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Reasons why you should save rainwater now

By collecting and storing water during the rainy season, you can be ready to irrigate when needed.

Capturing and storing rainwater during the wet season is a smart and forward-thinking way to deal with drier times. Installing a rain barrel is easy, inexpensive, and will keep your plants and soil happy. Read on to find out more reasons to conserve rainwater now.

Easy to store

With the help of gravity, a well-placed rain barrel collects roof runoff without any bells or whistles.Buy a pre-made barrel with all the components included, or make your own. Connect the downspout to a container or use a rain chain to transfer water from the roof downspout to the barrel.

If you’re buying or building a rain barrel, check the following:
➢ It has a screen to filter out foreign substances.
➢ Made of opaque material to keep water dark, light can encourage bacteria and algae growth
➢ Easy to clean or repurpose. Find a food-grade container and remove any toxic materials you previously stored there.
➢ There is an easily accessible stopper.
➢ There is an overflow mechanism when the container becomes full.
Tip: Check local laws before purchasing or installing a rain barrel. Some states have announced rainwater harvesting restrictions.

You can get free water when you need it

Next time a dry season or drought hits, you’ll be glad to have a free supply of irrigation water to keep your plants thriving until the next rain. The larger the storage container, the longer it will be able to provide water to your garden during severe droughts. In drought-prone areas, even native and drought-tolerant plants can die during prolonged dry periods.

You can store water in rain barrels or buckets without worrying about it going bad. Water can be harvested for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation, as long as the water is kept dark and free of algae or bacteria growth. Underground cisterns are especially good for storing water for long periods of time, even years. The barrel must be cleaned periodically.

It’s easy on you and your budget

The startup cost of a rain barrel can be very minimal depending on its size and material. A standard 50-gallon plastic bucket sells for about $100 at a hardware store, and some local governments subsidize the barrel, so you can buy one for less or even get one for free.

Starting small is easy. At its most basic, a rain barrel can be an entry point to a water storage facility. After you’ve tried it out and troubleshooted, you can upgrade to a larger tank if you decide to connect multiple barrels or expand. It’s a low-commitment project where you start small and learn as you go.

You can save on drinking water costs by using stored water to water your garden instead of tap water.

There are numerous environmental benefits
Rainwater storage is the first step in preventing stormwater runoff. Stored rainwater used to irrigate gardens seeps through the soil, helping nature clean the water, but dirty water can flow directly into local water systems, degrading water quality and causing flooding and downstream erosion. It also relieves stress caused by aging infrastructure.

How can a little courage make a difference? If more homeowners used barrels, swales and rain gardens to store and capture stormwater, local environment and water quality would improve. Even small changes can have a big positive impact if many people implement them.

Rainwater barrels look nice and unsightly rainwater barrels are easily hidden

Many basic trash cans, like the rustic trash can, add to the look of your garden while saving water. If you decide to use basic plastic containers, you can easily hide them by placing them behind a partition with planted vines.

Let us know: Are you adding rain barrels or upgrading your current system? Share your project photos in the comments.

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