Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Many Uses Of Rain Barrels

Rain barrels which are also called rainwater tanks or water butts in the United Kingdom are water tanks that are used for the collection and storage of rain water from rooftops. This water usually passes through rain gutters that are installed on roofs. Similar storage containers also known as rainwater tanks are mainly used to collect harvested rain. Rain barrels are sometimes installed to collect water running off from concrete patios and even driveways.

Rain barrels actually have many uses, not the least of which is the storage of rain water for later use. They can also be used to lessen mains water consumption, which can have significant beneficial effects on the economy as well as the environment. Of course being able to store rain water also results in a certain measure of self sufficiency, since doing so will allow you to be less dependent on mains water to some degree, depending on how much water you consume on a regular basis.

The stored water from the rain barrels may itself be used for garden irrigation and other agricultural purposes, for household uses such as flushing toilets, washing clothes and cars, and in some cases even for drinking. This can be a great benefit in areas where water is less available, cost prohibitive or unsafe to drink. This is one of the main reasons why rain barrels can often be seen in areas with arid climates, wherein water is collected during the rainy season and used later when water is scarce. In any case, water that is collected from rain barrels must still be protected against contamination and filtered if possible.

Some rain barrels can be a bit expensive, but their many uses means that they will pay for themselves in the long run. Some homeowners have even been known to use small rain barrels that have a correspondingly smaller capacity. Rain barrels can even be fashioned from food containers that have been recycled, transport barrels, and even barrels used in the production of wine and whiskey. These types of rain barrels have the benefit of being quite inexpensive. Keep in mind that with these types of rain barrels, it is important to make sure that they are sufficiently sealed in order to prevent the entry of mosquitoes. Even seemingly protected from mosquito entry, these rain barrels can still contain dangerous mosquito larvae, especially if you do not use a filter.

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