The Cheverly Green Guide
Keep Rainwater On-Site

Rain Gardening in Our Area

"... a rain garden allows us to make a real difference in reducing one of the major sources of pollution: storm-water runoff."

In the Washington Post (July 21, 2001, Local Living, page 8), Adrian Higgins writes about three homeowners' experiences with rain gardens. The article is accompanied by advice on creating a rain garden and rain garden resources.

Low Impact Development Center provides templates for planting rain gardens in specific regions and conditions. The design below is for a shade garden in the Coastal Plan intended to attract and sustain birds.

How to build a rain garden, and other suggestions for Low Impact Development.

Low Impact Development (LID) and Other Green Design Strategies. A fact sheet from the EPA, with ideas for residents, planners, and municipalities. Includes links to more detailed online publications.

How Does Your Garden Grow? A Reference Guide to Enhancing Your Rain Garden. From the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.

Residential Drainage: A Homeowner's Guide to Drainage Problems and Solutions. From the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.

Bioretention Manual. The 2009 version, from the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.

Low Impact Development Design Strategies. The original manual from the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources.

Here are some step by step instructions and practical tips for constructing a rain garden.

How to Build a Rain Barrel

By Dave Kneipp

  1. Both plain barrels you can assemble using these instructions and ready-made rain barrels are available from James T. Warring Sons, Inc., 4545 "S" Street, Capitol Heights, MD 20743, 301-322-5400;  Unfinished barrels are $25 each. Empty syrup barrels are no longer available from Pepsi.
  2. Drain any excess liquid, if any, from the barrel and wash it out.  Drill a ¾-inch hole about 2 or 3 inches from the bottom for the spigot.  Drill a 2-inch hole 3 inches from the top for the overflow hose.  Drill or cut a 5-inch hole on the top for the mosquito barrier/rain water entrance.
  3. Arrange parts/supplies so they are handy for assembly.
  4. Insert ½-inch brass hose bib (spigot) in the ¾-inch hole, turning clockwise until almost tight.  Before final turn, place a bead of ‘Goop’ around the base of the spigot and tighten until snug.
  5. Feed cut sump pump hose through ½-inch PVC trap adapter washer.  Place a bead of Goop on base, feed through top of barrel and out of 2-inch hole.  Feed hose through base and screw washer onto base.  Place Goop or exterior caulk on outside of washer if it isn’t tight against the barrel.
  6. Place bead of Goop on kitchen strainer and place strainer in 5-inch hole on top of the barrel.

This is how we made the barrels in the workshop.  Please feel free to alter the method to suit your needs.  The following is a price breakdown of the parts, most of which can be purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

    Barrel    - from Pepsi                                                                                                                        $10
    Sump Pump hose kit                                                                                                                        $9.66
        24 feet long, we used 6-foot segments
    Brass ½-inch hose bib (spigot)                                                                                                          $5.30
    3.7 oz. tube of Goop                                                                                                                         $5.49
    Flexible downspout                                                                                                                           $8.97
    1.5-inch PVC trap adapter                                                                                                                 $1.08
    Kitchen strainer (with handle cut off) from (we used 5” although other sizes are available)                $3.69 + shipping
    Total                                                                                                                                               $44.19

Rain barrel construction videos. Neither is exactly like Dave's, but close enough to give you the idea.

So now you've assembled your rain barrel. What next? Here are videos on how to install your rain barrel.