Saturday, January 3, 2009

Do I need a rain barrel

Rain water that is typically lost to runoff, streams or sewers can be collected from your roof and stored in rain barrels. Typically rain barrels are made of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings and a screen grate. It simply has to be positioned underneath the gutter of your roof and it will collect the rain water while it is pouring.

Rain barrels are a good way to harvest and conserve rain water. Use of rain barrels can help in tackling the problem of water shortage and cut down the costs of water consumption. Throughout heavy rains, if used properly one can store as much as an entire barrel full of water. Rain water collected on your roof can be collected in a rain barrel and put to good use. It can be used for many purposes like watering the plants and the garden or washing your car. In a given year one can save up water enough to last one whole summer depending on the number of rain barrels that are put to use. During peak summer months, a rain barrel can collect about 1,300 gallons of rain water.

The benefits of using rain barrels not only include the cost cutting on water expenditure. The water collected is soft water and is excellent for garden use. Rain water is untreated containing no chlorine, lime or calcium and therefore really good for the garden and washing your car and windows. The use of rain barrels is apposite in places where a convenient spout is not located. Rain barrels can provide you with water when it is most required like in drought months. Not to mention that using rain barrels is a great way to conserve rain water which is one of the most abundant natural sources of water.

The rain barrels should be kept securely covered to prevent the hazard of children or pets falling into it. Also, the water in the rain barrels should not be used for cooking, drinking or bathing. In case any kind or spray or medicine is used on the roof, then the barrel should not be used in the first few rains. The rain barrels should be kept a little elevated to make the spigot easily accessible. For more hoarding ability, more than one barrel can be used. They can be connected with one another to be able to collect and store more rain water.

On a different note, even though rain barrels can be constructed at home some of the tools needed are quite specialized and expensive. Not only is the process lengthy and time consuming, but it also requires a lot of skill to get all the parts right. Contrastingly, it is easier to buy ready made rain barrels as they are readily available and spares one the time and energy required to make one.

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