Rain barrels – Pump

Q: How would I use a pump on my rain barrels to send water to a sprinkler? I have two barrels at the basement level but want to send it higher to the yard and shrubs in the front.

A: Getting enough pressure to power a sprinkler will incur a big cost. You’ll need a direct drive pump that can deliver water with at least 30 psi. Ones I found cost $100- $200. In addition, assuming you have two 55-gallon rain barrels, a pump will empty them in just a few minutes. To apply the recommended inch of water per week to your landscape, you’ll need 6 gallons of water for every ten sq. ft.. By my calculations, two full barrels will provide water for approximately 160 sq. ft. of landscape IF we get rain.. If you can water using soaker hoses, you can use a less powerful pump but the area they irrigate will not change much. Consider getting more barrels and using drip irrigation.