Each barrel has a screen to keep out debris.
We put them up on concrete blocks for a little water pressure.
I fill watering cans and buckets from the barrells. They don't have enough pressure to send water through a hose. Each barrel has an over flow tube inside and there is an extension you can put on the tube to take water from your foundation but our barrels set away from the garage.
Most of our roof drains to these barrels. If we get half an inch of rain, we can fill all three of them in one shot. If we get into a long dry spell, I have to resort to using our water faucets, but these barrels sure do stretch the water budget and the plants love the water. There is a little slot at the top of each barrel to hold the hose but I've never had luck keeping it in there.
I tie jute twine hangers (two for insurance) at the end of each watering hose and hang them from hooks on the fence.
The first barrel gets a good amount of sludge at the bottom by the end of summer. The second barrel gets a little overflow sludge. The third barrel stays pretty clean. I put mosquito donuts in them so they don't become breeding grounds. Otherwise, it's simple. Rain in, water out, happy plants, happy gardener! Until recently, I didn't know anyone else with a rain barrel. Now, our local watershed protection agency is offering workshops for people to make their own and some of the garden centers in town are selling them. My friends are like, "we're getting a rain barrel this year!" I'm such a trend setter. Actually, I remember a great aunt and great uncle who had a horse tank catching water off their roof. They were great gardeners. I think the idea started when I was young. My wonderful husband keeps saying, "if only we could put in a cistern!" Bring on the rain. I'm ready!
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