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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Nelson


Here is a recent build of a sustainable rainwater collection system. For the past few years living in the Pacific Northwest, I have been living more sustainable and have been imparting this lifestyle on my family. We have really changed our tune over the past few years and I’m loving it.

Below are a few of the setups I have built at the last 2 homes we have lived in. The first setup was very inexpensive ($30 at Home Depot) and took about an hour to built out. Your basic materials are 2 55 gal garbage bins, some pvc piping and a nozzle. Both barrels are connected inside and fill up together as rain dumps into one. Message me if you would like plans for this build. (photo coming).

The second (single blue barrel) uses a recycled food grade barrel and a 1/2″ metal spicket with a plastic/rubber seal. Both purchased from Home Depot.

The big set up, photos above, (6 barrel) was a bit more of a larger build out and a lot of fun. I’m nearing +/- 300 gal at max capacity.

I mainly use the collected water for gardening, watering flowers and the main source of the water is from tapping into our rain gutters. However we have been also collecting shower water by putting a bucket under the facet and collecting until the water heats up (what you would typically not think twice to let run down the drain) along with grey water from cleaning in the kitchen. My goal in the next month is to build out a separate grey water sink in our kitchen that will feed into a tank outside. Once I get a filtration system set up, I plan on running a line down into our washing machine from the Rain Barrels for doing laundry.

It’s amazing what this has done to our water usage and reliance on the city system. I hope to continue to build out more sustainable projects in the next few months.


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