How To Make A Rain Barrel


 A quick, inexpensive, and easy way to save water and money!

  • Heavy duty trash can/food-grade barrel
  • One #15 O-Ring
  • All purpose caulk
  • One plastic bolt (to fit hose bib)
  • Aluminum gutter strainer (for a rain barrel with a gutter extension only)
  • One 1/2" hose bib
  • One washer

 For a rain barrel without a gutter extension, you will also need:

  • One piece of 20" x 20" nylon screen
  • Marine epoxy  
  • Drill
  • 15/16" Spade drill bit
  • Scissors
  • Disposable applicator (like a wooden paint stick)
  • Box cutter or jigsaw
  • Marking pen



Step 1:

Drill two 3/4" holes. One about 4" from bottom of the barrel and the other about 4" from top of the barrel (for overflow).


Step 2:

Slide O-Ring over threaded nipple of the hose bib.


Step 3:

Insert hose bib into bottom hole.


Step 4:

Apply caulk to washer. Attach washer to the hose bib inside the barrel.


Step 5:

Follow the washer with a plastic bolt.  

Proceed to Step 6 for a rain barrel with a gutter extension. For a rain barrel without a gutter extension, skip to text after Step 9.  


Step 6:

Trace outline of gutter extension on top of rain barrel.


Step 7:

Cut out opening for gutter extension.


Step 8:

Insert aluminum gutter strainer into top end of gutter extension to keep out debris.



Step 9:

Attach one end of gutter extension to gutter, and the other end to your finished rain barrel!

Rain Barrel Without Gutter Extension (Continued from Step 5):

Cut a 10"-15" hole in the lid of the rain barrel.

Trim nylon screening to extend over hole about 3" on all sides.

Following directions on packaging, apply marine epoxy to lid using the disposable applicator. Attach the screen to the epoxy.

Things to Remember  

  • Rain barrel water should not be used for drinking, cooking, bathing, or vegetable gardening.  
  • Make sure the lid is secure so children or animals cannot fall in.  
  • Setting the rain barrel on two concrete blocks will provide an elevated, level surface.  
  • When filled with water, a barrel can weigh up to 400 pounds. Securing the barrel to the wall will prevent it from tipping over.  
  • To prevent mosquito infestation, purchase mosquito dunks from your local home improvement store.  
  • If you would like to decorate your rain barrel, apply primer and decorate using acrylic paint or another type of paint suitable for plastic. Finish with a coating of polyurethane. Follow the directions for each paint.  

For further information, please call the Water Division at 407-254-9850.  

  • Follow water conservation guidelines and ordinances in your community. Even if your water comes from a private well, you are expected to comply.
  • Report water losses (broken pipes, open hydrants, errant sprinklers, abandoned free-flowing wells, etc.) to the property owner, local authorities, or your water management district.
  • Promote water conservation in community newletters, on bulletin boards, and by example. Encourage your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to be "water smart."
  • Try to do one thing each day that will result in saving water. Every drop counts!

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