How much water do I use?
The first thing you'll want to consider when choosing the best rain barrel for you is how much water you typically use on your lawn and garden. This will help you determine how much water you'll need your water barrel
to store to be useful and efficient. One method I suggest is to gather the water bills you’ve paid for the previous 12 months. Actually, I took a short-cut. I downloaded my water consumption for the previous 3 years from the website of my municipal water company. I then put the info on a spread sheet, and calculated my average water consumption during the months of no outside watering and those from those months when I did use water outside. Here in Atlanta, I use water outside for 6 months of the year. I then determined how much more water I used in those outside-watering months compared to the non-outside-watering months. I found that I used about 16,000 gallons of water – for outside watering – per year. These steps offer a great way to help you understand the amount of water you use for outdoor watering – and how much water and money you can save.
How much water will I be able to "harvest?"
Your decision on how many rain barrels to use will affect how much water you'll be able to harvest from your roof. For example, in a perfect world, with rain barrels under all of your downspouts and harvesting all of the runoff from your roof, 1 inch of rain (on a 1,000-sq.-ft. roof) can yield approximately 600 gallons of water. Since it's not a perfect world, you'll want to subtract about 20 percent of that total due to gutter leaks and other things to get a more accurate total (approx. 480 gallons). Based on those numbers, you can better predict how many plastic rain barrels you'll need to store the kind of water you'll need to supply to your lawn and garden. By doing a quick
Internet search, you'll easily be able to find indices for your state's average rainfall in any given month, and by knowing the square footage of your roof, you'll be able to calculate, using the above formula, a good estimate of the amount of water you'll be able to harvest.
What type of rain water barrel is right for me?
A covered water barrel is recommended to help prevent insect growth (especially mosquitoes) and to keep the water clean. As far as styles go, you'll be able to find rain barrels in many different shapes and sizes. Browse around here at RainBarrelSource.com to check our vast variety. You're sure to find the perfect rain barrel to not only help you conserve water but also to add the perfect decorative flair to your lawn and garden area.