cheap, good rain barrels
I went to a workshop put on by the Cooperative Extension Service at the botanical gardens yesterday, where they demonstrated some ways to make rain barrels, and had other people showing pictures of cistern and other rain storage/rain garden techniques. The most useful news to me was that you can call the Coca Cola plant out near the birmingham airport, and they will sell you these nice, heavy duty plastic 55 gallon barrels (cleaned, that once help coke syrup in them.) They cost $5.50 each. So after buying some minor hardware to attach them to you gutter and attach a faucet/valve, you can have a really nice barrell for less than $30. I've seen peple selling the same thing on internet web sites for $150, mostly due to cost of shipping a big barrel I'm sure.
Just thought some of you would like to know. Ive got 2 rain barrels connected together, but I saw some some tips to improve the overflow (they fill up FAST in decent rain.) I plan on making a couple more now that I know where to get the barrels.