cheap, good rain barrels

tedevore(7b Al)July 15, 2009

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.

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Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 10:29AM
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Wow, $5.50 each is cheap. Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 8:26PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

The phone number of the Coke plant for info on the $5.50 barrels is 841-2653.
You could saw them in half and make really cheap big planters for that price. The master gardeners at the BBG are also ordering some 275 gallon tanks from Georgia that you can connect to your downspout. they will be ready to go with hose bibb connection and overflow pipe, and they cost $150. Thats not bad considering they hold more than 5 fifty gallon barrels. I plan on getting one of those...I have two rain barrels and a small 100 gallon cistern already,and they all fill with a 0.25 inch rain. I enjoy using any drop I can on the yard instead of water that would raise my sewer bill--you know, the sewer system run by the rats nest of thieves and incompetent morons we have here in Jefferson County. (and how about the lawyers who are going to get all the occupational tax money still taken out of our checks and held in escrow...what a great place to be a lawyer!)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Todd, thanks for the information about the rain barrels. I know that I'm always super excited when another governmental body decides take more money out of my paycheck. You'd think that they money they got for my business license would suffice. What type of law do you practice?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 11:24PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

The master gardeners/extension service at the botanical gardens has this website with info for buying different sized ready-made barrels at the gardens.

haley45, I don't practice law. Just amazed at how well some that do siphon off the tax base in this county.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Sorry, I misundertood your earlier comment. Most lawyers are not blood-sucking leaches, although I'm sure that there are some that are (as in any profession). And I can personally guarantee that Birmingham isn't THAT great of a place to practice law right now (at least not for those of us that have gotten laid off due to the economic downturn or are recent law school grads). Please don't burn me at the stake at the fall swap because I fessed up to my dirty little secret, LOL :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:36PM
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Haley, I believe the thieves and incompetant morons that Tedevore referred to are Polititions and most of them are blood sucking leaches. LMAO

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 5:44PM
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airydana(7b AL)

Hey Tedevore, what color are the Coke barrels? Can you post a pic of your barrel config please?
Thanks for good info. I've been interested in this for a while now, but all the commercial ones I've seen (for $150+) are an atrocious "pool blue" color or some other offensive hue...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 1:52PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

The Coke Barrels are white, and that is what I have, but as you can see (hopefully) you can spray paint them as I did. One advantage of the blue kind of barrels (which you could also paint) is that the whole top comes off, making it easier to do the occasional clean out. (i only need to rinse out mine maybe once a year, as grit from the roofing tile will get in the barrel some over time.)
If i were goint to make mine over again, I would fix it so a larger hose (I use a 1.5'' diameter) would lead out from the barrels as overflow, because during a good rain they fill up too fast for a smaller opening. I'm getting another 275 gallon tank from the botanical gardens tomorrow. Yippeeeee!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 3:50PM
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Fantastic idea! I'm calling first thing Monday morning! This is my first time on the site but I'm reading it everyday from now on. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 2:08PM
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airydana(7b AL)

Thanks Todd, you're always sharing such good info.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 9:34PM
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The price is (1/22/2013) $11 a barrel now. You can pick them up between M-F between 8 and 1. 4600 East Lake blvd, 35217 is the address and you can pick them up from the glass building in the front.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:31AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Thank you for posting this updated info Adamhickman =). I just so happen to be looking for barrel sources right now.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 5:25PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Hi all....I'm needing a couple of the 55 gallon plastic barrels / drums WITH REMOVEABLE LID AND LOCKING RING. I've seen a number of sources for the "closed top" sealed kind that simply have the bungs in them which make great water barrels.

However, I am trying to find the open top kind where the lid comes off and they are resealed with a metal closure/locking ring. My farmer friend had some that I borrowed one time and they were so handy but the person he used to get his from no longer has them. I've only found one ad on Craigslist that advertises them for $30 and it's Southeast of Atlanta which isn't exactly my neck of the woods. I'm on the AL/GA state line. If I'm gonna' go for a drive I'd rather head West into AL than to Southeast Atlanta any day of the week.

Thanks in advance if anyone knows. I can buy a Rough Neck 44 gallon Heavy Duty Trash Can but I'd rather have some of these drums if I'm gonna' spend the money.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Thanks Adamhickman! I will definitely go get a couple next week.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 12:11AM
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Great info! Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:35PM
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