Twice a year the Lexington Countywide Stormwater Consortium (LCSC) invites the public to learn how to make a rain barrel out of an old pickle barrel. Why would anyone want to do this? First of all, rain barrels have been used for thousands of years as a means to harvest the water that comes freely from the sky when it rains. You just need a container in which to capture it and a little bit of knowledge about how to make a rain barrel out of that container and a little extra knowledge if you want to maximize the gallons of rain that you harvest by connecting a series of rain barrels together. This gift from the sky can not only save you money on a water bill but it comes in handy as a ready source of rain water with which to water plants, wash a car, wash tools, wash a pet, clean your feet, fill up a flush tank when the power goes out or for any number of non-drinking purposes.
The last time the LCSC hosted a “Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop” was on Friday, November 3, 2017. It was a two-part workshop featuring an informative class conducted at the Lexington County EMS training building at 407 Ball Park Road. Attendees got a chance to meet great people, learned all they needed to know about their stormwater system; rain harvesting and the steps to follow to make a rain barrel into a pickle barrel. After the class, a nice snack and a short break, the motivated group of 21 attendees gathered across the road in the garages behind Lexington County Public Works where skilled rain barrel making experts from the Consortium were waiting for them to guide them in the process of drilling holes, attaching spigots, outflow hardware and screening to a 55 gallon pickle barrel that had been power washed clean for them to use for a rain barrel.
The class learned quickly, and the sound of their efforts produced an enjoyable clamor. As they waited a bit for the caulk they applied with a gun to set, they laughed and talked as they showed off their work to one another. By noon, the last attendees had packed their rain barrels into their trucks, vans and sedans and were on their way home where they would locate a spot from where water pours off their roof during a rain under which to center their new rain barrel. Others who had been to previous classes were deciding whether to join their rain barrels together or to find separate locations on their properties to put another rain barrel, or to perhaps give it to someone as a holiday gift.
As anyone who has purchased a rain barrel can tell you, a pre-made one can cost $100.00 or more. For just $25.00, LCSC rain barrel workshop attendees can make a barrel that will last for years, and they have a great time while learning a useful skill.
When May 2018 rolls around, the Consortium will hold a spring rain barrel workshop. It will fill up fast. If you want to get in on it and have a blast, just call or send an email to India Woodson, Environmental Coordinator for Lexington County to get you on the list. She will make sure you get a call or an email to confirm your spot in the class as soon as it is advertised. Ms. Woodson can be reached at (803) 785-8201 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . If she is unavailable, just ask for her assistant, Mary Hite, or send Ms. Hite an email at email@example.com
We look forward to meeting you and having a good ol’ time at our next “Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop in the Spring.