Our New Rain Barrel

We love our new rain barrel. We’ve been in the market for one since spring and finally decided on the Kyoto 75-gallon barrel made by Koolatron, a Canadian company with warehouses in the states and elsewhere. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg and the barrel is is able to withstand extreme temperatures that we occasionally have in our temperate zone. It came well packed and ready to use. I pulled it out of the box and at 18 lbs., I could lift and easily carry it to its chosen location. At this time, there is only one color available: sandstone.

No rain barrel is particularly lovely but this one works for us. The 75-gallon capacity is the primary reason for selecting this product. We diverted our gutter directly into the barrel and I attached a net to the end of the gutter for easy removal of leaves. The screen guard lid on the top is heavy duty but the larger holes allowed mosquitoes to enter and breed.  We solved that problem by attaching porch screening to the bottom of the lid.

The brass spigot works great.  It is threaded which allows me to attach a short hose to fill sizable or bulky watering cans or buckets.  Lower than the spigot is a clean out spout, the black cap seen on the footing.  It screws off for cleaning of sludge buildup.  There is an overflow valve on the top rear of the barrel that we attached a permanent drain for a rain garden, not knowing if this would work or not. It works! A recent 1 1/2″ rainfall filled the barrel and nicely watered the rain garden.

The most surprising thing for me for how quickly the barrel filled in any rainstorm. At first, I found myself running out and checking the level. “Oooo, we have two feet of water!”  But now, I just know I can fill my buckets and water those plants that need it between rainfalls. This one works so great, I do want to add more barrels.  And I tell myself, it’s one small step for the environment but a giant step for our gardens.

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester

8 thoughts on “Our New Rain Barrel

  1. And it is very attractive!
    My question about rain barrels: do you have to cut off the downspout to fit down inside the barrel to make the system work?
    I know rain barrels aren’t rocket science but the way my feeble mind works, I have to see it to understand it.

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    • No, the downspout does not have to fit inside the barrel. Some people end the gutter above the barrel. I simply did not want to lose a drop of water that might splash or spill over. The down side to this is that leaves go directly from the gutter into the barrel. I installed a homemade ‘leaf catcher’ on the end the downspout. I’ve read that people without gutters use a water chain or some use nothing at all. They just collect free falling rain.

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  2. I want one! It can replace the orange pickle barrel that currently acts as one of my rain barrels. No spout, just catches rain directly off the roof. I find goldfish do an excellent job of eating up the mosquito larvae. I feed them from time to time. In the winter they survive unfed, even under any ice that forms.

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  3. Why not? Try it – you have enough to dip some from your pond. Or put in the snake! If the barrel is in full sun it might be too hot for the fish to survive.

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    • I don’t think I’ll try it with my already stressed fish or the new owner of the pond, the snake. Today two new innocent frogs visited the pond. I just can’t watch anymore.

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