Having mapped the emergency resources in our neighbourhood as part of get Ready Week 2014, my neighbours Heather and John thought it was high time they had some water stored around their property, just in case. The Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) are selling 200 litre rain barrels through the Council office for $105, so Heather bought one for John’s birthday, and a few months later during the long January dry, I gave John a hand to install it.
The barrels don’t come with a stand, and without one, you can’t get the last 50 litres out of the tank easily – you need to use the upper port for the tap or you can’t get a bucket under it. To solve this problem, MENZShed Kapiti have designed and are making simple stands for use for the barrels, and having seen their design a few days before, I knocked one together using odd bits of timber I had lying around. Mine was not nearly as neat and square as their ones!
John and I leveled the ground and used pavers to make a good solid based for the stand. To save the barrel blocking the garden path we put it in a wider area just around the corner from the downpipe. The piece of flexible hose provided with the barrel was not long enough for this, but I was hopeful a longer piece could be obtained from a local hardware store. Putting in the diverter was a breeze: we needed a stainless steel screw to hold the lower part of the downpipe in place though. The earthquake restraint strap was a tight fit but with much exertion we got it on.
The job was done -But not quite. John went all around the hardware stores to find a longer piece of flexible hose of the same type, with no luck. Eventually he struck a good solution – using what he had cut in two as a pair of joiners onto a length of narrower-diameter rigid pipe: see the photo to see what I mean. With the last piece in place, the tank filled up in no time in the early February rains. Now the trick is for Heather and John to remember not to use it all watering the garden!