In a previous article I talked about the advantages of having a rain barrel in your garden. I use them and really like having them around. They come in handy and they are environmentally friendly. And, they save me on my water bill a bit every month.
If you do plan on building one yourself there are a few things you need to consider. You need to figure out where the rain water runs off your roof primarily. You will also need to consider where you will place the barrel and what downspout you may use to connect to the rain barrel.You can build one of these yourself if you are handy. Myself, I am not so I elected to just buy one. If you are in the same boat as me, you may want to read my article on buying rain barrels that I have written.
Also, consider this. An average residential roof will generate about 30,000 gallons of rainwater run off per year. So, your few 55 gallon barrels are only capturing a fraction of that. So, you need to consider where the overflow will go from the barrels.
You need to consider safety when developing your rain barrel system. You are talking about 400 pounds of water in a 55 gallon rain barrel. It needs to be secured properly. You don’t want that rolling over on someone or something valuable. Furthermore, you want to make sure it can withstand the pressure of holding that amount of water. Look for food-grade containers that are designed to hold liquids.