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Get through water restrictions with a rain barrel

Here’s the situation: It’s the peak of summer and the drought has spurred water restrictions. You are left to watch your garden wither away. There is an option that might save your garden. Consider collecting the rain. Throughout history, innovative rain collecting devices have been used to sustain plants and people when indoor plumbing was less commonplace. You too can collect the rain using simple rain barrels with minimal expense.

Rain water is actually better for your plants. Municipal water is generally chlorinated and contains minerals and chemicals that can harm your plants. Also plants prefer the warm rain water over cold tap water. Saving rainwater may also put a dent in your city water bills. On a 1000 sq ft roof, 600 gallons of water can be collected for every inch of rainfall! So in the summer months when there is a light rainfall but not enough moisture to saturate your garden soil, you can still collect plenty of water in your rain barrel to replenish your plants without violating water restrictions.

How to get started

First off, your house needs to have gutters. Generally gutters have a down spout that runs down the side of your home that flows into a storm drain. You will need to shorten the spout so that it fits onto the top of your rain barrel.

When looking for a rain barrel there are some important points to consider. If utilizing a used rain barrel, make sure to find out what the barrel was originally used for. It is best to avoid barrels that have stored chemicals and detergents. When purchasing a commercial rain barrel, look for one that has a fine screen to filter out debris and bugs and a closed top to keep animals and children out of the rain barrel. Also, an overflow device is important to keep the water away from your home’s foundation during a heavy rainfall. Many rain barrels will have a hose attachment so the water overflow can be diverted into your garden.

Whether you use a rain barrel during a drought or throughout the year, you will be doing a good thing for your environment and your plants.

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