101: What is a Rainbarrel?
by Jim Graves
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.
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.
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).
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
not do it today!?
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..