Get Yo Green On Tuesday Use a Rain Barrel to Save Money and Water Plus Help Our Stormwater Systems!
Posted Jun 30 2009 4:18pm
One of the most fantastic ways to practice conservation, save money, AND water is to use a rain barrel! Clean Air Gardening sells some of the best and easiest to install. Above you see an instructional video showing the basics for one of the rain barrels I have from Clean Air Gardening (and how it works with a rain diverter).
During the summer months, residential water use increases approximately 40% – most of it centered around outdoor water use. A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from rooftops, preventing less strain on our stormwater systems. This water is non-potable, which means not-drinkable. It is stored and can be used later for watering your lawn or garden, washing your car, cleaning tools, and any other purpose you can come up with.
Typically, water from your roof flows through roof gutter downspouts and becomes stormwater runoff, ultimately moving onto paved surfaces and eventually into a storm drain. Many of our stormwater systems are over taxed. All the water from stormwater systems eventually ends up in the ocean. Stormwater runoff is the leading type of residential non-point source pollution and is a large concern for those monitoring our earth’s oceans and water systems.
Water conservation with rain barrels is important. Although it is a small percentage of water saved, every little bit counts. Instead of sending water to the ocean, we should be trying to replace the water in the water aquifer, thereby keeping our water in a more natural state of replenishment while simultaneously reducing stormwater system usage.
Here are some easy steps for installation of a rain barrel:
1. Find an area under a downspout on your home that is flat and level.
2. Place cement blocks or a stand of some sort on the level ground where your rain barrel will sit. Keep in mind, most rain barrels weigh 400 + pounds when full. By raising up the rain barrel, it will allow a watering can to fit below the spigot and will also have more “gravity” pressure.
3. Place your empty barrel on the blocks and measure where you need to cut your downspout to allow for an elbow or a diverter to drain water into the top of the rain barrel.
4. Place the barrel aside and cut the downspout with a hack saw where you drew your line.
5. Slide an elbow or diverter over the downspout that will allow the water to drain into your barrel.
6. Remove the old downspout and save it for winter. You will need to replace it during winter since you cannot use the rain barrel during harsh winter temperatures.
7. Attach a short hose to the top overflow spigot and direct the hose away from your foundation. A hose can be attached to the bottom spigot too, however, I leave this as an option since I like to fill watering cans by using the bottom spigot.
8. Slide your barrel under the newly reconfigured downspout and you are done.
To order the rain barrel and diverter used in the video, please go to www.cleanairgardening.com. Below you can see the rain barrel and down spout system as it rests today. I love my rain barrel - it has been an awesome tool to help water the front yard vegetable garden I am growing this season.