Rain Barrel Design

We design rain water capture systems for Brooklyn and NY homes. The rain water can be used to water gardens, flush toilets, for showers, and even for drinking water.

Capturing rain water has large benefits. Here in NY state we tend to be nonchalant about water. We have access to plentiful and clean water.

But most of the world is dealing with water issues. They either have scarcity or pollution issues.

What people don’t realize is that New York state’s water abundance is not guaranteed indefinitely. Increasingly there are issues with contaminants entering the water. And the cost to provide water is going up.

Then on the other end New York City has very poor water runoff and sewage control measures. The rivers and canals are constantly being polluted by sewage when a large rain hits the area that floods the sewage pipes, thus releasing the cesspool into the natural waters around New York City.

All this means we need to consume less water and discharge less water.

Rain water collection solves both these problems. It reduces the run off into the sewage as well as reduces the amount we consume. I also think that rain water is of a higher quality than city provided water.

City provided water is full of toxins, some of which are added to kill bacteria, and others that seep into the system from contaminated earth and old pipes that either leak or give off chemicals themselves.

When we design a rain water capture system there are several considerations:
1. Making sure the storage and collection materials are non-toxic.
2. Designing it so it works, and works for a long time.
3. Making a low to no maintenance system.
4. Keeping the dirty water out and clean water in.
5. Making it aesthetically pleasing.

One of the people we work with is Victor Hinojosa. He specializes in rain water and composting barrels.

In terms of item 5, making it aesthetically pleasing, one of the options is to paint the barrels. This is done a lot in 3rd world countries where rain water collection is a lot more popular than in Brooklyn. Also in those areas artistic talent is abundant and money is scarce, which lends itself well to the low cost of painting a barrel.

Below are some examples of barrels Victor did last week.

First he primed them with Fusion spray paint for plastic (this stuff is nasty but it works great on plastic and lasts) Then he used flat AFM safecoat for the image design. Finally, an application of AFM Polyureseal was added to give a shiny look and for protection.

rain water barrel design in brooklyn

rain water barrel design in brooklyn

rain-barrel-design-brooklyn

brooklyn-rain-water-capture-company

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

2 comments to “Rain Barrel Design”

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  1. Gravity Gardener - July 19, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I made one for about 10 bucks. It was pretty easy and works great..

    Not as fancy, but It gets the job done..

    You can see pictures at http://gravitygarden.com/rainbucket/?p=82

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