Rain Barrel Installation for Vegetable Gardens

Rainwater Harvesting Design Practitioner, Tim Kihnel recently designed and installed a rainwater catchment system that will harvest rain from the roof of a client’s residence for use watering her vegetable gardens. ESC poured a concrete slab 38 inches in diameter for a 36-inch galvanized 300-gallon rain barrel from Texas Metal Tanks. Prior to installing the tank, they leveled some natural cut stone along the clients walking path, which is located around the back and sides of the client’s home.


ESC connected the inflow pipe from the gutter to a first-flush diverter and then to the top of her tank. The overflow pipe is 4 inches in diameter and is attached below ground to a French drain, which travels approximately 120 feet from the tank and empties into a creek behind the property. The output leaving the tank is a 2-inch pipe that transitions down to a 1-inch pipe and then to ¾-inch piping, which travels to 6 different planter beds. Each of the pipes have standard ball valves that can be opened and closed to water the gardens. Each one of the ball valves have a male threaded adapter on the end of the pipe in order to hook up garden hoses.        


The space surrounding the location introduced a few small challenges during the installation of this tank. To start, there needed to be a minimum of two feet distance from the house, and the spot they needed to put the tank was adjacent to a water heater closet access door.  They needed to make sure the door to the closet could open all the way for servicing that unit. The air condition unit was also in this area, which had a 220-amp breaker disconnect mounted on the wall. This ended up being next to the first flush pipe. In order to protect that 220-amp breaker, the client’s handy man fabricated a metal vent to place over the breaker box for added protection. The vent cover worked great.


The rain barrel installation project, which separately included the installation of a level walking path, was completed on July 7, 2020. The client enjoys working in her yard, and reports that she is pleased with the ease of watering her plant beds from the rain barrel instead of dragging hoses all around the entire yard.