Is the barrel you're considering safe? Let's be clear - "safe" can be construed to mean a lot of things. However, "safe" to us means that your rain catcher should provide reasonable measures against intrusion by children and animals.

You should be concerned about animals because many of you live in close proximity to wild animals and they can smell water. Animals will frequent the areas that provide the easiest source of water. It is best that your house not be known, in the animal world at least, as a source of plentiful, easy to get water. Concerning animal intrusion, barrels must be built well.

Please think about what you are doing. Yes, using a trash can with a cover made of scrap plywood and held down with a rock will certainly capture water. And yes, that cute, and probably cheap, used wooden barrel would also collect rain water. However, think about using them.

Children are naturally curious. If they drop something into the water, the temptation will be to retrieve it. Worse case, a young child can innocently get upside down in the water and cannot get out. Fifty gallons of water weighs over 400 pounds. A full-grown adult might not tip it over. This is every parent's nightmare.

On our removable-top versions, the tops are mechanically fastened to the main body to present a challenge to young children and animals. Ditto for the hole placement in our screens. We offer an exceptional balance between large straining area and animal/child resistance.


Water vapor gets together in a cloud. When it is big enough to be called a drop, it does.