of March 28th, 2013 we have reduced the price to $65 plus GST (and the EventBrite charge).
Things about the rain barrels:
Ø The barrels are repurposed barrels that at one time had cleaning products or food ingredients for the food industry. They have been thoroughly cleaned out.
Ø They are repurposed at a Hutterite colony in southern Alberta
Ø The barrels have a capacity of 205 Litres but they will only hold about 190L. If your watering can is 10L this will allow you to refill your watering can about 19 times.
Ø The barrels are about 35” high and are about 24” in diameter.
Ø They are made of polypropylene.
Ø Originally the barrels had two bungs on the top. One of them was cut out and a wire mesh screen was epoxied into place. This screen will help keep small animals, larger debris and insects out of the barrel but it won’t be 100% effective on other material getting into the barrel (see below for cleaning suggestions).
Ø The barrels come with a faucet lower down the side. This faucet it for attaching a hose to or filling a bucket/watering can/bucket.
Ø To allow you to get a bucket under the lower faucet it is best to raise the barrel up a bit. This can be done with the purchase of some cement blocks (usually three is quite adequate). I have been successful in using 3 empty white buckets (the 20 litre size) instead of bricks and this places them higher off the ground than the bricks would (therefore providing more water pressure – the higher the water falls the more pressure)
Ø On the upper side of the barrel there is a nipple (a threaded fitting). I suggest that people attach a hose to this nipple at all times other than when they are using the hose for the faucet at the base. This nipple is for overflow - when it is raining you can collect a full barrel of rainwater in very short order but any excess will spill out through the nipple (which should be pointed away from the house/building). When a hose is attached to this nipple excess rainwater can be redirected to where you want it to go (to a tree or garden trench).
Ø To help eliminate or reduce the amount of breeding environment for mosquitoes I suggest that you squirt a drop or two of plant-based liquid cleaner (dish liquid/or the sliver of left over soap bar is fine) into the barrel.
In the fall, before it freezes up, drain the barrel completely and direct the water to the drip line of some of your trees (city tress would also appreciate as much water as possible – normally in the fall I start watering all the tress on my or that I can easy reach with a hose with excess water since my garden does not need too much water at this time of year and trees need it before they go dormant). You don’t want water to freeze in your barrels since this will either cause the bottom to bow out (thus causing the barrel not being able to sit flat on the ground (you can always dig an indentation in the ground to accommodate this bump if that happens) or be ruptured. After the barrel has been drained there will be several inches of water in the bottom of the barrel. Once you empty out as much water (there will likely be a cup or two of water still in there and leave it there to help clean the sediment out – see following) as possible turn it over and look inside. You may see quite a bit of sediment lying on the bottom of the barrel – you should also remove this sediment since this can cause your stored water to become kind of stagnant after a while. My suggestion is to remove the bung of the top of the barrel, tip the barrel back and forth a few times to agitate the water, so it will pick up the sediment and then flip it over so that the water and sediment will run out of it. Return it to the upright position, inspect the inside of the barrel to see if it is reasonably clean, replace the bung, move it to a spot that will be out of the way for the winter and then flip it over so that water can’t get into it. You might want to put something heavy on it so that it can’t be easily blown over.