Rain Barrel Grant Program
Harvesting rainwater will save you money and help the environment at the same time. You can collect a substantial amount of rainwater with a simple system. This extra water can have a significant impact on your water bill.
Rainwater is usually collected from the roofs of houses, it picks up very little contamination when it falls. That is if you keep your roof clean of debris and potential contaminants to maximize purity. The material your roof is made of is also important in how much contamination the water will carry. The chemicals and hard water from many municipal water systems can produce an imbalance in the soil of your garden. Chemical fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides, and drought can also disrupt the balance and harmony of the soil. This imbalance causes trees and plants to weaken and makes them more susceptible to disease.
One of the best reasons to start harvesting rainwater with rain barrels is that if you teach and encourage others to do the same, you will help to spread the culture of rainwater collection and in turn help the larger community and the environment. It is always important to remember that every living thing on the planet needs water to survive!
- Rooftops, roads, parking lots, driveways, and even compacted soils are impervious surfaces. Rain barrels reduce runoff by collecting and storing rainwater from your roof.
- In a pristine area, even an additional 10% of impervious surface alters the natural rainfall-runoff pattern and has the potential to damage sensitive ecosystems.
- Infiltration, allowing the water to soak into nearby soils, will recharge groundwater supplies by using a more natural water cycle path
Water Conservation Benefits
- Water usage increases in the summer by 30%. This is due to increases in outdoor water use such as lawn watering, flower, and vegetable garden watering, car washing, and pavement cleaning.
- Your water supply is unique to your location. Most rely upon rainfall to fill surface water reservoirs and underground aquifers, also known as groundwater.
- By reducing the demand for established water supplies during dry summer months, you are helping the environment.
- Rain barrels conserve water and lower costs (a rain barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months).
- Rain barrels reduce water pollutions by preventing stormwater runoff which can contain pollutants like sediment, oil, grease, bacteria, and nutrients. Rainwater contains no chlorine, lime, or calcium.
- Rainwater is an excellent source of “soft water” for homeowners.
Rain Barrel Winterizing Tips
- Disconnect the rain barrel from the gutter downspout.
- Connect a temporary downspout extension to the gutter that feeds that rain barrel. Position this so that it is directing rainwater away from the house.
- Use up or drain the rain barrel so there is no water left inside. Water left in for the winter may freeze and crack the barrel itself.
- Open the barrel’s spigot and leave it open for the period of no use, this will avoid freeze damage to the hardware of the barrel.
- Rinse the interior of the barrel. Now is a good time to clean the barrel of sediment buildup that occurs in many rain barrels during the course of the rainy season.
- If you have storage move the rain barrel to an indoor storage area to really extend the life of your rain barrel. If you do not have storage or prefer to leave your rain barrel outside, then be sure to turn the barrel upside down.
- Cover your rain barrel with a tarp for additional protection.