June 13, 2008

Save Water. Make a Rain Barrel

UPDATE 6/15: The rain barrel project worked beyond my expectations. An early morning thunderstorm dropped about 1 inch of water on this already drenched city and the rain capturing contraption accumulated about 500 gallons of water.

Cedar Rapids citizens are being asked to reduce water usage because of the reduced capacity of the municipal water department affected by the flooding. Below is a simple and cheap water collection system that you can use to collect rainwater over the coming weeks while the city deals with this disaster.

The parts are available at Thiesens in Cedar Rapids for a minimal cost. Downspout coupler. $2.50. 3" drain pipe $.40 / foot. They will sell 3" pipe by the foot but 4" pipe is only sold by the roll.

Attach downspout and pipe to gutter and run into a suitable container. Trash can, barrel etc. We are using our daughters swimming pool. Total cost for this dual downspout system was around $20.00. To capture any gutter debris I requisitioned a pair of the wife's nylons for the end of the drain pipe. While this water is good for toilets, dishes, and washing but I probably wouldn't drink it without boiling.

The city has asked that residents should use water for drinking only and to curtail showers laundry and dish washing for the duration of the emergency.

Do your part. Save water.

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