Using Rain Barrels

Want to save money, AND help the environment?

I’m here to tell you about one one of my favorite “green” things we have done: Installing two rain water collection barrels.

They are simple, cheap and a very effective way to help your budget and the environment.

There are a myriad of ways you can use the rain water. Here are a few of the ways we use it!

  1. Watering the garden
  2. Washing our cars
  3. Rinsing random dirty buckets and dirty feet
  4. Dog baths
  5. Weed killer
  6. Water for kids to play around in on hot days.


We love using water barrels because they save us money.

Here in the country we are on a well, so we don’t have an actual water bill, but we do have to pay for the electricity to pump the water from the well. So the less water pumped, the less our electricity bill is. For people living in the city, the savings can be even more significant!

They also help the environment.

It feels like such a little thing in the big scheme of the earth, but a couple of water barrels really do make a difference in your environmental footprint. According the the James River Association “Installing 1, 50 gallon rain barrel will reduce storm water runoff by over 1700 gallons a year.” . So, with just our two water barrels we are reducing runoff by almost 3500 gallons. Pretty cool really!

If you live in the James River Watershed, here is a nifty little calculator that you can use to see the runoff your property is generating, and get ideas of ways to decrease it. If you live somewhere else, a quick Google search usually will get you information on your local watershed.

Here is a great guide to building your own rain barrels as well.

These are our two rain barrels that we built at a work shop at the Science Museum of Richmond. The actual barrels were originally pickle barrels from Mt. Olive. 🙂 We plan to make a few more once we have our own property and house.

Rain barrels


As a final note, *PLEASE DO NOT DRINK THE WATER YOU COLLECT IN THE RAIN BARRELS!*. It is not good for you or your animals to drink since it ran off your shingles and sat in a plastic barrel.


Sign up to get FREE homesteading tips, and my weekly newsletter!

[mailchimp Optin=”1″]


This post has been shared on The Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living MondaysHomemaking Mondays, The Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesdays with a Twist, Maple Hill Hop, and Tuesday Garden Party.



Share Button

Related posts:

3 responses to “Using Rain Barrels”

  1. daisy says:

    Thanks for sharing on this week’s Maple Hill Hop! We have 3 barrels and use them all the time. Love when a good rain comes and fills ’em up! Enjoy!

  2. Very efficient way to use what the weather gods have given you!

  3. JES says:

    Hi Angi, We have two very large rain water collection barrels and they come in handy! We also use a well pump on our farm and like you said, the more rain water we use, the less electricity to pump our water. I use it for cleaning day also, pet washing, and of course, the garden. Thank you for joining us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Please link up again next week 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *