Need to find a suitable rain barrel : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I would like to collect rainwater off the house roof for non-drinking, non-cooking use, but I need some advice on where to find a good barrel (a 55-gallon size would be nice). It doesn't have to be spotless or brand-new, but needs to relatively clean and should not have been used to store toxic chemicals or substances. Where can I find a cheap barrel for rainwater?

-- Wondering (, September 09, 1999


Hi Wondering:

Try looking-up 'drums & barrels' and/or 'salvage dealers' et cetera in your local phone book. Barrels often are not reusable as a matter of law and industry frequently gives them to salvage yards for the hauling which they in turn typically sell for ten bucks or less. In the alternative, you might also try a near-by soft drink bottling plant; they always have used heavy-duty 55-gallon plastic food-grade barrels available because legally they can filled with food product only once.

Hope this helps.

-- Yan (, September 09, 1999.

If you aren't going to be comsuming it, whats the matter with plastic garbage cans? They won't rust out like drums do and they have handles to move around with and lids that you can pop on and off. We have lots of drums...Chubby hubby transports off road diesel in them, stores scrap metal in them, etc. But for a rain barrel a good heavy garbage can is much better.


-- Taz (, September 09, 1999.

Last month I cleaned a dairy out of all their 55 gal plastic drums. They get idodine based teat dip, soaps, hydrogen peroxide and bleach by the drum. None of those substances I consider to be toxic in residual amounts after the barrel has been rinsed a couple of times.

They were happy to see the drums go too, FWIW.

-- Beth (, September 09, 1999.

If you are going to use plastic barrels, be sure an put some good sized rocks in the bottom for weight. If they are always full of water that would work, but I suspect that the water level will be going up and down with use and rain. Also consider putting several around the downspout and use one of those plastic diverters to fill several barrels during the rain.

-- Beckie (, September 11, 1999.

If your local bottling company doesn't have any (and i recommend the lemon-flavored syrup containers), in 55-gall size, then do buy a Rubbermaid garbarge can. I say Rubbermaid because they are reputed (but I don't know) to use non or less-toxic plastic in their products. I've read on anotehr post that the larger sizes will tip over when full. I have 35-gall sizes and they do become a bit iffy when you let them get full. But if you put the lid on at about 3/4, then you'll be okay. BTW, keep the lid on between rains for two reasons: drownings (kids and critters) and mosquitoes. It would probably help to put a screen across the top to keep out debris (and also mosquitoes).

If you have the bucks, has some barrels, so does I have the GS ones, very happy with them Nontoxic, 75-gall, outlet hose, overflow, screen, safety grid, connection ot second barrel available--they're up to $119 now, $100 if you buy in twos). Mine were $80 in twos last year. Very sturdy, won't tip, made in Canada.

US Plastic (or is it PlasticS?) has food-grade plastic liners if you wish to line your barrels for drinking water. They have a web site, presume its (or with the S)--there are two firms, similar names. They also have 55-gall water barrels, supposed to be cheapest around.

-- Old Git (, September 11, 1999.

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