Benefits of a Rain Barrel

The Benefits of a Home Rain Barrel

Our grandparents knew the value of collecting rain in order to protect themselves from the threat of drought. Back then rain was collected in heavy barrels made of wood or in cisterns made of stone or concrete. In modern times we are coming back to the realization that conserving and reusing rainwater is one of the easiest ways to help protect our planet and our future. Using a rain barrel is one of the best ways of reducing our environmental footprint while cultivating a beautiful lawn and garden.

Rainwater is the best water.

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Harvest your rainwater

Having a rain barrel gets you the benefit of using rainwater. Rainwater is pure, it is water that hasn’t gone through any city purification processes. Rainwater is soft, with a neutral to acidic ph where city tap water is hard and alkaline. Rainwater has the benefit of being chlorine free and the exact acclimatized temperature for keeping your plants happy.

You save water, a lot of water!

Rainwater is free, tap water is paid for by the liter plus delivery and other charges. An average 1.200 Sq. ft. roof can fill a rain barrel from a 0.3 in rainfall. The average rain barrel on a home can collect over 4,000 liters of water in an average Alberta year. A rain barrel system often provides all the water you need for a healthy lawn, lovely flowers and even a garden pond.

Rain barrels also prevent water from freely flowing & gathering city street runoff from collecting dirt, oils, and other debris taking the toll off our sewage and river systems. Doing so reduces the amount of road salt and other impurities from going into our rivers and lakes. This also helps reduce the load on our water treatment plants by not having to treat and purify gallons of water that does not need to be potable.

What works for a rain barrel?

Rain Barrel

Basic simple rain barrel made from a food barrel

Rain barrels have many styles and variations. Today a popular and environmentally positive approach is to use reclaimed food barrels. These plastic barrels come primarily in blue or white. They can be used only once for food and then are recycled. Reclaimed rain barrels often contain raw baking ingredients like jams, liquid sugar, colours, flavouring and other food related sources. Other barrels are used in agriculture for fertilizers or pesticides and some for pure industrial like chemicals. Be careful when buying just any random plastic barrels. They may contain something that you don’t want on your plants or even near your home.

Retail ready-made rain barrels are often made of recycled plastic and have pleasing styles and sizes that can match most homes very well. Plastic rain barrels are lightweight when empty for ease of movement if needed. These barrels can be installed with kits or some customizations. Having a tap or spigot on the bottom is almost essential providing an easy method of retrieving the water. Done right you won’t have mosquitoes breeding in the water and other bugs and debris won’t fall in.

Where do I position it?

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Position your rain barrel so its in the perfect place.

Place your rain barrel on a pedestal, on the top of a hill or high point. Moving your barrel higher up the grade in anyway will add to the water pressure and give you a stronger output. When necessary you may want to conciser building a base out of wood, cinder blocks or cement to further raise it and increase the water pressure. You can’t water uphill or above the water line in your barrel. Plan carefully when finding a place.

Collected rain is great for using on lawns, flowerbeds, trees and even your indoor plants. While it maybe easier to use tap water, for your outdoor gardening needs the bonuses of using rainwater from a barrel are unmatched. Go out and get a barrel for your garden. Your plants will thank you.

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