Dave Gebhard of Decatur shares how he made his rain barrels. He writes:
I was thinking about rain barrels for most of the winter. My reasons being that the water rates here in Decatur have skyrocketed this past couple years. Also, city water isn't very good for the plants.
This is my version of rain barrels: 2, 55-gallon drums from Rural King here in Decatur. I drilled a 1-inch hole in each about 6-8 inches from the bottom. I used a screw in type of PVC fitting along with silicon caulk to seal. I connected the two with a piece of flexible vinyl tube. Water seeks a common level.
I plan to use just a simple siphon hose to fill a bucket for watering. No need for goldfish because I'll put dissolved fertilizer in the barrels to help with growth. Skeeters won't survive in that stuff!
Total cost: 2 barrels - $12.99 each
Fittings: $ 2.00
These are just prototypes. More improvements could come.