Setting up an 'Old Fashion" rain barrel. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm finally getting around to setting up an old fashion rain barrel, the old one was hap-hazard at best. I already use 'grey water' from the sink, tub and washer for the flowers, this is for the veggies and extra. I picked up a plastic 32 gal. trash container ($5.50 at wal-mart) & cut a hole in the lid for the down spout. Should I put a few inches of activated charchol in the bottom of the can to keep the water from going 'slimey', do you think it would help? I also have alot of charchol under the porch from when they used it to heat the house, would that work? DH suggested putting a pin hole in the can, so it would drain very slowly 're-new' itself and not overflow, good idea in a regular season, not so good in a drought(NY)? Any thoughts and ideas are welcome. Thanks.

-- Kathy (, March 24, 2002


I have 5 rainbarrels. Brick at bottom to keep home during windstorms. The mainproblem is mosquito larvae. They've never gotten slimey.

-- Elizabeth Quintana (, March 24, 2002.

I use a food grade plastic 50 gal barrel,, bought it for 7 bucks , I drilled a hole near the bottom and installes a "faucet" on it,, to hook up a hose or to fill buckets up. I also use window screen over it to keep the skitters out, the downspout water has to go thru the screen,, which helps to filter out any debris.

-- Stan (, March 24, 2002.

Good idea stan.... you are one smart feller...

-- Kristean Thompson (, March 24, 2002.

My rain barrel is much like stan's except it is on a stand to reach the faucet easy.

-- Robin in East Texas (, March 25, 2002.

Elizabeth, An old man once told me that if you float a tablespoon of vegetable oil on the top of the water in your rain barrel that it takes care of the larve problem........ Michelle

-- Michelle Thomas (, March 25, 2002.

thank you all! I'll try screens AND veg. oil and compare. Thanksfor posting the subject, also.

-- Elizabeth Quintana (, March 25, 2002.

Got a few of them around here someplace. Since none of the homes here have gutters, I place them where the most water comes off the roof (in the low spots). Put up on concrete blocks, the open barrels are covered with criss-crossed plastic screening material (avail at hdwr store). Spigot on the bottom, connects to hose and in-line charcoal filter to the garden or in our case, back into the washing machine. The screening keeps out most critters that would fall into the barrel including skeeters and the filter gets the rest of them.

-- al (, March 25, 2002.

Im surprised no one mentioned putting a goldfish in them to take care of algae and mosquitos. Plus you end up with fertilized water to go on your garden. I've heard you just have to take in the fish in the coldest part of winter--but they take very little care.

-- Ann Markson (, March 25, 2002.

Re the Goldfish thing. They carry internal parasites, and they do need to eat. They are the "cows" of the fish world, are mainly herbivors, and excrete a lot of fecal matter, so be careful where you put them. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, March 26, 2002.

I put fish in mine and the raccoons got them!

-- Elizabeth (, March 27, 2002.

Hey, I know nothing on this subject except that my Dad has a feed & seed store and they sell "tablet" like things that you toss into water and it keeps the mosquitoes and larve out for so many months. Don't know if it's a bad chemical or not?!

-- rgallant (, April 05, 2002.

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