Rain Barrel Owner’s Manual
1. Place the barrel under your down spout.
Cut a section off the bottom of your down spout, and direct the flow into your barrel.
2. Get the barrel up off the ground.
The barrel will work best when elevated slightly off the ground. Bricks work well for this
3. Keep the barrel secure.
Be sure the barrel is on a very stable surface, as it would be extremely heavy if tipped over.
We recommend tying a rope or chain around your barrel, and fastening it to your house.
4. Direct the overflow away from your house.
The reason you have gutters is to keep rain away from the base of your foundation. Direct the
overflow hose away from your foundation to a garden or lawn area to avoid a wet basement.
5. Drain the barrel before winter.
In the fall, allow the barrel to drain completely, and disconnect the down spout diverter before
the water freezes
6. Give us feedback.
Contact us if you have any problems. Also contact us with your success stories. As we
continue to make rain barrels, your feedback will be very helpful. We would like to know what
you like and what you don’t like about the barrels. Tell us what added features you’d like to
see, or other information that would be helpful.
Accessorize Your Rain Barrel
1. Add a shut-off valve on the end of your hose.
This will eliminate any inadvertent draining of your barrel.
2. Connect a soaker hose.
To maximize stormwater management, you need to actually use the water in your barrel
between rainfall events. If you attach a soaker hose to the end of your barrel hose, you
can be sure that your barrel will drain completely over 1-2 days.
3. Link additional barrels
You may be surprised how quickly your rain barrel fills in a steady rain. You can increase
capacity by linking additional barrels. Look at the hose connection on the bottom of your
barrel. Put another connection like this one in the spare bung hole on the bottom of the
barrel. Connect this to the bottom of another barrel. Several barrels can be connected in
4. Attach a longer overflow hose
Your barrel includes a section of sump-pump hose to direct overflow away from your house.
You can install a longer hose (sump pump hoses come in 24-foot lengths) to direct overflow
farther away from your house or into your garden.
Thank you to Corrie Zoll, GreenSpace Partners, The Green Institute, who wrote this manual.
The Green Institute 2801 21st Ave S, Suite 110, Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-278-7123 info@gardenworksMN.org www.gardenworksMN.org
~ Promoting and Preserving Community Gardening across the Twin Cities ~