Blog Posts

DIY Files: How to Set Up Drip Irrigation from Rain Barrels (Bubbler Emitters)

May 2, 2024

Watch Jesse install a gravity-fed drip irrigation system with bubbler emitters. Bubblers allow you to control how much water each plant gets, and getting started is easier than you think with our step-by-step! Read More...

Environmental Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting + Free Webinar

April 22, 2024

April is Earth Month, but the environmental benefits of collecting rainwater hold year-round! How can rain barrels help the planet? Most of us know rainwater harvesting is good for the environment, but we need a little help explaining why. Read on to understand why rainwater harvesting is oh-so-good for Mother Earth... Read More...

DIY Files: Danny’s 3 BlueBarrel Systems™ from rain barrel kit to install

April 5, 2024

Get inspired by our DIY highlight of the season. BlueBarrel customer Danny shares photos of his three BlueBarrel Systems™ collecting from four downspouts, including some easy customizations. Read More...

DIY Files: Sarah Sets Up a Rain Barrel Drip Irrigation System—10 Steps to Success!

March 11, 2024

Let Sarah show you how to set up your gravity-fed drip irrigation system, step-by-step. It's actually pretty simple once you understand what all those little parts are for! Read More...

Gravity Irrigation Systems: Easy Rain Barrel Irrigation

February 21, 2024

Irrigating with rainwater is wonderful because plants love the water so much. Fresh from the sky, rain is completely free of the salts, minerals, and chemicals found in other water sources. So now that your rain barrels are full, how do you get that super high-quality water over to your thirsty garden? This post offers a handful of tips on DIY drip irrigation, and how to automate your rain barrels with gravity. Read More...

Demystifying the Downspout Diverter: Rain diverters for barrels, tanks & cisterns

January 25, 2024

Just how does water get from the roof into a rain barrel anyway? This article demystifies downspout diverters for rain barrels, including creative approaches for non-standard downspouts. Learn about automatic overflow handling, and more! Read More...

10 Winter Uses for Rainwater

December 15, 2023

In many North American climate zones, it rains during the winter when we're not irrigating. So what can we do with those full rain barrels while we wait for the irrigation season to start up again? Plenty! Read on for ideas on how to use your rainwater in the winter. Read More...

How to Winterize Rain Barrels

November 1, 2023

At this time of year, your rain barrels are probably full! Learn three ways to winterize rain barrels based on your climate zone, and your drip irrigation system too! Read More...

Rainwater Quality: Why Plants Love Rainwater Best

October 11, 2023

It's no secret that plants prefer rainwater head-and-shoulders (or should we say "leaves-and-stalks!") above any other water source. And why is this? There's more than must one reason. Do you know all four reasons that plants prefer Mother Nature's rain? Read More...

Podcast Features: 3 Lively Interviews With BlueBarrel’s Founder

September 19, 2023

Enjoy three lively podcast interviews with BlueBarrel's founder, Jesse Savou. Join hosts Neal Collins, Izumi Tanaka, Mike O'Rourke, and Scott Sandstrom to learn about DIY rainwater harvesting, our journey as a company, the values behind our business, and how our offerings have evolved to what you see today! Read More...

Mask or Decorate Rain Barrels: 7 Ways to Beautify & Protect

August 29, 2023

There are two kinds of people (or so we like to say!): those who boast their blue, and those who's first question is how to keep their rain barrels hidden from sight. We're here with a handful of great ideas for decorating, masking, and blending your rain barrels into your landscape - inspired by our very own customers across the USA. Read More...

How to Measure Downspouts for Rain Barrels

July 19, 2023

A well-designed downspout diverter is the key piece that takes water from your downspout into rain barrels. This article covers how to measure your downspouts for a tight-fitting diverter. Read More...

DIY Gutters and Downspouts: Everything You Need to Know

June 28, 2023

Gutters and downspouts are an essential part of the drainage system on any home. They are also necessary for efficient collection of rainwater. For those who like to tackle their own home projects, this article combines a variety of resources for DIY gutter installation, repair, and maintenance. Read More...

One Rain Barrel or Many? Single vs. Multi-Rain Barrel Systems

March 17, 2023

As a company specializing in multi-barrel rain catchment systems, we often get asked about the benefits of single vs. multi-barrel approaches, and we have options for both! Read More...

Clean Gutters Without a Ladder

October 11, 2022

Most of us dread getting on the roof to clean out the gutters, but a seasonal cleanout is recommended especially for rainwater harvesters. This article contains tips for how to safely clean your gutters without a ladder, and how to use a leaf eater to keep debris out of your rain barrels!  Read More...

Best Roofing Materials for Rainwater Harvesting

September 23, 2022

If you're thinking about rainwater harvesting (also known as roof-water harvesting!), you may be wondering about the best roofing materials for rainwater collection. Whether you're working with existing conditions, or spec-ing out a brand new roof, we've got expert advice for you. The good news is Read More...

DIY Hydroponics in a Barrel

July 28, 2022

This "barrelponics" project is another fun DIY opportunity to upcycle 55-gallon poly drums. Learn how to grow plants without soil and with rainwater...in a blue barrel, of course! Read More...

Spanning the Distance: Inlet Hose Extension for Rain Barrels

June 24, 2022

Rain barrels are great, but what if you don't have room right next to your downspouts? Not a problem! Read on to get inspired by BlueBarrel customers all over the USA who have crafted inlet hose extensions using our longer inlet hose option. Read More...

Free Rain Barrel Maintenance Webinar

February 23, 2022

Do you know how to maintain your rain barrels to make the most of them? BlueBarrel's founder, Jesse Savou, is teaming up with the LA Stormwater Program to present a webinar on Saturday, March 5th covering everything you need to know about rain barrel maintenance. Event is FREE but registration is required. Read More...

BlueBarrel in the News!

February 11, 2022

BlueBarrel was recently featured in this news segment! Bay Area residents, and indeed our customers all over the USA, are catching on to the benefits of rainwater harvesting in any climate. Watch the short (3min) video to learn more about the benefits of rainwater harvesting. KTVU's Emma Goss reports. Read More...

Creative Rain Barrel Foundations for BlueBarrel Systems

January 21, 2022

Sold as a customizable DIY kit, there is plenty of room for tailoring your BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System; to your space, and to your taste! Check out these creative foundation ideas submitted by our DIY customers. Read More...

The Act of Harvesting Rainwater: an Interview with Jesse Savou

October 27, 2021

"Many DIY-ers have the experience of researching and installing, and the first time it rains, the water shows you exactly what you did wrong. That's when I realized the value BlueBarrel could bring as a business. We tinkered until we got it just right, so there's no guesswork for our customers. Just a system that works" Read More...

DIY Aquaponics in a Barrel

August 22, 2021

We love a good upcycle project featuring recycled blue plastic barrels. The latest project we’d like to share with you is a DIY aquaponics system. But first, a brief introduction to aquaponics... Read More...

Build a Floating Dock with Plastic Barrels

July 22, 2021

Barrel docks and boats are a great way to pluck 55-gallon drums from the waste stream and utilize them creatively. There is an island of plastic trash floating in the ocean...let’s try to upcycle and float some of it responsibly! Read on... Read More...

Virtual Garden Tour: See a BlueBarrel System Demo

June 21, 2021

Join us on a virtual garden tour and catch a live demo of a BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System! Take the tour from the comfort of home, and at your convenience. Visit BlueBarrel's tour stop to learn some of the whats, whys, and hows of rainwater harvesting! Read More...

Blue Barrels for Habitat Restoration

January 5, 2021

We're proud to see BlueBarrel Systems™ all over the map, and the Oikonos Bird Sanctuary on the Island of Año Nuevo provides an especially interesting setting. Read on to learn about their shorebird conservation project and how they utilize rainwater catchment to support habitat restoration. Read More...

Rain Barrel Overflow Solutions

October 21, 2020

Our downspout diverter automatically directs system overflow down through the existing downspout, but there’s so much more you can do with that precious excess rainwater including: transporting, infiltrating, and storing it. Read More...

How to Make a Composter

September 25, 2020

Upcycle a used 55-gallon plastic barrel into a back-yard compost tumbler! With a few DIY modifications you can build a rotating, aerating, compost-making tumbler of your own. (And, yes, we can help you find recycled barrels near you.) Read More...

DIY Files: Flora Noble Installs a DIY Rain Barrel System

August 1, 2020

Elsa and Tyler of Flora Noble Plant Studio share their DIY experience setting up a 2-barrel rain catchment system in Milwaukee, Oregon. Read on for a full review of their BlueBarrel installation project. Read More...

Guest Blog: An Interview with BlueBarrel Founder, Jesse Savou

July 13, 2020

Gabby Reed of Finding Country interviews BlueBarrel founder Jesse Savou. Watch the live interview here, and glean tips from Gabby's Rainwater Harvesting Guide: Beginner to Extreme Levels of Water Collection, Storage, and Purification. Read More...

Mythbusters: Are Rain Barrels Illegal?

May 30, 2020

In years of speaking professionally about rainwater harvesting, it's one of the more common questions I get: Aren't rain barrels illegal? Luckily, the question has a simple answer: Read More...

A Letter: Here to Help You Hunker Down

March 19, 2020

We are being called home, to hunker down, to turn inward and care for ourselves and the ones closest to us. As we work to cultivate calm amidst chaos, here is what comes up in BlueBarrel's world: Read More...

History of the Blue Plastic Barrel

January 31, 2020

You’ve seen them everywhere: along the side of the road, in refuse yards, in your neighbor’s garage (or maybe even your own!); and repurposed into all kinds of things like ballasts, floats, storage bins, planters, and of course rain barrels. What could we be talking about?  55-gallon blue plastic barrels – what else?! This blog post contains everything you ever wanted to know (and more!) about the ever-present blue food-grade drum. Read More...

How to Strap Rain Barrels for Earthquake Safety

October 28, 2019

It's one of our most frequently asked questions: Do I need to strap rain barrels? Californians, especially, may be wondering, due to the likelihood of earthquakes. As usual, BlueBarrel is here with expert recommendations. Read More...

How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Rain Barrels

September 26, 2019

Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs and grow. Without proper prevention, rain barrels can become a breeding ground. Luckily, there are easy ways to keep mosquitos out of rain barrels.  Read More...

Ways to Paint and Decorate DIY Rain Barrels

July 19, 2019

Your rain barrels are a staple in the garden, so why not give them some personal flare? Apply your creativity with this step-by-step guide on how to paint rain barrels...decoratively! Read More...

Rain Barrels for LA Stormwater LID Requirements

February 22, 2019

Southern California has a couple of programs that support rainwater harvesting. Many folks have heard of LA Stormwater's LID requirements, but did you know SoCal MWD offers rebates for rain barrels as well? We're here to help you demystify the requirements of both programs.  Read More...

Roofing Materials for Weather: Rain, Snow, or Shine

November 26, 2018

No matter the weather, there’s a roof material built to withstand it. Here are expert tips on a couple of different roofing materials and how they protect you in various climate conditions. Read More...

Hole-y Barrels! Patch or Plug Holes in Plastic Barrels to Re-Use Them Yet Again

July 29, 2018

Can you connect an existing rain barrel to a BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System; or convert old pre-drilled barrels into a planned BlueBarrel System? Now with special watertight plugs, the answer is yes! Read More...

The Many Benefits of Houseplants – and How to Keep Them Healthy

June 28, 2018

Sprucing up homes with potted plants and vases is a way to keep the space vibrant year-round, even when it's too hot or cold in the garden. We've created a simple guide on the best plants for a happy and healthy home--and how to make them thrive with rainwater. Read More...

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