Rain barrels are used to collect rain water, they are typically set up to collect the water runoff from the roof. They are placed under the downspout of the gutter and have a large opening on the top for the water run into.
They come in a variety of sizes, anywhere rom 30 to 100 gallons and are made from wood or plastic. The cost to purchase a rain barrel starts at $80 upwards to hundreds of dollars depending on what size and type you buy.
Rainwater is naturally soft so using it for washing your car or watering plants, gardens and lawns is better than using drinking water from or taps. You can also use it to water your indoor plants, and composting (water is needed for natural decomposition of your compost). You can set up outdoor water features with a rainwater filtration system or you can fill ponds and pools with rainwater.
They have many benefits including:
Saving you money – using water from a rain barrel will cut your water bill cost down
Because water is collected in a barrel it will reduce the chances of flooding in your basement or yard
It will also will reduce the amount of pollutants and sediment that are usually washed away with rain water into our storm drains and local streams
Because it is slowly released into the ground it soaks in and slowly will supply water to the local streams between storms.
During summer months, many cities and municipalities have water restrictions, by collecting rainwater we can still keep our plants and lawns looking healthy. Collecting rainwater is an great way to conserve this water which is a precious natural resource that we take for granted. With many of us becoming more environmentally aware of issues, this is a great way to make a difference.