A rain barrel is sort of the unofficial cousin of reusing grey water (you can read my earlier post on grey water recycling here). With a rain barrel, you can easily collect hundreds of gallons of extra water to use for watering the gardens, washing the car, watering the lawn, etc. The one exception being that if you live out west, some states prohibit rain barrels.
A rain barrel system is very easy to set up. If you have gutters on your house, you’re already a step ahead. The downspout that normally runs off your gutters can easily be redirected into a tank placed at the bottom of the spout. These tanks can be anything from a big water hauling tank that will hold hundreds of gallons to small tanks that only hold a few gallons. Just make sure that whatever you use has some type of spout on it so you can easily use the water once you’ve collected it.
Once you’ve collected water in your rain barrel, you’ll want to keep it dark and covered. Keeping the tank dark prevents it from growing algae and spoiling the water. Keeping it covered prevents mosquitoes from breeding it or small animals such as mice from falling in and drowning.
One thing to remember is that rain barrel water is not suitable for drinking. Because it comes off your roof, anything that was on your roof will end up in the water as well. Bird droppings, asphalt shingle residue, and paint chips are generally something humans shouldn’t be consuming, so avoid drinking water from your rain barrel. However, your rain barrel water is perfect for jobs around the yard giving your well, or water bill, a much needed reprieve.
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland ElfEnjoy this post? Click here to subscribe by email and get new posts delivered to your inbox.