How to make your own water butt system [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE] (2023)

This article focuses on an inexpensive (and often free) sustainability project that you can do in a very short amount of time. We'll take a lookhow to make your ownrain barrel systemto conserve water from a shed roof or other roof that could be used as a rainwater collection system.

I will use some infographics for easy guidance and also some inspirational images that others are using to create their own water storage barrels for rainwater collection.

It is an ideal project for country orurban livingwhether you live in the country or in the city. Water conservation for use in vegetable gardens should be a high priority. Becoming less dependent on utility services is a good goal, and this little project is easy.

What is a rain barrel?

A water butt, often called a water butt or water butt, is a simple but very effective way of storing rainwater from a roof, usually an outbuilding or garden shed.

It usually consists of a 50-100 gallon plastic barrel, either custom made or repurposed. It generally has a faucet or water outlet near the base and an opening at the top.

Where is it located?

A downspout from a gutter enters the top of the rain barrel and water from a rain event is stored in it for use at a later date. It is also possible to use the rain barrel system to divert rainwater from your gutters before it enters the main drainage system.

This requires your main vertical downpipe to be diverted from your gutter system into the rain barrel. An overflow pipe exits the rain barrel near the top, where excess water re-enters the main drainage and drains back into the city's stormwater system.

How do I use the stored rainwater?

As mentioned earlier, the rain barrel system is designed to store rainwater from a roof. A faucet near the bottom of the barrel allows you to fill watering cans or attach a hose to use gravity to water your garden.

A good idea is to have the rainwater barrel on a stand that raises it 2 to 3 feet off the ground so you can drain water when you want. In addition, raising the barrel provides a small head of water, allowing for a little pressure when using a garden hose further down the garden.

Benefits of using a rain barrel system

Urban stormwater can be costly, especially if you are in a metered area. Using a water butt can lower water bills and provide clean water free of many additives added by city water authorities, such as chlorine.

From a sustainability perspective, anything a homesteader can do to reduce their dependency on external sources (water pumped to your home via a utility company) improves our carbon footprint.

How easy is a rain barrel system to install?

If you have a shed or outbuilding that already has a gutter system attached, it's easy to add a rainwater butt. A little rerouting of vertical downspouts and rerouting of keg overflow pipes takes a few minutes and a handful of angled bends to reroute your plumbing. I'll provide some links to a water butt diverter kit in a moment.

If you plan to divert from your domestic sewage system, the process is the same, although you may find it more important to do a cleaner job here and perhaps use a purpose built water butt system rather than a home built water butt kit.

Here is a list of some useful items you can buy from Amazon:

rain barrel-Good ideas 40-gallon barrel|EnviroWorld 55 gallon rain barrel

Gutter Conversion Kit-Earth Minded Barrel Diverter|Oatley rainwater collection kit|Flexible downspout extensions

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gutter strainer|Product link

There are many other options out there, you can see a variety of different productsHERE, depending on the type of water butt system you want, but let's take a look at the basics of making one.

Few tools are required, but I would definitely recommend aSuper sharp pocket knifefor cleaning up rough edges on your piupework before gluing.

This offers some really easy steps to making a water butt system. You can buy a rain barrel kit from Home Depot or Lowes, or make one yourself like these ingenious and creative people did.

What I love about this DIY home rain collection system is the simple construction. A trash can with a faucet added, a slit out of the lid, and some gauze under the lid to keep dirt out and you're done. This homeowner just stacked bricks to raise it off the ground and bingo it's done.

I like this 2nd trash can water intake system. Super cheap, you may already have a spare bin at home. With the flexible rain gutter (see earlier fitment links) it's really easy to just branch off from the main house's rainwater system and 'borrow' some rainwater for your plants.

The fittings can be purchased from Amazon or from a local plumbing supply store.

Blue PVC rainwater butt

How to make your own water butt system [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE] (1)

Cheap and cheerful, it does the job, and it's VERY blue.

The quintessential DIY rain barrel. These old storage tanks, often used to store fertilizer or food, can be obtained easily or for free. They are strong and durable and will last for many years. If you drink the water (not recommended) a food grade keg is a must.

They're not the prettiest of things, although you could hide them behind a trellis or fence. Perhaps best suited for a secluded location or on a rural property. However, in my opinion, saving water is more important than aesthetics.

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Pretty red rain barrel

How to make your own water butt system [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE] (2)

This looks really nice, not a bit out of place on this porch. Picture:GrowForageCookFerment

I love the look of it. I used to own a barrel just like this and used it to make comfrey tea to water the plants.

This looks really clean, it has a nice faucet and the "plumbing" looks neat and professional. If you live in a residential area and don't want to spend expensive rain barrels, this could work great for you.

Freestanding water collection system

How to make your own water butt system [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE] (3)

Don't have a roof? No problem. This clever freestanding system gives you as much water as you want.

What a neat idea you want to collect water in the middle of your lawn or far away from a roof. I think this would work well on a farm to collect water to fill a cattle trough. What do you think?

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DIY Rain Barrel - This old house

How to make your own water butt system [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE] (4)

Here you can see how to cover your water butt with decorative slats. Picture:This old house

If you want to enjoy the benefits of your own water butt system without having to look at a serviceable looking barrel all day, building a slatted facade and a water butt stand around it will work wonders. See the rainwater drain with a small hole on the back?

There are many pretty rain barrels on the market with a high price tag, but this simple concept allows you to dress up any barrel.

Professional rainwater storage system for the whole house

How to make your own water butt system [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE] (5)

This diagram explains the setup of a large rainwater system I had when living in Australia. Picture:

This is a more professional type of device used to collect rainwater in rural towns across Australia and probably the US as well. This type of water tank requires a pumping system and supplies all the water to the house. There is no tap water supply here.

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If you want to see the whole process of building your own rainwater tank, this video will walk you through it step by step

Rainwater harvesting system video

This video shows you exactly how to create your own rain harvesting systems from simple components.

I like using the 5 gallon bucket to add a strainer on top of the bucket.

Here is the rain barrel kit list again.

Here is a list of some useful items you can buy from Amazon:

rain barrel-Good ideas 40-gallon barrel|EnviroWorld 55 gallon rain barrel

Gutter Conversion Kit-Earth Minded Barrel Diverter|Oatley rainwater collection kit|Flexible downspout extensions

gutter strainer|Product link

That pretty much concludes this article on making your own water butt system. It's easy, it can be as cheap as you want, and it does your bit for the planet. Your plants will love you for it too.

Until next time.


Have fun collecting rainwater!


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