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Smelly Rain Barrel

Posted by lmsorkin NJ (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 25, 04 at 17:26

Hello all. Last summer I used a plastic rain barrel. I diverted rain water from one of my house downspouts into the barrel. The top of the barrel had a round opening that I covered with screen to keep out debris (and mosquitos).

However, the rain barrel developed a nasty smell. Apparently fine pieces of organic matter made it into the barrel either from the downspout or through the screen. As it built up, it gave the water a brown cast and smelled really foul. As the rain barrel was next to my patio, I finally had to dump it out.

Is there anything I can do to prevent this problem? Any suggestions and advice are appreciated! Thank you in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Smelly Rain Barrel

a cup of bleach in that barrel once a month would not have hurt. Although I would wait about a week before using the water in watering plants.

RE: Smelly Rain Barrel

This is an old thread, but I recently installed new rain barrels and experienced the same.

My solution was to convert my rain barrel to my aerobic compost tea bin. I added a couple of small air pumps and some of my existing compost tea and the odor was gone w/i one day.

RE: Smelly Rain Barrel

using minnows in the rainbarrels also might help. I have had mine up 3 or 4 years and it smells fresh and clean. Also storing too much water and not drawing from the bottom might be a contributing factor.

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