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Water-Saving Rain Barrels

Water-Saving Rain Barrels

Water: that precious resource, covering three-quarters of our planet.  It’s easy to take it for granted, but now and then we’re reminded of how much we all depend on it – whether by a well that is failing to supply our homes with an adequate supply or by being confronted with the heartbreaking ecological damage caused by a corporate disaster.

Spring and summer gardening often brings a spike to our water usage as we tend to the needs of our gardens and lawns. One easy solution for increasing water conservation while caring for our yards is the use of rain barrels.

By directing your gutters and downspouts into rain barrels, gallons upon gallons of water can be collected from the large amount of rain that pelts your roof, and stored to meet your gardening and non-drinking needs. Once your rain barrel is full, excess water is diverted away from your foundation if you installed overflow hose. Depending on the size of your rain barrel, you can collect less than 50 gallons or well over 100. Rain barrels can also be connected and used for outbuildings, in addition to your house, increasing the amount of water collected.

Do not collect rainwater for drinking without finding out if it’s legal to do so in your area. If you are zoned for drinking collected rainwater, you must be sure to cover and protect your system in order to remove contaminants

Varying designs are featured at a number of gardening supply stores, with a wider array available online. Models with a tap make it easy to access the water. Several online resources are listed below. If you’re a DIY’er, kits are available from sites such as

Should you decide to ramp up your collection of rainwater, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association,, can provide information on creating a more elaborate catchment system.


Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


+ add your own
3:12PM PDT on Jun 25, 2015

Thank Terri.

4:37AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

In my garden we used this kind of stuff from 8-10 years it's great:) especially when in summer droughts happen

4:48PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

millions of gallons of water and energy are being saved daily by people using Oxygenics the most powerful low flow , high pressure , water and energy saving shower head on the market

6:39PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

I love having a rain barrel ! We will be adding at least one more this summer.

9:30AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

I hope to be able to set some up soon in my new home.

4:36PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Interesante, pero yo vivo en un apartamento y no puedo hacerlo

3:19PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Excelent article! I'll do it in my new house.

2:07PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

This is great... :)))

7:45AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Got my rain barrel-one overnight rain and it is full (50 gallons). More than enough water for my flowerbeds. Looking at getting a second one now for my raised garden bed and raspberry plants.

3:39PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

everyone should do this and they will see how big of a difference this will make especially in rainy areas like the northwest, whenever it rains i put buckets out where the water is puring down the hardest whenever i can

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Thanks Anthony for sharing this great article.

Bright Blessings to the birdwatcher, the cows and all who helped this little one!


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