When we were looking at getting a rain catcher or two, we had an inside scoop on some free ones. Where we live in North Texas, we were able to get free totes originally used for water treatment. It costs money for the water treatment plants to dispose of the totes so it is more cost effective to give them away. I can’t say how things are everywhere, but if you are looking to get some rain catchers for little or no cost, it may be worth it to contact your local water treatment plant. We were even able to get some for a couple friends too.
Once we got the rain catchers home, we rinsed them out and painted them with spray paint to reduce algae and to match the house. My husband put screens on top of the totes to keep leaves and debris out. He then used gutter material to make an overflow on the side with a screen inside to keep out mosquitoes. We just used window screening that can be found at any hardware store. Any kind of irrigation system can be attached to the tote as well. The totes come with a manual shut off valve that takes a 2-inch cam lock connection. Connectors for this are readily available at plumbing supply stores.
Screen installed on top to keep out leaves and debris.
Gutter material used on the side for overflow.
The tote comes with a manual shut off valve.
The rain catchers are nice for the garden and for watering trees. We also use one of our rain catchers two different ways with our pond. The overflow is set up so that it drains into the pond and the bottom drain is set up so we can use it to fill up the pond.
We set one up rain catcher for use with the pond.
The totes can hold up to 350 gallons. One time we had one of our chickens stuck between the rain catcher and the house and the only way to get her free was to drain the water because it was so heavy when it was full. The totes have worked great for us as rain catchers and the only cost for us was fitting it for use with the screens, paint, and gutter drains.