Because of the current state of the economy, more and more homeowners are finding themselves looking for ways they can go about saving more money. To this end, we pose a question: why not put Mother Nature to work for you? Collecting the rain that falls on your roof can help your garden and save some of your water usage, which will, ultimately, save you money. Residential water use increases 40 to 50% during the summer months, mostly due to outdoor water use. Now is a good time to invest a little forethought into springtime projects that’ll help you save money thereafter.
What is a Rain Barrel?
A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams; this water is often used later for watering plants, yards, and/or gardens. Water collected in a rain barrel would normally pour off your roof directly or flow through your gutter to your downspouts and, hopefully, away from your home. With a rain barrel in place, however, you are better able to control the moisture levels around the foundation of your home. If your home is prone to basement or crawl space flooding, rain barrels can help alleviate that issue as well.
A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter downspout; you can also purchase them at your local home improvement store. Rain barrels can be installed upon blocks or a wooden crate to provide height for gravity flow purposes. Fine mesh screens are commonly used to cover any openings in the rain barrel to prevent mosquitoes and to trap debris.
Benefits of Using a Rain Barrel
Rain barrels conserve water and help lower costs on outdoor water usage (a rain barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months). Saving water helps protect the environment while at the same time saving you money and energy due to a decreased demand for treated tap water. Rain barrels also reduce the amount of pesticides, herbicides, salt, oil, and gasoline that are washed into storm drains and into our natural waterways. They can be arranged to slowly release the collected rainfall to areas that can soak up the water, thereby reducing stormwater runoff and increasing groundwater recharge. The collected water can be use to wash pets, vehicles, windows and much more, and because the water is free of chlorine, lime and calcium, it is perfect for keeping your plants happy, too.
To save a little water from going down the drain, installing rain barrels offers a simple, efficient, low-cost method for homeowners to collect and recycle water. A rain barrel can be filled within a matter of minutes during a good rain. Take an active role in recycling rainwater for years to come by installing a rain barrel at your house this year!