How to Set up a Rainwater Collection System Part 2 How to Set up a Rainwater Collection System Part 2
Follow the steps below to complete the rainwater collection system you began in Part 1 of this series. The article assumes that one rain barrel has already been established and is connected to the downspout.
Step 1 - Creating the Barrels
Create as many additional rain barrels as desired for the system using steps from How to Set Up a Rainwater Collection System Part One. Omit all the steps from the section "The Lid." This only necessary for the barrel directly attached to the downspout.
Step 2 - Modifying Barrels for Expanded System
An additional ABS Adapter needs to be added to each barrel allowing water to flow into the barrel from one side and then overflow on the other side. Completely remove the O-ring and lid of each barrel. One side should already have a Male ABS adapter fixed about 4 inches down from the lid. Separate the additional Male ABS adapter. Trace the circumference of the Male adapter directly opposite the existing hole. Drill a hole in the center of the circle and finish cutting using a radial saw. Screw the Male ABS adapter into the hole and fit the female end on the other side.
Step 3 - Linking the Barrels Together
Line the barrels up horizontally from the first barrel (attached to the downspout) to the last barrel. Using ABS cement, coat the ends of the 6 inch pipe sections and fit them into the ABS adapter holes on the left sides of each barrel. Link the barrels together by coating the other sides of the sections and fitting them into the adapter holes on the previous barrel.
Without an overflow, water can flow directly to the house's foundation causing a flood and undermining the structure. A addition to the system is an extended the overflow using ABS pipe and ABS cement. Establish a path with elbow and splitting joints rerouting the excess water to either a tree in the yard or another catchment. Leave the joint between the barrel's overflow and the constructed path uncemented for cleaning. Cement all other joints in the pathway.
A stand can be as simple as some cinder blocks or as complicated as a multistory in-ground bench, but is specific to your exact situation. Which ever is chosen, remember that one gallon of water weighs 8 pounds making a full barrel weigh somewhere close to 440 pounds. Be sure that whatever structure is purchased or created is extremely stable. Though a stand is not specifically necessary, it allows for greater clearance when buckets are being filled from the spigot and creates airflow around the barrels minimizing mold and mud. The ease of use created overly compensates for the work or expense of a stand.