open-source rainwater catchment methods and kits

portland, oregon
What WE can do for YOU.
We use almost exclusively quality reclaimed / repurposed material (so as not to tank our environmental net gain!). Take a look, and please drop us a line with any questions or insights!


Our Garden-Standard kit provides everything your home needs to start harvesting the rain.
Barrels come in Blue, White, and Green (Availability varies, ask us! Due to demand, green Barrels are an additional +$5/per)

This basic system is efficient, elegant, inexpensive, and 80% reclaimed material. Included in the Garden-Standard:

CAPACITY: The capacity of a bottom-link / top-vent system is limitless. 1 = 55G; 2 = 110G; 3 = 165G; 4 = 220G; etc.
How much rain should I collect?


EXTRACTION METHOD: For this kit we offer a standard 3/4" spigot.


Primary collection barrel ("Mother") $75
[Includes an easy-clean debris filter and DIY instructions]

Each Additional ("Child") Barrel +$55
[All prices include attachments installed]


Basic Catchment: Questions about a Home Setup

How many barrels can I get; how many should I get?

You can get as many barrels as you want, in any configuration you wish. Many people have multiple downspouts on their home and want, say, one "mother" (a barrel with an intake/overflow and a spigot) with two children (secondary barrels with just a "link" to the mother) for each downspout. With two downspouts in the backyard and one in the front (say you only want one mother in the front) that's 7 barrels @ 55 gallons = 385 gallons.

I don't see any options for stands/racks/blocks for your basic kits.

For the basic kits, you must figure out the best way to place them in your yard. We do not know your property, and these are basically just barrels requiring only some lift off the ground. Most folks go find some cinder blocks and a piece of wood to make a short stand. But be aware, a gallon of water weighs around 8.3lbs, so a 55 gallon barrel filled with water weighs nearly 500lbs! Also, it takes a tremendous amount of energy to make concrete; so don't buy new blocks!

I'm interested in having enough water to make it through the summer (or as close as I can get!); but I don't want my yard filled with plastic barrels; what can I do?

The basic kits we offer are really intended as supplementary water sources. (See this FAQ on getting through the dry season.) However, we will soon be offering kits which include more sophisticated steel racks, more options for "blending" with the garden, combination cisterns and compost turners, etc. Please let us know if you have any specific ideas or needs that we might be able to meet. We are always interested in custom orders and new design ideas. Email us! []

I only need a few barrels—but still, I have a beautiful garden, and these, sorry to say, present an aesthetic "issue".

For certain, more refined gardens or yards, these barrels just need to be hidden away. There are many ways to do this, so don't let it discourage you. We can make it work. Some people are content with some form of cover, for example a bamboo fence-wrap, while others have found a hiding place under a deck or behind a tree. We will be happy to figure out how to modify any design to make it work with your vision.
See more FAQ's
Phone: 503-609-0105
(ask for Andrew)

Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you.
Andrew / Tim

Also, consider "liking" us on facebook, and/or telling fellow Portlanders about why it's important to conserve water. If you have additional questions that are not addressed on Contain Rain's FAQ page, drop us a line.