Monday, January 12, 2009

Use a rain barrel for recycling rain water

A century back people would have laughed at an idea of selling packaged water, but today it is one of the most profitable products in the market. In India for instance, various states have moved to the Supreme Court over building dams and seeking more water. We should stop taking the availability of water for granted, people in deserts have to travel miles for a gallon of water, we still have the time to try and make a difference in saving water. Of course, you can not influence the government or make policy decisions but you can start right from your own home by installing a rain barrel. A rain barrel is the cheapest and easiest way to recycle rain water.

The popularity of rain barrel is growing everyday. Instead of allowing the water to flow down a drain, you can install a rain barrel and have rain water flow into it. According to recent reports, quite a few families in the US and in the Europe are installing rain barrel in their home to harvest water for use in gardening, car wash and other activities that the harvested rain water can be used for.

A venture capitalist firm is known to be researching on a new type of rain barrel, it will feature a Reverse Osmosis water filtering system added in between the pipes and the storage tank. If this system is installed in a large building, the water can not only be used for drinking but the rejected water from the RO system can also be used for washing the building or in the toilet flush tanks. Unlike the traditional rain barrel system that collects the rain water and stores it in a tank, this system will provide clean and safe drinking water that is comparable with packaged water. It is a fairly new but a good idea and should catch up fast in towns and countries where water is scarce during some parts of a year.

In some US cities the councils ask their residents to stop using water for gardening if there is no rain for two to three months. This is the time when the water saved in rain barrel can come handy. An inexpensive rain barrel can hold huge quantities of water, depending on the space you may have, you can save water in excess of a 1000 gallons if there is enough rain. Not just a good rainy season, you also need to properly mark areas where water flows from your roof to collect the most you can. These pipes should then lead straight into the rain barrel.

Rain barrel are subsidized but you can also make one of your own from thins lying around your house. For a basic rain barrel, all you need is a tank and some garden hoses to collect and direct the water into the rain barrel. When you are setting up your rain barrel, make sure you have it raised slightly above the ground level by using bricks, cinder or wood. Also, make sure you have the height of your downspouts raised slightly above the level of the drum. Have your downspouts hoisted above the level of the drum too. Another thing you need to ensure is to keep debris and leaves out of the drum, this can be achieved simply by adding a filter on top of the inlet. You can either have a lid on top of the rain barrel or install a tap on the bottom to use the collected rain water.

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