Thursday, January 22, 2009

Using Rain Barrels To Collect Rainwater

With water shortage an ever present threat in many parts of the world, the importance of water conservation cannot be underestimated. It seems that we cannot get the water we need when we need it, and we find our needs far exceed the supply. A great solution to this problem may lie in the use of rain barrels around the home.

Rain barrels have a number of clear benefits for people as well as for the environment.You will be pleased to see that your plants will positively thrive with rain water, making the case for rain barrels even stronger.

In certain places around the home where it is difficult, inconvenient or simply impractical to have a ready water source nearby, rain barrels can be of tremendous usefulness. A compost pit would greatly benefit from having rain barrels nearby for example, with the ready supply of water nearby making the task of moistening the compost a breeze. And since rainwater is typically soft and relatively free from minerals, it is ideally suited for watering plants, your garden or lawn, and even washing your cars and windows.

A more long term benefit that rain barrels provide is preventing too much water from seeping into the ground, and possibly pollute the local water table or over stress the sewer system. Around the home, too much overflow of rain into the ground can even cause your home's foundation to weaken over time, which makes having rain barrels almost an absolute necessity.

It is really quite easy to make your own rain barrels with a few commonly available items. Even something as simple as a barrel made out of food grade material would make a good starter rain barrel. You may also purchase a number of attachments for your rain barrels such as spigots or spouts to make it easier for you to draw off water when you need it, as well as to avoid runoff down the sides of the barrel.

If you intend to install more than a few rain barrels around your property, you may want to think about linking them together with a system of pipes. This will allow you to collect more water that you normally would, and is great way to increase the capacity of your rain barrels. With enough rain barrels installed, you may not need to depend on your local water supply as much at all.

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