Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rain Barrel Water Collection System

Over the years, as a result of composting, I've developed a plot of soil on our exposed granite cliff. The down side of using this area for gardening is limited access to water. It's a long haul with heavy buckets climbing four flights of stairs up from the lake.

Our good friend John devised a rain water collection system using a 55-gallon plastic barrel and a tarp suspended from trees.

It's situated above my plot, so gravity provides enough pressure to water my plants. Summer gets pretty dry, so my one barrel didn't last long. John upgraded me to a double-barreled watering system.

The plastic barrels will probably outlive me, but the tarp has been exposed to rain, sun, snow and wind for about ten years.

It needed to be replaced to make sure both of my barrels were filled before the last rains of the season.

We purchased a heavy duty woven polyethylene tarp that was UV resistant. Wayne had to resize a larger tarp because there were no longer any of the exact dimensions we had before. I purchased a grommet kit so we could place connection points that matched our tree attachment locations.

While the tarp had disintegrated over the years, the clothes line cording was still in good shape. 

We untied the old tarp and put the new one up in it's place.  With both of us working together it took over an hour. John probably completed the initial installation all by himself in half the time. But it made us feel good we could do it ourselves.

Thanks John for the design. Without it, we would have had a harder time of getting the new tarp in place. Sorry, it isn't as neat and tidy as yours, but the rain barrels are filling much better now. I guess that's what counts. -- Margy


  1. Amazing, your friend is a very clever friend xxx

  2. Anonymous11:52 AM

    great system for getting water

  3. That is a great idea!

  4. How nice to have a friend who can help make sure you get the water you need.

  5. You have excellent projects!

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by to comment. We just had a summer rain and the barrels are all full again. It sure saves carrying water up the hill. - Margy

  7. Goos for you for gathering rainwater for your passion. Having had a garden for 45 years without reticulated water, I know how import and the wet stuffs. We are totally self-reliant on whet water we catch and store, for 6 people, a herd of cows, a large flock of sheep and two gardens as well as innumerable pets. On top of that we live in a semi-arid area where rains cannot be depended on.So, once again, good for you!


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy