What are they? Rain barrels are an awesome way to cut down on runoff, or too much free flowing water, that is produced from rain events and saves water at the same time. What is a rain barrel you ask? Rain barrels are simply large jugs that can store water that is produced from rain.
An ideal container is typically 55 gallons or larger, most rain storms can fill that volume, and are made with food grade, UV protected plastic.
By creating a level surface next to a downspout, and properly fitting the downspout into the barrel you can let water freely flow into it. If you’re feeling ambitious you can drill a hole close to the bottom of the barrel and fit a downspout into it, making easier access to it. Although this water is not drinkable at first, if purified, it can be a perfectly fine water source. It can also be used to water your garden or lawn, cutting down on water use.
Another reason rain barrels are the bees’ knees, is the fact that they can help cut down on runoff from roofs and driveways, ultimately allowing less pollutants to reach our natural waterways. This is considered a “nonpoint source form of pollution,” which is a form of pollution that has many sources and cannot be specifically pinpointed. On the other hand, rain barrels also help reduce the amount of runoff that enters storm drains and sewage lines that enter streams and waterways, these are considered “point source” areas of pollution because they can be specifically dealt with. Here are some examples of getting creative:
The best part about making one of these is that they can be as intricate or simple as you want them to be! For more information on how to make one yourself or neat ideas check out the links below!