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DIY water tanks – 950 litres for $174.

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    Having sought your advice in here on a few questions of late, I thought I should offer something in return, in case someone else can use the info (though it may already have been done of course!). We were very keen to get some water tanks in. Watching the rainwater just go down the drain every year was really getting to me + that I really wanted to start storing our own.

    Anyway… we couldn’t afford the commercial ones so this is what we came up with.

    950 litres for $174. <--- has all the photos, costings and the 'how' of what we did. This is what the end result looks like. there is now a hose connected to one end that goes to the front to water the fruit trees. It’s slow, because it’s gravity fed and it’s even slower if we don’t ‘break the seal’ on the lids on the barrels (they seal very well). BUT it works and it’s rainwater. 🙂

    We are hoping to get some more in once the next lot of barrels are available.

    Thanks for reading 🙂


    Ive got black ones of those, they had pickles in them.

    I was going to use them to collect water, hadnt worked how without breading mossies, but you have given me something to think about


    Hi KMto4 that is a great set up,thanks for sharing.

    As you can see you have already given someone an idea also.good one


    KristyMumTo4 post=338504 wrote:

    there is now a hose connected to one end that goes to the front to water the fruit trees. It’s slow, because it’s gravity fed and it’s even slower if we don’t ‘break the seal’ on the lids on the barrels (they seal very well). BUT it works and it’s rainwater. 🙂

    If you drill a hole in the lids (20mm or so) then silicone over a piece of mozzie mesh that will allow air into the barrels to speed up the flow while stopping the mozzies getting in.




    thanks Dave. DH was toying with a few ideas, something to do with a bicycle valve or similar, but that one could work too of course. At the moment we’re ok with it being slow as it means I can slow/deep water the fruit trees as I do other things in the garden. It would be nice to have both options – slow when needed but faster when required.

    Thanks karyn26 🙂 and froot_loopz if you do get yours up and running I’d really like to see how you go, if you get the chance to share pics. As Dave has mentioned, the mesh will help with the mozzies 🙂 We just used the mesh over the input hole and so far so good.


    Great idea, can I ask a silly question, how are the tanks joined together? I have thought about getting a couple for my carport, where the water just runs onto the ground from the gutter.


    Heya Kristy. The barrels are joined by ‘T-piece’ elbows and the black retic pipe you can see, doubly sealed with silicone (safe for fish tanks etc). I’ve just now put two extra pics up on the blog to give a closer view on how they’re joined – this pic

    and this pic.

    The challenge was not drilling/cutting the hole in the barrel, but rather screwing on the ‘back’ of the elbow piece because that’s on the inside of the barrel (the back of the ‘T-piece’).

    I hope that helps 🙂


    Thank you that does help a lot 🙂 Just thinking it over in my head for my situation now, thank you 🙂

    Oh and I am guessing you have screwed a tap in to the end barrel? Also does the downpip go straight into the barrel with silicone around it?


    no worries

    This is how the water comes in to the barrel from the downpipe

    it’s a ‘free drop’ as in the water flows right out the end of the pipe and lands on the mesh lid of the barrel leaving any smaller debris behind hopefully and just the water flows on through to the barrel.

    There is a ‘first flush’ and a ‘mesh’ up the top of the diverter, to keep most of the leaves out

    The barrel on each end of the array has a tap coming off it’s ‘T-piece’.

    So here, you can see on the end barrel there’s a green tap coming off the T-piece. This is the same kind of tap that goes on the black pipe between each barrel. The tap on the end barrels means you can connect a hose to it, the taps that are on the pipe between the barrels, means you can isolate/stop the flow between the barrels if you need to ie if one springs a leak, maintenance etc


    You really have done a great job 🙂 Hmmm thinking what level I will go to…


    Hey you got my 220 litre Kalmata olive barrels!

    I use them for grains to keep them away from rats but good job converting them to water tanks!


    Love this idea! Thinking I can do something similar beside each chook house here (there are currently 5 with 2 more waiting to be built). Where did you get the barrels from? Or Adelaide peeps, where can I source some? And how much did you pay for each barrel?


    paramount brown, bandicoot valley

    cant remember what I paid for mine, they werent overly expensive


    $29 with a lid

    type pickles in the search bar


    Um, is it worth all the effort for less than 1000L? Looks like you might fit a 10 000L tank there… I know, it isnt costing much. But water is so valuable I suspect you will want to scrap it all and get a decent storage… You are still spending time and money on PVC, fittings etc. ..

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