Blog Posts

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...

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

June 28, 2020

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...

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...

Environmental Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting – and FREE Webinar!

April 16, 2020

April is Earth Month, and the environmental benefits of collecting rainwater are many! What if doing your part were as simple as installing some rain barrels? Most of us know that rainwater harvesting is good for the environment, but we need a little help articulating why. Read on to understand why rainwater harvesting is oh-so-good for Mother Earth... and don't miss the free webinar on this topic at the top of the page! 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...

DIY Files: Sarah Sets Up a Gravity-Fed Drip Irrigation System – 10 Steps to Success!

March 12, 2020

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...

DIY Drip Irrigation System: Irrigate from Rain Barrels by Gravity Feed

February 2, 2020

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. Rainwater also has the perfect pH balance and nitrate delivery to keep plants and soils healthy! So now that your rain barrels are full, how do you get that super high-quality water over to your thirsty garden? This blog post offers a handful of tips on DIY drip irrigation, and how to automate your rain barrels with gravity. 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...

10 Winter Uses for Rainwater

December 5, 2019

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 your Rain Barrel System

November 4, 2019

At this time of year, your rain barrels are probably full! In areas with light intermittent freezes, there may be no need to weatherize at all. Water tanks, barrels, and even PVC plumbing lines will tolerate temperatures below freezing if the water doesn't have time to freeze solid. But in colder climates, we have a few expert recommendations for winterizing rain barrels. 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...

Roofing Materials Part 1: Best Roofing Materials for Rainwater Harvesting

August 12, 2019

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...

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...

Mask or Decorate Rain Barrels: 5 Ways to Beautify

June 29, 2019

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...

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 Part 2: 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...

Clean Gutters Without a Ladder

September 7, 2018

Most of us dread getting on the roof to clean out the gutters. Steep roof pitches can be especially scary for those of us who don't like heights. This article contains tips for how to clean your gutters without a ladder!  Read More...

Hole-y Barrels! 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...

DIY Files: Custom Downspout Diverters for Rain Barrels

March 15, 2018

Leave it to our customers to come up with creative twists on the standard BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System design. One of the benefits of our multi-barrel design is that it's all figured out from top to bottom, but also easy to customize to fit the particulars of any site. Thanks to Robert for sharing his solution for a custom downspout diverter.  Read More...

Fire and Rain: The Role of Rainwater Harvesting in Creating Fire-Resistant and Resilient Landscapes

February 13, 2018

The devastating wildfires of 2017 brought themes of resilience to the forefront in northern California's North Bay Region. As local communities rebuild, we reflect on the effects of fire storming over the landscape and we wonder what we could do better... Read More...

DIY Files: Can I Stack Rain Barrels? Everything You Need to Know

January 10, 2018

It's one of our most frequently asked questions: Can I stack rain barrels vertically? The quick answer is yes. But there are a number of safety considerations as well as functional ones. Check out our customer highlight for real live examples of systems that work and others that don't. Read More...

5 DIY Gutter Repair Tips Anyone Can Do

October 21, 2017

Gutters and downspouts are an essential part of the drainage system on any home, and they are necessary for efficient collection of rainwater. Repairing your own guttering may seem like a daunting idea but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some pro tips to guide you. Read More...

Can I Drink Rainwater? Tips for Home Water Testing

September 20, 2017

It is easy to treat stored rainwater for drinking, and to test it before you drink. Jesse takes us through her home water test step-by-step, for a very surprising result! Read More...

DIY Files: Creative Twists on the BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System

July 31, 2017

Thanks to BlueBarrel customer Erik for sharing photos of his BlueBarrel System™ installation, including some very creative embellishments. Read on and get inspired by our DIY highlight of the season! Read More...

Everything You Need to Know (and More!) About Doing Laundry with Rainwater

June 1, 2017

If you think doing laundry with rainwater is only for folks living off-grid, it's time to think again! As guest blogger Linda Holliday explains, free liquid from the sky can be used rather than expensive municipal water in modern electric washing machines, and it gets clothes cleaner than hard well water. Read More...

To First Flush, or not to First Flush

May 23, 2017

It's an age old question, but surprisingly, many rainwater harvesting professionals do not recommend using a first-flush diverter. This article explores the what's and why's of first flush so you can decide for yourself. Read More...

Capturing Rainwater for Household Use

April 12, 2017

This article gives a broad overview of rainwater harvesting for household use, including potable and non-potable systems. Rainwater harvesting has many benefits to homeowners. Read More...

From Drought to Deluge: An Ecological Approach to Water Crisis

March 23, 2017

Heavy rains, coming on the heels of years of drought, highlight the need to rectify our relationship to water, both as individual land stewards and communities alike. What is the role of rainwater harvesting? Read More...

8 Things to Know about Gardening with Native Plants

November 15, 2016

Did you know that fall into early winter is the best time to plant California natives? And in fact, planting with a native plant palette is a great way to bring your landscape into balance with nature - wherever you are. Native landscaping extends habitat for pollinators, and works with nature rather than against it in terms of water needs and climate conditions. It is also a way to honor the natural heritage of your local environment. Read More...

What’s up with the California Drought?

October 30, 2016

As California enters its 6th consecutive year of drought, everybody wants to know... now that we've seen a little rain, what's up with California's water supply, and what can we expect for 2017? Read More...

How to Purify Rainwater for Drinking

September 16, 2016

September is National Emergency Preparedness month, and a great time to think about emergency water supply. Rainwater is not potable without treatment, but it can easily be treated for drinking. Read More...

Use a Pump to Keep your Rain Barrels Full Year-Round!

August 27, 2016

This blog post offers a solution to a common BlueBarrel predicament: there's more rain to catch, but no room for more barrels! BlueBarrel's founder, Jesse Savou, demonstrates how to install an overflow system, and pump water from one system to another to keep your barrels full year round. Read More...

Is Rainwater Harvesting Illegal? Colorado’s Journey to “Legalize It”

August 11, 2016

The phrase “Legalize It” has taken on special significance Colorado recently. And the lesser known reason is the epic legalization of rainwater harvesting that went into full effect on August 10th, 2016. As the only state in the USA where rainwater harvesting really was broadly illegal, this is huge news to celebrate! Read More...

Get Recycled Plastic Rain Barrels – All Over the USA!

July 5, 2016

July is a time to unite in community across America and be thankful for all the gifts of this land. From the marshy bogs of the East to the dry deserts of the West, rainwater harvesting is an essential and age-old technique for sustainable water management; both conserving this life-giving resource in dry climates, and managing its abundant overflow where it's wet. BlueBarrel serves customers all over the USA making recycled food-grade barrels available to each customer locally. Read More...

Summer Inspiration: Why Summer is the Best Time to Install a Rainwater Collection System

June 21, 2016

If you live in the arid west, you may not think too much about rain during the summer. But did you know summer is actually the best time to install a rainwater catchment system, regardless of where you live? Why is that? A couple of basic reasons: (1) You've got time to plan; (2) You can build on dry ground; (3) You're all set and ready for the abundant autumn rains; and (4) You don't have to... Read More...

Stretch your Water Supply with Beautiful Flowers – Robert’s Plant List for Rainwater

May 16, 2016

This article includes tips for how to pair drip irrigation with rain barrels, and a suggested plant list indexed by USDA hardiness zone for rainwater gardeners all across the USA - from author, drip irrigation expert, and BlueBarrel guest-blogger, Robert Kourik. Read More...

Rainwater for Gardens: Why Plants Love Rainwater Best

May 1, 2016

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...

Downspout Diverter in Action!

March 24, 2016

A good downspout diverter is the key to the kingdom when it comes to rainwater harvesting. Some downspout diverters handle overflow automatically so you don't have to worry about what happens when your rain barrels fill up. This blog post contains two short videos showing just how they work! Read More...

We are still up and running…

This is an intense time on our planet and we are all in this together. At this time, BlueBarrel is still able to serve you at full capacity:

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