Rain Barrels are a great way to do your part to improve local water quality and save you money at the same time! Stormwater from rooftops is often directed away from your yard and into the street where it can pick up dirt, lawn clippings, pet waste, salt, lawn chemicals, gas and oil. This polluted water generally goes to the nearest storm sewer and from there into the nearest stream or river.
Studies have determined that up to 70% of our surface water pollution is washed in there by stormwater! In other cases stormwater may be directed underground. While this water does not have the same opportunity to pick up pollutants.
When stormwater is funneled directly into storm sewers rather than infiltrating into the ground, this influx of water to our lakes and streams can contribute to flooding and you lose an opportunity to harvest that water for use on your property.
An inch of rain falling on a 1,200 square foot house amounts to 700 gallons of rain water running off your roof. It's estimated that landscape watering accounts for 40% of the average homeowner's water bill during the growing season. Using harvested rain water for your lawn and garden instead of a municipal source will save you money $$$.
Rain Barrels can be purchased or made from food-grade plastic barrels in a variety of sizes and colors. Rain barrels are usually installed in line with your downspout. Be sure that mosquitoes are prevented from entering the barrel either by having a barrel that is sealed where water enters and leaves or using rust-proof window screening of the appropriate size. Always install your barrel on level ground. Raising your barrel on a sturdy stool or cement blocks will increase water pressure and ease access to the spigot.
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