Update: Here is a great resource on RAIN BARRELS — a buying guide!
Capturing rainwater with your own cistern. A 57 gallon recyclable plastic barrel already has two holes in the top – one for the pipe from the gutter and the other that is used to get water out for plants and other needs.
These plastic barrels are occasionally available on the used market although I opted for a new one after waiting for three months and no used ones were available. Approximate cost per barrel $65.
The lid is removable (for cleaning). Available from industrial container stores – this one from Containers Unlimited in Hayward, California. They are light and easy to position, the cover is
removable, and there are already two holes in the top with plugs. These are normally used for storing any materials and the barrels are actually food-grade safe.
I’m using two and have placed them where there is the most rainwater available.
Next steps: a simple filtering system to prevent leaves from getting from the roof down the pipe and into the barrel. Then, a way to use this for the irrigation of the vegetable garden.
Why this is important? Water is a precious resource – if I can use rainwater for plants and other non-potable uses, I save one gallon of tap water for every captured gallon of rainwater.
THANKS Michael, for thinking about our drinking water.