Rain Barrels

tkramerJune 7, 2010

Hi All: Long-time lurker first time poster. I'm wondering if anyone has a good source for rain barrels in Montgomery County, MD. Just looking for a basic 55 gallon, fully-assembled barrel. I'm in Wheaton but willing to drive a bit if necessary.

Thanks in advance!

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Two sources where I've gotten them:

Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center (near Annapolis)

Cheap (about $90 with a spigot already in), money goes to a good cause. But I found I needed to get caps for several holes at Home Depot Also I got a very good deal on a "half' barrel (flat back, which sits much closer to the house than regular barrels, still 50 gallons) by catching it on sale at Plow and Hearth in Rockvile. This also had a much faster spigot than the Arlington Echo Center spigot.

$139.95 You can routinely get it for 20 percent off with a coupon

BUT if I had it to do over again I would have spent the money to get a completely sealed barrel.

I invested in a great downspout diverter which lets me take the hose off and cap the hole going to the barrel to send the water down my regular downspout (with its long house taking water away from the foundation) once the barrels are full. If the barrel was completely sealed, this would happen automatically with this diverter. More importantly, then I would not need to add mosquito dunks to my rain barrel.

This is the downspout converter I got:

Home Depot now lists an even better one with a built in filter which would mean a completely sealed rain barrel would work even better.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:14AM
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Thanks so much for the info! I was actually wondering about what happens when the barrel is full. Lord knows if the rain keeps up, this will be a frequent occurrence. Beyond this, I have only a 10 X 10' plot, and I've been getting by fairly well with 5 gallons buckets collecting gray water throughout the house, so I think some sort of diverting mechanism is a must.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:33PM
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lynnt(Z7 MD)

I have a 50-gallon sealed food-grade barrel you can have for free, if you are willing to go to the trouble of rigging it as a rain-barrel. I live in Lanham near NASA, and work at the Navy Yard downtown.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:09AM
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I bought mine at Sam's Club. I had my eye on the terra cotta colored, urn-shaped rain barrels in a gardening catalog for years but could never bring myself to spend $150 on them. I needed two and I was hesitant to just buy the more traditional, less expensive, utility-type rain barrels for fear that the neighbors wouldn't like them and I'd get slapped with an "Eyesore" fine from the homeowner's association and then be forced to remove them. Luckily, I found the exact model I wanted at Sam's Club for only $86. I've had my barrels now for two years and I still get compliments on them.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:40PM
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I just started researching these yesterday. VA friends of ours have been very happy with the ones they got from http:/www.aquabarrel.com/store/ which has a Gaithersburg mailing address on their website. I may call to see if they have a showroom, as that's not far from me. I have no idea whether their prices are competitive.

The model our friends selected has a manual diverter and they suggested looking into ones with automatic diverters in case we're not around or forget to flip the lever as the waster level reaches the top.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Hi All: Still haven't made the plunge on this, so thanks for the additional responses! Gray water has been taking care of the garden for the most part, so I've slowed up on the search; however, I'm sure if the periodic rains stop for any length of time, I'll regret not biting the bullet on the barrel (which is difficult to say quickly). Time to finally make a decision...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:28PM
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I realize you've slowed your search, but just in case you decide to look into it again: A few years ago I bought a couple on e-bay from "cajunsteve". These 50-gallon, terra-cotta colored food-grade barrels arrive with fittings for overflow tube and a brass spigot, which are shipped inside the barrel along with an insect/debris screen. They are still listed at $45 each, and shipping to my area of NJ was about $22.00. I was so happy with the first two that I ordered another three. I've never had a problem with mosquitos or anything else breeding in the barrels, so have no need for the Dunks.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:42AM
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