Rain Barrel – Using a 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 at at least 30 psi. One I found costs $200 and it includes a handy pressure-activated switch.

Rain Barrel Water Pump

Another is less expensive but you have to turn it on and off manually.

Rain Barrel Pump

see also Pump Products

In addition, assuming you have just two 55 gallon rain barrels, a pump will empty them in just a few minutes. To apply the recommended inch of water per week, 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 you can water using soaker hoses, you can use a less powerful pump but the area they water will not change much. Consider getting more barrels and using drip irrigation.

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