My Top Ten List Item #10
Ever thought about buying a rain barrel? Just too nutty crunchy for you? What would the neighbors think? Buy one anyway. You can get those food grade plastic barrels several places and they are very reasonable in price. The hardware to fit them with a hose to fill your watering bucket and the overflow hose are fairly inexpensive as well and you can do all the work yourself. Check out some step by step instructions at http://www.epa.gov/region3/p2/make-rainbarrel.pdf. I would make one change; make sure to extend the outlet pipe at least 10 feet from your foundation. Moist crawl spaces and wet basement walls are the devil’s handiwork. Extending your downspouts at least 10 feet from your house will do wonders for helping keep your underside nice and dry. Dry crawl spaces and basements make for healthier air in the living spaces above them and houses that feel more comfortable.
If DIY projects are not your thing, there are easier ways of harvesting rainwater. One of the best looking rain barrels I have ever seen is the Rain Hog at www.rainwaterhog.com. They are rectangular containers that mount against your house near your downspout. You can mount only one or several together with each one having a 50 gallon capacity. They originally were olive green in color but they have more recently started selling them in several different colors. They are flat and mount close to the house and are the least barrel like.
Whichever type of barrel you choose, you will be doing wonders for your water bill by watering with rainwater instead of tap water. And remember, don’t forget to extend those downspouts!