Rain Barrel Benefits
What, Why, and How of Rain Barrels
Why bother to use a rain barrel?
I’ve found many benefits to using a rain barrel. First rain barrel benefit: They are an excellent way to conserve one, if not the most vital, of our natural resources – water. Second rain barrel benefit is the reduction in the amount of well or municipal water we use. Rain water doesn’t have some of the chemicals usually found in tap water, such as chlorine and fluoride. In addition, rain water has no calcium or lime, less sediment and dissolved salts, and it's softer and warmer than tap water. So another rain barrel benefit is that captured rainwater is a perfect choice for watering your lawn and garden.
Cost Effective – Saves Money
In the past few years, we've heard more and more about an environmental movement to "Go Green". However, I’m not a big believer of promoting “green” activities unless there is an actual cost savings for the home owner. And a great rain barrel benefit is their cost benefit ratio. If you capture, save, and use 15,000 gallons of rainwater per year (50% of the normal annual rainfall in Atlanta on a 1,000 sq ft home), you will save $150.00 per year - using the current Atlanta water/sewer rates. During the warm spring, summer, and autumn months, when I used to water my lawn and plants from my hoses, I used to pay an average of $64 per month – 61% more than the other 6 months. Now I water my lawn and garden from the water collected in my 3 rain barrels, and I save $124 each year – enough to pay for a 3-barrel rainwater harvesting system in just two years!
A wonderful rain barrel benefit is not only the conservation of water and the above mentioned benefits, but I love that it also saves you money.
What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel is a large barrel (or container) designed to store rainwater runoff from your roof or other surfaces that don't absorb rain water naturally.
Why use a freeze-proof rain barrel?
Rain barrels made of wood can be damaged by winter freezing. The moisture retained in the wood will expand under freezing temperatures. This damage will probably cause leaks, which will result in losing your stored water.
What are some other benefits to storing rainwater?
use rainwater to water garden plants. They save money, too, considering that we use 40% to 50% of our total water use while caring for plants and lawns in the summer.
Rain barrels also prevent polluted water from entering streams and other natural water resources. The first few inches of rain runoff are the most polluted - rain barrels can capture this water.
Plastic barrels can range in size from 40 to more than 200 gallons. The most popular size is about 55 gallons, which is convenient to transport, move about, and install without professional help.
Typically, for every inch of rain received, about 600 gallons of water can drain from every 1,000-square-foot roof area.
You can keep runoff from washing into yards and nearby drain systems or streams by placing rain water barrels under downspouts.
In most applications – even with only modest rain showers, homeowners may choose to link several rain barrels together to harvest the maximum amount of rainwater and to prevent overflow.
In areas that receive very little precipitation, homeowners may find one rain barrel can suit their needs.
(1) Rainwater harvesting is being done all over the world – Africa, Asia, Europe, South America. The following information is from the website of an Irish company. Rainwater offers a sustainable, environmental alternative to purified
drinking water for non-potable use in the home and in business. Collecting rain from your roof can save you money. Rainwater harvesting also reduces surface water from your development and may
offer a storm water management solution.