During the summer months many areas of the country go through periods of little or no rainfall. That may seem great to areas that experienced some flooding during the Spring months, but it is not so great for plants and gardens. As temperatures rise so does the need to water plants. So, is there a way to keep the plants happy without running up your water bill? Yes – install a rain barrel.
According to the EPA, rain barrels are an excellent way to conserve water. Rain barrels allows families to naturally gather water from their house gutters that they can use at a later date for gardens, lawns, and car washing, entirely free. Rain barrels are great to have during the dry summer season, so that you can still enjoy a healthy lawn and garden, even if your local area has severe water restrictions. The beauty of rain barrels is they provide access to soft water (water that has not been treated with chemicals or minerals). Treated water can sometimes damage plants and cars. The EPA estimates that using rain barrels would save the average homeowner 1,300 gallons of water throughout the summer. If you pay for your water this could mean a drop to your water bill during the summer.
Most rain barrel systems are very simple to install. They are usually comprised up of a large capacity barrel, such as a 55 gallon, a vinyl hose, a screen to filter out debris, and some PVC parts. The barrel is placed underneath the home’s gutter system, by the downspout. The downspout directs water into the barrel, which will sit until someone needs to use the water. When you are ready to use the water all you need to do is connect the hose and release the stored rainwater. Rain barrels are beginning to see a resurgence in popularity, resulting in many outdoor and hardware stores selling models. Some models are even meant to enhance your home and garden with pleasing designs. Make sure that the model you install has a way of preventing insects from getting inside the water supply, otherwise you will be providing a breeding ground for annoying insects like mosquitos.
Having a rain barrel is a green, practical, and economical way to keep your yard well watered while conserving water at the same time. Best of all it will save you money. For more information on setting up your own rain barrel system, click here to check out the EPA’s website.