Building A Rain Barrel in Puerto Rico
Our weather in Puerto Rico is awesome. We have two main seasons, wet & dry, and they are both great. The wet season temperatures range from lows of 75 to highs of 100 and the dry season temperatures range from lows of 75 to highs of 90. Luckily, I go to work in board shorts year around.
The Wet Season
The wet season consists of almost daily rain in the afternoons for an hour or two with the occasional full days sprinkle/storm. When we do get rain, it’s usually a pretty amazing show of natures strength. We don’t get many New Jersey-esque all day light rain. When we get it, the flood gates open up, you can feel the thunder shake the house and the lightning shows are awesome.
The Dry Season
The dry season down here cools off considerably after the summer heat and the rains slow down. We still get afternoon showers but the consistency of them slows down and usually by January 1st, afternoon showers are scarce and the land starts to dry up. By March the entire countryside is yellow and dry and only the strongest tree’s keep their leaves. Locals take this opportunity to burn the hillsides to rid themselves of the long yellow grass, dried up choker vines (like Pica Pica and burn down the tree’s that aren’t strong enough to survive the annual droughts. It’s during these dry spells that we need to regularly water all of our plants with city water.I took this picture using the Panoramic feature on my iPhone. It’s not the best picture but it absolutely illustrates how dry our yard gets towards the end of the dry season. I think this picture was taken in March 2013.
Also, this video of Tres Palmas waves shows extremely yellow grass in the foreground…and a big swell breaking in the background.
Watering our plants with city water is a bummer. First of all, we have to pay for it! And second, it doesn’t seem like city water really helps the plants do anything but survive. Regardless of how much we water, our plants simply survive. We don’t see them flourish. However, as soon as the first rain hits, our entire property changes from yellow grass and wilted leaves (if there are any leaves left at all) to a brilliant green. I’m not a scientist but these two facts force me to the conclusion that water from the sky is better for the plants health and building a homemade rain barrel is better for my wallet.
Building Our DIY Rain BarrelI was able to build most of this project with things I had around the house (I’m a packrat) leftover from construction. What we didn’t have, we ordered from Amazon via a kit.
This is what I had;
- Plastic 60 Gallon Drum
- 2″ PVC Pipe (same size as downspouts)
- 2″ PVC 45’s
- 2″ PVC Couplings
- 2″ PVC 90
- 2″ to 1 1/2″ PVC Reduce
The key parts we needed that we didn’t have were ordered from Amazon;
- 1/2 inch hole cutting bit
- 1/2 threaded gaskets
- 1/2 spigot
- 1/2 inch drain valve/cap
If you’re looking to buy the same kit Summer and I got, here is a link to the product on Amazon – rain barrel kit
DIY Rain Barrel Was Fast and Easy
When I finally go to constructing the rain barrels, it only took me about 10 minutes from start to finish which included getting my tools and putting them away when I was done. Building a rain barrel at home is super easy and fast.