Plastic bottles funnel rain into rain barrels

plastic-bottle-downspout

This is [Wombling's] no-cost solution to getting rain from his gutters into a rain barrel. It is literally just a bunch of plastic water bottles chained together. At one end he uses the original cap with some holes punched in it as a sieve.

We like the concept, but find the execution a bit dubious. In heavy rain the holes in the cap will not be able to keep up and we figure your gutters are going to overflow. That may be okay depending on the grade of your landscaping, but those who value keeping their basement dry should avoid this route.

Just a bit of improvement could change all that though. We suggest making the rain barrel the sieve. Add a bowl shape to the lid with a large piece of screen in the bottom to filter out debris. Then form some type of spout on the front side of the lid to channel overflow away from the house.

The amount of waste generated by bottled water has always troubled us, which is part of the reason we featured this. We also liked seeing those plastic bottle skylights, and could swear we featured a floating plastic bottle island built in the ocean but couldn’t find the link. If you know what we’re talking about leave the goods in the comments section.

Comments

  1. benmwv says:

    I read about the plastic bottle floating island in a popular science magazine maybe 2 years ago. That might be what you remember it from.

  2. Pedro says:

    why are the plastic bottles needed? I’ve the same thing and just place a barrel under the gutter and capture all the water. I used it for gardening.

  3. bobthetree says:

    • polytechnick says:

      Now, THAT is a really cool idea! The original hack described here is rather strange though. A short length of a PVC pipe or corrugated pipe would work much better and cost perhaps only as much as all those bottles (filled with overpriced water) or even less.

  4. Tom says:

    Next week there will be a hack showing how to siphon water from your foundation block using only a drinking straw and monitor how long it takes for your basement to flood with a raspberry pi…

  5. Hackineer says:

    Given some of the low quality content like this posted on Hackaday lately, I hardly think the blog is worth $500k.

  6. Will Lyon says:
  7. Drainiac says:

    I suggest adding a mask or head, mounted at the gutter, so the water spews forth from the mouth, and into a basin on the barrel.

    Bound points if there is a second drain on the basin to direct barrel overflow away from the foundation of the house.

  8. dALE says:

    Its a good idea and reuse method. If it overflows, simply add another duct to keep the rain from damaging anything.

  9. Steven says:

    This has really good intentions and initially seems like a great idea…

    Until you consider birds poop on your roof, then the rain directs in right into the gutters and into your water supply. I guess as long as your using it for watering plants and not actually drinking or cooking with it that would be fine!

  10. static says:

    not an arduino, raspberry pi or whatever & they still beech. So why is that you fellas want to purchase this place anyway? ;)

  11. Hirudinea says:

    This is so ghetto it must smoke crack!

  12. regrev says:

    So has thereifixedit.com purchased hackaday?

  13. marbai says:

    It is actually illegal to collect rain water in some states!

  14. katsmeat says:

    Definitely a case where the hack is more trouble than it’s worth. Especially as there are off-the-shelf rainwater diverters that will both filter out debris from the water and automatically divert excess rain down the drain, once the barrel is full.

  15. alex says:

    I have a feeling that a piece of PVC pipe would have been cheaper than all of those water bottles. i guess then it wouldn’t really be a hack, coz that’s kinda what pvc pipe is for

  16. xb0xguru says:

    The perfect example of ‘bottleneck’.

  17. pete says:

    It may not be ideal, but at least someone is trying to up-cycle some of those damned plastic bottles instead of filling dumps…

  18. cliff says:

    It won’t collect enough(at least here where it doesn’t rain as much), but at least the intention is to make an effort to improve the environment.

  19. John U says:

    Wow, HaD mods suddenly get all critical of the engineering involved in this of all the ugly dumb or even dangerous shit that’s been uncritically championed here over the years!

  20. Tim says:

    “The amount of waste generated by bottled water has always troubled us”

    I cut the top off a Vitamin Water bottle and use it to scoop my dog’s food. Should I submit?

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