Keep Your Water where you need it with Rain Barrels
Remember last year's drought? Rain barrels can help you keep what little water we get and use it where it is needed. One inch of rainfall = 0.6 gallons of water per square foot – a 20’ x 20’ roof will catch 240 gallons of water in a 1” rain.
Things to keep in mind:
•Water collected in a rain barrel is probably not potable.
•The barrel must be on a solid level base.
•Protect the water from mosquitoes – keep the barrel sealed or cover openings with screen.
•Clean rain gutters so leaves and other materials don’t go into the rain barrel.
•Sunlight can stimulate algae growth – paint or cover it or use an opaque barrel.
•Overflow water must have a way to drain off.
•There must be a way to get water out of the barrel – either by dipping from the top, or with a faucet at the bottom. A metal faucet can be installed in a plastic barrel by screwing it into a drilled hole.
•The barrel and plumbing should be emptied and disconnected before the first freeze in the fall.
•Rain barrel connection kits are available at many hardware stores, or you can make your own.
•Barrels can be purchased or sometimes can be obtained from businesses that handle large quantities of liquids for food processing or cleaning.
•Do not use barrels that have contained petroleum products, herbicides, or pesticides.
A website search for "Rain Barrel Systems" will turn up many good sources for rain barrel construction and use.