wine barrel fountain
by Jesse Khong,
- Half wine barrel
- Container fountain pump
- LED fountain lights – optional
- Mosquito repellent – optional
- Pond conditioning solutions – optional
- Building bricks
It is best to select a newly discarded half barrel directly from a winery. This will ensure that your barrel will maintain its waterproof function. Most barrels from nurseries or hardware stores are much older and sold as planters, so they are no longer watertight. But if this is the only option for you, obtain a plastic liner, which will help turn any old barrel into a fountain.
Since I obtained my barrel directly from the Korbel winery in Guerneville, California, I needed to condition it to remove the strong odor of wine fermentation, which attracted a substantial amount of flying insects. I filled the barrel up with water and let it soak for a few days, then changed the water and continued the process until the water was fairly clear (it took about 1.5 weeks). This process worked very well as the strong odor eventually disappeared and so did the insects.
It is normal for a new barrel to leak a little (just a few drops here and there) as the wood panels have dried out during the storing period. But as soon as the barrel is in contact with water, the wood will expand and quickly become watertight.
I also stained the exterior with wood stain to give it an aged and rustic look (this is optional).
Simply plug the pump into a grounded outlet and enjoy.