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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rain Barrels: Free Water For Your Lawn and Garden

Save money and water this year by installing a rain barrel. A rain barrel collects storm water from your roof, and stores it for later use on your lawn or garden. This is a great way to reduce storm water run-off from your property, while at the same time providing you with a free source of water for your lawn or garden without burdening your well, or increasing your water bill.

During the summer, watering your lawn and garden can account for nearly half of your household water usage. During dry spells this can place a great burden on your well. If you are on public water, the thought of reducing your water bill in half can certainly be very appealing. On an environmental level, it makes much more sense to water your lawn and garden with rain water, rather than using expensive highly treated water intended for drinking. You would never think of watering your lawn with bottled water! Using public drinking water for this purpose really doesn't make much more sense.

A rain barrel in its simplest form is a plastic 55-gallon drum connected to your gutter downspout, with an attachment for a garden hose at its base. Rain barrels can be constructed fairly simply and inexpensively using common items found at a hardware store. A search of the internet will reveal a variety of plans that you can follow.

Many companies and hardware stores now offer readymade rain barrels in a variety of designs. While these readymade designs will be more expensive than building your own, you will have the advantage of choosing a design that fits with your property, and that is appealing to the eye in addition to providing functional value. Also, check with your local town hall for a less expensive alternative. Many towns and civic groups offer programs that enable you to purchase a readymade rain barrel at a reduced price, while also supporting this organization.

Save money and save water this year by taking advantage of rain barrels to collect a free source of water for your lawn and garden. It makes sense for you, and it makes sense for the environment.


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