DIY Files: Flora Noble Installs a DIY Rain Barrel System

We love hearing from our customers about their DIY rain barrel experience. This post was submitted by Flora Noble Plant Studio in Milwaukee, Oregon: a full review of their experience installing a two-barrel BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System.

The Flora Noble Story: Installing a Rain Harvesting System

Setting up a rain harvesting system has been on our garden to-do list for a while. Collecting rain water has many benefits including reducing stormwater runoff, water conservation and lowering of water bills in drought months.

Our online research found many DIY rain barrel setups that are affordable but not very easily expanded. Pre-made systems were more expensive and similarly inflexible. If we’ve learned anything in the garden it’s that the best plans are the ones that can be adjusted as we go!

Using a rain calculator to work out the amount of water runoff from your roof is a good place to start but the size of your system will depend a lot on rainfall and the water needs of your yard. We’re starting with a two barrel system that can hold up to 110 gallons and adjust as needed.

DIY Rain Barrel System
spoiler alert: the finished BlueBarrel System

On Board with BlueBarrel

We ended up going with California-based BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment Systems as a good mix of DIY and pre-built. BlueBarrel sells upcycled plastic barrels and a kit (the DIY RainKit™) with the pieces to construct their system. New barrels can be added easily if needed. We purchased a full system including the barrels (paid up front, picked up at local supplier) + the materials and tools we didn’t have. These were all available via BlueBarrel's website, making it super convenient and one less trip to the hardware store, win.

plastic blue barrels
upcycled food-grade barrels
how to Install a BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System
DIY RainKit™ supplies and instructions

Because of the current demand the supplier was weeks out on barrels. We contacted BlueBarrel and they quickly found us a new supplier. Fast and responsive customer service!

The barrels were cleaned, as in their former lives they were filled with agave syrup. An area near the downspout was prepped and leveled.

Tyler prepares a level foundation for the cinder blocks
Tyler prepares a level foundation for the cinder blocks

Weekend Warrior: DIY Rain Barrels

With all the tools and materials in place the process was very straightforward. It took Tyler two evening sessions to set up and put together our DIY rain barrel system, so this is a perfect weekend project, in between sips of beer or your refreshment of choice.

One trip to the hardware store was needed for pipe and cinder blocks.

Since it's summer now, we’ll have to do an update on how the system holds up during the rainy season. So far the testing we’ve done has been positive, and we’re excited to be able to use rainwater for plants and ducks very soon!

man Install a BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System
a duck near a bluebarrel rainwater catchment system
Epilogue: The ducks approve of the new BlueBarrel System!


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