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Rainbarrels 101: What is a Rainbarrel?
by Jim Graves


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. Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, and a screen grate to keep debris and insects out. A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any down spout.

What are the advantages of a rain barrel?
Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need to water plants or wash car. Rain barrels provide an ample supply of free "soft water" containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flower or the potted plants.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a rain barrel can potentially save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves you money and energy by decreasing demand for treated tap water (i.e. reducing your monthly water bill). Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams therefore reducing the need to build new storm water treatment facilities (i.e. reducing your future tax bill). Consequently, a rain barrel is an easy way for you to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use and save money today and tomorrow.

Why not do it today!?

DOWNLOAD: How to Build a Rain Barrel (PDF) A simple schematic for building your very own low-tech, low-budget water collection system.

See Resources page for more information on how to build and where to get a FREE barrel & Vendor page for info on where to purchase..


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