Installed a rain water cistern

Installed a 160-gallon recycled chemical storage barrel to hold rain water diverted from the roof, for use as garden irrigation.

*Options I considered for this project:

Store-bought drums or barrels may be a little more attractive, but I couldn't find any this big.

*Questions and unexpected events that arose during the project:

I had to make sure the barrel was elevated enough to gravity-feed all parts of my garden area. Also, mosquitos are a problem around my property, so I needed to make sure they couldn't breed in the cistern.

*My motivation to do this project:

Water bills in the City of Atlanta are extremly high. Saving my rainwater for garden irrigation has cut my water bills in half.

*Project Steps:

1) Used cinder blocks and slate shims to provide a solid level stand for the barrel.

  • Existing drain after diverting
  • Roof drain diverted to top of cistern
  • Closer view of cistern- note overflow drain near top that runs down and beneath the cistern
  • Other side of cistern, shows where the overflow drain comes out below
  • Pvc drains and shut- off with brass Y-diverter and additional shut off valves
  • "Before" drain can be seen behind these guys- it used to drain directly into the parking and ran out into street, after first flooding the immediate area.
  • Hilary
    Hilary Cary, NC
    unbelievable!
  • Steve G
    Steve G Fort Collins, CO
    That's just the beginning of the insanity of Western water law. It is also technically illegal to have most types of fountains and water features in your yard (I wish it were for conservation reasons, but it's because of crazy, very old laws).
  • Steve G
    Steve G Fort Collins, CO
    This is a great idea. You're lucky you can do this. I live in Colorado, and the bizzaro world of Western US water law bans rainwater capture and storage. You don't actually own the water that drips off your roof, so you can't collect it.
  • Vicki
    Vicki Smyrna, GA
    I do same things for my 8 blue rain barrels but I love ur idea to add pvc drains and shut off w/ brass y-diverter & shut off valves. Plan to get me rain barrels to replace those blue rain barrels to look nice for my house and yard. u are smart to add
Steve E
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