Friday, November 28, 2008

Rain water harvesting through rain barrels

Rain barrels are containers used to collect as well as store rain water for later use. Rain water collected by these barrels have a number of uses ranging from gardening, washing cars, in washing machines, etc. In times when drinking water is unavailable or expensive, water collected through rain barrels can be used for drinking purposes after proper filtration and cleansing. Waste of precious water to runoffs can be controlled by the use of rain barrels the utility of which is evident. With the use of rain barrels not only would you be conserving the environment but also saving your money.

A rain barrel is a 20 to 100 Gallon Tank, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings and a screen to keep insects and other debris out. It can be kept under a Gutter anywhere around the house.

A rain barrel can be bought in the market where it is easily available. A rain barrel with easy and minimal installation is suitable and preferable for people lacking required technical skills. Rain barrels are available at various rates due to different designs, capacity, material used, style and brand etc. There are various models available which should be seen before a choice is made. Different designs and models are present in gardening catalogues as well. Use of different materials such as wood or plastic etc would alter the cost substantially. Heavy duty material is preferable for longer life as well as efficiency though the price might be higher. The existence of online sellers increases easy availability of rain barrels. The average price of rain barrels ranges from $100 to $350.

With an efficiency of 70 to 90% rain barrels are very useful. 600 gallons of water can be collected from an area of 1000 Sq feet for every inch of rain. The placement of rain barrels can also vary efficiency and thus is important. It should be placed in such a location so that transfer for use in gardens etc, is easily possible. It should also have a heavy duty overflow pipe which drains water away from the building when there is heavy rain.

In today's world where conservation of the environment and natural resources is the talk of the town, harvesting rain water through rain barrels is a grass root level plan for water conservation. The water if not conserved would be wasted in run offs (which also causes river, stream etc. pollution), is used for various purposes which accounts for a large part of the water usage by a household. The use of these rain barrels would reduce pressure on the water table and tap water supply. Rain water is considered more beneficial for gardening purposes as well as it does not contain chemicals found in regular water supply.

It is observable that a rain barrel requires more than just a barrel for functioning. Analyzing and estimating cost for constructing a rain barrel, it would be around $120 while purchasing the same off the market would set you back by around $200. This cost however includes installation as well and the efficiency of the purchased barrel can be guaranteed as it is made professionally while the one constructed at home is most likely to have glitches, which decrease efficiency, such as leaks in the tank etc. considering the amount of water it is being build to hold Also, after factoring the cost of tools required for constructing a barrel the cost increases and thus it can be settled that purchasing an easily available barrel is beneficial. The advantages of purchasing ready made rain barrels over building one which could be a cumbersome task has been emphasized and should be preferred according to this author.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ecologically Sound Water Usage and the Rain Barrel

Catching rainwater as it falls is an age old idea. In fact, the idea of the rain barrel has been around for just as long as irrigation has... pretty much as long as civilization. In the last century or so, however, households have increasingly relied on municipal water systems. Unfortunately, using falling rainwater is no longer widely done.

Everyone with a budget and a desire to take care of the environment wants to save energy and reduce their water usage. But most households do not realize the benefits they could receive from using a rain barrel. A rain barrel is a large, specially made container that is designed to catch rainwater. These barrels are placed under your roof's drain downspout. When rain falls on the roof of your home, it is swept into your roofs gutters and out through its downspout. Using this method, you can collect huge quantities of falling water.

How a Rain Barrel Helps the Environment

Reduces storm water runoff. Did you know that, though rain is good for an ecosystem, it can be bad for the environment? When rain falls, it flows through our city streets before being carried to creeks and rivers. In this process, rainwater picks up toxins, such as pesticides, pet waste, oil, etc. If you collect some of that rainwater instead of allowing it to flow away, you can reduce the pollution of our rivers.

Improved water efficiency. Of course, the most significant effect of using a rain barrel is the reduced water usage. In the summer time, up to 40% of a household's water usage goes to watering their garden and lawn. As a result of water shortages, many communities are experiencing water supply problems, forcing water rationing. By catching rainwater, however, you can relive some of the burden on your city's water supply, as well as keep your garden and yard healthy and watered year round.

Energy efficiency. We all know that reducing the amount of energy we use to power our homes is important for the environment. But many of us do not consider the power usage implied by using municipal water. The water that comes from our home's pipes is water that is cleaned and pumped through long pipes to our homes. There are countless processes in water processing that use up energy and, unfortunately, harm the environment.

You can reduce your water usage by thousands of gallons and have plenty of water handy for plants and odd jobs simply by using a rain barrel. The only job rainwater can not fill is satisfying your thirst. Other than that, using a rain barrel is perfect for cleaning your Camaro, watering your camillas... and protecting the Earth.