The Rain Barrel System

The Rain Barrel System to start Harvesting Rainwater

The Rain Barrel System is part of the series of blog posts on harvesting rainwater checklist.

Rain Barrel System is usually the first step you’ll take as you start on your rainwater harvesting journey.

I want to remind everyone to check your local regulations and restrictions on harvesting rainwater.

Additionally, I would like to tell you before you consume rainwater to test and purify the water.

Are you asking yourself How much rainwater can I harvest?

Rain Barrel System: Size

With all the Barrel Systems available to purchase this may leave your head spinning.

How do you decide which size barrel you will need?

First, you will want to calculate how many gallons of water is available for you to collect.

Using this calculator you can calculate how many gallons of rainwater you can collect.

You will need to know the dimensions of your roof and the total rainfall in inches in your location.

You will also want to ask yourself: am I going to be collecting to replace all my water usage or to support my current water supply?

No matter the answer to this question, one gallon harvested is one more than if you harvested none at all!

The Simple Rain Barrel System

A simple Rain Barrel System can be a recycled consumable grade plastic barrel or store-bought barrel.

Either with a spigot to release the water or a bucket within to collect the water from the barrel.

Do It Yourself Rain Barrel System

If you’re making your barrel system, you want to make sure that the water always stays covered protecting the harvested water from mosquitoes and debris.

Most Barrel Systems for sale is between the price of 75 dollars to 500 hundred dollars depending on the size, materials, and if its a completed kit.

With that mentioned, I would recommend recycling or build your barrel system to save on waste and save money.

Gravity Drip Irrigation

One method of Gravity Drip Irrigation System with your rainwater barrel system is a soaker hose.

These porous hoses can save up to fifty percent of water compared to sprinkler systems and, will deliver more water directly to the roots of the plants.

When the rainwater drips from the soaker hose to the soil, it will be at a reasonable rate which will keep the right amount of moisture.

This is especially true when drip-irrigation is in conjunction with the use of mulch.

Rain Barrel System And Our PDC Student Simone Ianuale

My Permaculture Design Student Simone Ianuale uses the rainwater barrel system.

He connects his rainwater barrel system to the drip to drip irrigation system, he puts organic fertilizer or microorganisms directly into the rainwater barrels that he will be using for his orchards and olive crops, he uses the fertirrigation system (fertilization and irrigation together) to irrigate his fertile soil.

He also has barrels that go into a purifying system and then into the house for consumption.

Simone is using his Rainwater Barrel system and Permaculture to harvest and use the natural abundance of rainwater to sustain his crops and his household.

Barrel System
Barrel System

What are your next Rainwater Harvesting steps?

Water harvesting using the Rain Barrel System will help you lower or eliminate the utility bill, become more sustainable, decrease water and air pollution, and reduce your carbon footprint.

What if you already have a successful Rainwater Barrel System?

Your next step on the rainwater harvesting journey would be to look at your land and see if any of other methods would be beneficial to you.

Could your area use a Swale?

Are you interested in learning more about Keyline Design?

PS. If you want to learn 25 Incredible Benefits of Gardening, this is the most chomprensive article you can find


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Giuseppe Tallarico

Giuseppe is a versatile and results-oriented Agronomist specializing in Permaculture, Food Security, and Environmental Management Systems dedicated to consulting large-scale farms through the transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture to achieve maximum profitability naturally while creating a greener abundant earth for generations to come. Giuseppe is an Accredited Instructor by the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and a permaculture consultant for the government of Jordan. Giuseppe serves the world permaculture community as the founder and General Manager of the World Permaculture Association, the head of the Urban Permaculture Laboratory Educational Center, and manager of Rigenera, a Permaculture consulting company.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Kimberly Schwanke

If I collect water from an asphalt shingle roof, is the water suitable to use on my vegetable garden? If not, is there a way to purify the water so that it is useable?

    Giuseppe Tallarico

    Hi Kimberly, thanks for your question. There are a number of ways to purify water, as you could easily do if you decide to use water that run-off from an asphalt surface. At the following link you find a number of articles on the topic: Enjoy the reading and please let us know how we can support you!

Daniel Chris Amolo

Hi, my name is Daniel and I would love to know how you can be useful to our project which intends to start a rain harvesting initiative in our community market. Thanks.

    Giuseppe Tallarico

    Hello Daniel,

    I am glad to hear that you are interested in starting a rain harvesting initiative in your community market. As the General Manager of the World Permaculture Association, I am dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and the use of natural resources in a responsible way.

    One way that I can be of assistance to your project is by providing guidance and resources on the best practices for designing and implementing a rain barrel system. This can include information on selecting the right barrels, proper installation techniques, and maintenance strategies. Additionally, I can connect you with other experts in the field who have experience with rain harvesting initiatives.

    Please feel free to reach out to me directly at for further assistance.

    Giuseppe Tallarico
    General Manager, World Permaculture Association


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