Monday, May 24, 2010

Drip, Drop...Rain Barrels

Here's a part of our garden that I rarely give credit, our rain barrels. We have two. They dwell behind our back porch, soaking up rain whenever our gutters let them. They have been a blessing in the sense that it doesn't leave us entirely dependant on our city's water. We use this water to nourish our garden and other plants out in the back yard. We do NOT use this water for drinking, bathing, swimming in or feeding to our animals. This water comes from our roof and gutter system above the back porch. It's not clean. It's okay to feed plants though, so no worries there. You just don't want it going directly into your body. If we lived out in the country somewhere where there was no pollution (rain collects pollution as it drops from the sky) and if we used a filter (like a Brita), we'd most likely be able to drink the water after it had been filtered. But, we don't. Hence, we just use it for our garden/plants.

Okay, so breaking it down to the pros and cons of rain barrels...



- Most have a spicket where you can hook up your hose right to it and use the water that way. It's quite simple.

- It's a great way to teach your family how to conserve water.

- If there were ever a disaster and the city water didn't work and you had no bottled water, you could use this water that you have stored. There are two things that can harm you in sitting water: 1. viruses, which have to be boiled or chemically treated to kill, and 2. bacteria, which needs to be filtered. Especially living in warmer weather here in Florida, viruses run rampid in warm, sitting water. HERE is a filter I've been eyeing lately. You can also use it if you go camping! Just find a stream. No worries about bringing along oodles of bottled water.:)


- The water pressure can be low, especially if you don't have a full barrel. When the barrel is full, your pressure is still lighter than turning on your city water, but it's flows nicely and gets the job done (free!).

- It's an upfront cost. Anytime you start a project whether it be chickens, a garden, having children, owning a home, etc. (I could go on and on) there will always be an upfront cost. You WILL save money in the long run. It's just the cost up front where you have to budget for.

We have our barrels on cinder blocks so that it leaves us with enough access to hook up our hose.

If you're looking for rain barrels, make sure they have a spickett to hook up to your hose. Make sure they also have a hole at the top where your gutters can pour into them during a rain. The most important thing is to make sure they have some type of wire on the top hole where mosquitos and other bugs can't get access. The wiring is almost like a fine netting, leaving the holes close together to prevent anything from entering, but water.
Happy watering!

1 comment:

Kelli said...

How neat. I've heard of them but never "seen" one in action. Smart.