Using rain barrels
Some uses for rain barrels include:
• Washing cars• Washing patios or siding
• Watering flowers and bushes
• Watering vegetable gardens (though the water should be directed at the soil and should not come into contact with the parts of the plant that you would eat)
• Watering your lawn
• Hosing down your driveway
Rain barrel tips
There are some general guidelines to keep in mind if you decide to install a rain barrel at the bottom of your downspout.
• Always keep a cover on you rain barrel to prevent leaves and other debris from falling in, to keep away curious children or animals; to avoid creating a breeding place for mosquitos; and to keep the water out of direct sunlight, which can cause an algae bloom in your rain barrel.
• If you anticipate a lot of rain in the spring, followed by a drier period later on, consider investing in multiple rain barrels so you can collect an ample supply of water during the rainy season to be used during summer’s dry spells.
• If you plan to use rain from your rain barrel on a vegetable garden, stop using water from the rain barrel to water plants in the days leading up to harvesting, and wash vegetables thoroughly with tap water before consuming them.
• Never let pets or children drink water that you’ve harvested from the rain barrel because of all of the contaminants it contains.
• If you have your home sprayed for pests or treated in any way, stop using rain barrels for several days so those chemicals do not make their way into your water supply.
• Make sure rain barrels are empty before temperatures drop for the winter, as they could crack or become damaged if they freeze.
Of course, to fully take advantage of rain barrels, you need an effective gutter system. If your gutters are leaking, or if they’re not doing an adequate job of directing water safely from your home, call The Gutterman of Tennessee to schedule a consultation today!