What Are the Benefits of Rain Barrels?
The purpose of rain barrels is to reduce excess stormwater by collecting roof run-off and storing it for future use. Rain barrels are effective devices for watering your garden or lawn to washing windows and cars.
Rain barrels have been growing in popularity because not only do they reduce your water bill, but they also make plants and soil healthier since the rainwater doesn’t contain chemical additives that are found in tap water.
By using a rain barrel, you can save about 1,300 gallons of water during the summer. This will significantly lower your water bills.
Reduce the Flow of Stormwater Run-Off
When it rains, the run-off picks up the soil along with any fertilizers, pesticides, oil, and other contaminants from hard surfaces. This flows directly into lakes and other bodies of water, thus contaminating them. This contamination increases algae growth in lakes, and excess soil can alter the fish habitat. Since excessive bacteria can make lakes and rivers dangerous for recreation, it’s in our best interest to opt for rain barrels to reduce stormwater run-off. One rain barrel alone can collect and store a significant amount of rainwater.
Tap water contains various harmful chemicals, such as fluoride compounds and inorganic ions. This can harm microorganisms in the soil. Rainwater does not contain these chemicals and can help clean the soil of salt buildup and enhance the plants.
Tips for Using Rain Barrels
- Always keep your rain barrel covered with a lid to prevent the growth of algae or mosquito breeding.
- Your rain barrel should have a screen to keep out debris.
- Use the collected water for plants only. This water is not for human or animal consumption.
- Ensure that the rain barrel has a tight connection where the water meets the barrel.
- Consider using multiple rain barrels to maximize rain capture.
- Never use rain barrels to collect water from roofs containing asbestos.