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Water Barrel

I currently have an approximatly 60 gallon water barrel installed on my garage downspout. I love the fact that I save money having it installed, but how do I get enough pressure to make it flow in a hose? I purchased a water barrel pump, but it doesn't do much either. I would love to be able to run a soaker hose from it. Right now my garden is only 20 to 25 feet from the barrel and they are on the same level of ground.

Timothy Miller
Re: Water Barrel

Hi is the opening into the barrel vented ? The water tends not to leave the barrel if there is not a method to allow air to replace it. Installing a spigot about 2 inches from the bottom and running the hose so gravity allows the water to flow works great at my home.

Re: Water Barrel

About 2 years ago our beloved Department of Water and Power came out with a pilot program to use water barrels for irrigation in our city. They selected 100 homes in different areas as samples. However, nobody knows what happened to this program. Failed? I'm sure it did.

We pay more for water than most areas in the country, because most of our water is imported, literally. But my water bill says that my average cost of water is $0.04 per gallon. I'm sure the water in Indiana sells for less than that. If I had a barrel of water, where would be my saving? also, when I need to irrigate the most, in the summer, the barrel would be empty, wouldn't it?

Sorry to be off track a little bit, but back to your question: use gravity to push the water, as TM said. The same idea as the local water tower. To utilize free gravity power, the barrel must be elevated.

Re: Water Barrel

Agreed- simply elevate the barrel and water will flow. It may or may not have enough pressure to work with a soaker hose though. If you do elevate the barrel make sure it can't tip and remember water is heavy so the support will need to be substantial.

Rain barrels are a good idea almost everywhere that gets much rain, especially if the barrel is free. You'll still need to screen all openings to keep insects and debris out- you don't want a 'skeeter-breeder' as we call standing water in the south. You might find a sediment screen on the inlet handy or you can put toe outlet up a couple inches so sediment goes to the bottom instead of to the outlet where it can clog things. You also need to clean them a couple times a year to keep molds and fungi at bay. Even if your city water is cheap, rain water is free and that's a hard price to beat!


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