Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rain control

We have a downspout in our backyard that pours right onto the brick patio. I've tried hooking up extender tubes to escort the water off the brick and into the yard. This has worked but only marginally, it either gets kicked or blown by the wind and detaches from the downspout.

Last weekend, in preparation for the rain, I executed a plan I had thought up a few months ago ---- buy a narrow garbage can and have the downspout pour into it instead. So I bought this "slim jim" 23 gallon can from Home Depot:

The problem is, with the heavy rain, it was filling up in about 3 hours. Dragging the can 10 feet to dump it out into the garden/lawn was difficult and a pain. This was finally realized when I went to empty it before work, dressed in work clothes and the darn thing fell over creating a small 23 gallon typhoon of water getting me wet.

So, to solve this, I drilled a hole in the lower side of the can, installed a ball valve hose bib. A standard hose bib fits a 1" hole pretty well. With some silicone, washers and a nut on the back side, the drain valve seems pretty sturdy.

Next, I took some old hose, and made a new hose out of with a replacement hose attachment:

Now, the slim jim can collect 23 gallons of water, and I can then turn the valve and pump the water anywhere within 15 feet. 

In the future, I'll build a more decorative box around the garbage can. And, when it's not rainy season, I'll disconnect the hose and store in the shed.

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