The P&R website is unweildy to say the least. However, I did find a listing for one of last year's classes and emailed the contact person asking about this year. I signed right up and got a couple of friends interested too!
The process was simple:
Acquire barrel. This is the trickiest part really. We were using 55 gallon barrels the city bought from Mt. Olive Pickle Company. I am not really sure where regular shmoes could get such large barrels. But I am sure a little creativity would yield results.
Take off lid.
Drill hole close to the bottom. This required a drill bit gauged to fit whatever tap assembly you've chosen. The class provided the hardware to us and the instructor had the correct hole-punching bit. How close to the bottom you drill depends on a few things. 1) what does the bottom of your barrel look like. You want to drill on a flat side. 2) are you going to need to get a watering can under the tap?
Caulk and attach the tap. This involves reaching to the inside bottom of the barrel--hilarity ensues.
My friend was tall and could just reach in...
Then we installed an overflow hose connection at the top.
Last step was putting screen across the top and screwing the lid back on!
Presto! Rain barrel!
I didn't really want a big black barrel in my front yard so I dressed mine up a bit.
3rd: second coat of paint
4th: funky flower painting
5th: chalkboard paint
Then take a hacksaw to the downspout and TA DA!!!!