General Tips:

  • Make sure your barrel is installed on a solid and level base when in use. Full barrelscan weigh 400 pounds or more.
  • Water from a rain barrel is not potable, and should only be used for irrigation purposes.
  • When irrigating a vegetable garden from a rain barrel, direct the water to the soil, not tothe foliage of plants, and insure the produce from the garden is washed thoroughlybefore being consumed.
  • If you have a transparent or translucent barrel, you may want to clean it periodically toremove algae buildup. Alternatively, paint the barrel to block light.
  • Always keep your rain barrels covered to prevent children, pets and vermin from fallingin, and to keep your rain barrel from becoming a mosquito breeding site.
  • When in use, arrange the overflow downspout so that it drains away from yourstructure’s foundation.

Maintenance Tips: 

  • In order to maintain your rain barrels over many growing seasons, it is important to takea few maintenance steps prior to winter to keep your barrels functioning property.
  • Drain your rain barrel before the first hard frost or freeze. Repeated freezing an thawing of water in your rain barrel throughout the winter can weaken the material andcause cracks resulting in leakage.
  • If you have an above-ground hose such as a water hose or soaker hose connected to your rain barrel, also remove the hose and drain the water from it before storing.
  • Store your rain barrels upside-down to keep them clean when not in use.

For more information contact: Brad Lee (brad.lee@uky.edu) ENRI Task Force