Benefits of Rain Barrels
Rain barrels save homeowners money on their water bills. Garden and lawn irrigation accounts for 40 percent of residential water use during the summer. By using rain barrels, homeowners can save 1,300 gallons of water during the growing season. Half-inch of rain fills a typical 50- to 55-gallon rain barrel so connecting multiple barrels maximizes rain capture and the possibilities are endless. Rain barrels provide a free water source for irrigation and ease reliance on the city’s water supply.
Healthy Plants and Soil
Tap water contains inorganic ions and fluoride compounds that accumulate in the soil over time and potentially harm plant roots and microorganisms in the soil. Rainwater does not contain the same additives found in tap water. It benefits plants in your garden by cleaning the soil of salt buildup, thereby promoting an environment conducive to root development.
Reduction of Runoff
Rain barrels help reduce the flow of storm runoff. When it rains, runoff picks up soil, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants from hard surfaces and landscapes. Storm runoff is not treated and flows directly into streams, lakes and other bodies of water nearby. Runoff fertilizers increase algae growth in lakes, and excess soil alters the habitat for fish. Bacteria can even make lakes and oceans dangerous for recreational activities. Rain barrels capture water that would have swept over a paved surface or lawn, thereby minimizing runoff pollutants.
For more tips on building and living green, check out these other posts!
What you need to know about Building GREEN – Top 10
21 Innovative Ways to Green Your Home
Photo Credits: Westmark Construction