While the summertime is usually the peak time of year for a nearly 50% increase in residential water use, it’s still important to try to conserve water year round. Rain barrels are a great way to do this; not only do they help conserve water use and lower costs, but they can also reduce water pollution by reducing storm water runoff, which can contain pollutants like sediment, oil, grease and bacteria, according to the University of Rhode Island’s landscaping division.
So what is a rain barrel, you ask? It’s a large container – usually 40+ gallons large — that collects and stores the rainwater from rooftops that would normally run through gutter downspouts and off into storm drains. The water that’s collected in the barrel would ideally be used for later lawn and garden watering. Rain barrels can also be arranged to slowly release the collected rainfall to areas that can soak up the water, reducing storm water runoff and increasing groundwater recharge, notes URI. And best of all, they’re easy to build and install!
Click here to learn how to construct your own rain barrel.
Photo Credit: This Old Home