Rain Barrel Benfits
A rain barrel connected to your downspout—also known as a rain bank—is a great way to keep stormwater out of the system and to cut down your water bill! Because you are collecting right off the roof, it has few contaminants and is perfect for watering the garden.
Benefits of Diverting Water from the Downspout
- Reduces the volume of water flowing to the sewer treatment facility
- Lowers the percentage of roof top rainfall as a component of urban runoff
- Backup source of water during times of drought or between rain showers
- Helps to keep our creeks and beaches clean
- Naturally softened water - great for delicate houseplants, auto cleaning and window washing
- Saves money by lowering your water bill
- Reduces the need for additional tax dollars earmarked for sewer expansion
- Chlorine-free water helps maintain a healthy biotic community in the soil
- Educational tool for teaching residents about water conservation
Residential irrigation can account for 40% of domestic water consumption in a given municipality. Rain barrels not only store water, they help decrease demand during the sweltering summer months. Only 1/4 inch of rainfall runoff from the average roof will completely fill the typical barrel. Collection of water from rooftop runoff can provide an ample supply of this free "soft water" containing no chlorine, lime or calcium. Because it tends to have fewer sediments and dissolved salts than municipal water, rain water is ideal for a multitude of applications, including biodynamic and organic vegetable gardens, raised planter beds for botanicals, indoor tropical plants like ferns and orchids, automobile washing, and cleaning household windows.
Saving water in this manner will reduce you demand for treated tap water, and save money by lowering your monthly bill. Rain water diversion will also help decrease the burden on water treatment facilities and municipal drainage systems during storms. The storage of rain water is also recommended for general emergency preparedness, or for areas prone to disasters or drought. A good formula to remember: 1 inch of rain on a 1,000 sq ft roof yields 623 gallons of water. Calculate the yield of your roof by multiplying the square footage of your roof by 623 and divide by 1000.
The rainbarrels come with a screw on, perforated top with a screen (mesh) under the lid to keep out mosquitoes, bugs, debris, pets and children. If the mosquito screen is intact and there are no leaks where mosquitoes can enter the barrel, your rainbarrel should be mosquito-free.
- Place rainbarrels on a pervious surface so that overflow water soaks into the ground instead of pooling on paved surfaces.
- Keep rainbarrel lid sealed.
- Keep rainbarrel free of organic material.
- During the rainy season, every 3-4 days, turn on the spigot or use your hand to splash off any water that may collect on top of the barrel. Mosquitoes need at least 4 days of standing water to develop as larva.
- If you believe mosquitoes are breeding in your rainbarrel, empty your rainbarrel completely. This will kill all mosquito larvae that may be in your barrel.