The Benefits Of Having Rain Barrels

Did you know rain barrels have community as well as household benefits?

Beyond contributing to the heath of your beautiful flowers and plants, here are the major benefits of using a rain barrel as part of your eco-friendly gardening: 

Rainwater is better for your plants and soil.

  • Rainwater is highly oxygenated, free of the salts, inorganic ions, and fluoride compounds contained in tap water that accumulate in the soil over time and potentiality harm plant roots Use of rainwater in your garden dilutes this impact, making plants more drought-tolerant, healthy.

You’ll have your own water source in times of drought or watering restrictions.

  • If you collect rainwater, you’ll be able to keep watering and nourishing your garden with your rain barrel reserves.

You’ll help to reduce runoff pollution.

  • When it rains, runoff picks up soil, fertilizer, oil, pesticides, and other contaminants and pushes them into other areas of the landscape. These pollutants can increase algae growth in lakes, alter the habitat for fish, and even make lakes and oceans dangerous for recreational activities Your water collecting stops some of this damaging flow

You’ll contribute to erosion prevention efforts.

  • Rain runoff is also a particular issue in places where land erosion is a concern_ Your rain catch will be especially helpful in these cases 

You’ll cut down on the amount of water that must undergo expensive and energy-intensive sewage treatments.

  • Capturing rainwater and putting it straight to use in your garden eliminates the need for this processing cycle

You’ll have a fresh, green way to wash your cars and pets.

  • Rainwater doesn’t have the salt and other chemicals found in tap water and therefore will be kinder on you car and pets

Use to fill birdbaths, ponds, and water gardens

Captured rainwater can be used to fill bird baths, water gardens and small ponds, all of which can be used by backyard wild live to to drink, bath and as habitat for a host of animals such as frogs, toad, fish, turtles and many more

Rainwater is the eco-friendly option to keep composts moist.

  • Adding tap water to your compost doesn’t fit this sustainability practice; you’ll want to use rainwater instead 

Help control moisture levels around the foundations of your home.

  • Collecting rainwater before it hits ground levels will help to prevent flooding, damp, and mold 

You can reduce your water bill.

  • Garden and lawn watering accounts for 40 percent of residential water use during the summer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thanks to a rain barrel’s water catch, the typical gardener can save 1, 300 gallons of water during the growing season  

Related References

Catchment – ​ Water Reuse – What is Rainwater and Greywater

Rainwater capture and storage tank at a local restaurant used to irrigate vegetable garden.
Rainwater capture and storage tank at a local restaurant used to irrigate vegetable garden.

What is catchment?

Catchment is a water reuse strategy which involves collecting water, especially, the collection of rainfall ( also, called rainwater harvesting) over a natural drainage area such as roofs, gutters, drainage ditches…etc., for reuse.  Greywater can be part of a water reuse strategy, but should be outside of the catchment process.

A rain barrel setup to catch rainwater from the roof
A rain barrel setup to catch rainwater from the roof

What is rainwater? 

Rainwater is water that has fallen as rain, rather than water that has come from a a well, reservoir, stream, or municipal water source. Rainwater may be stored for future, but may require algae and pest controls (e.g. mosquitoes).

What is greywater? 

Greywater is waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances, which is the relatively clean and may be reused for landscape waiting, if properly managed and or filtered.  Greywater should be used immediately and not stored for future use.

Non-potable 

Rainwater should be consider non-potable (not drinkable), unless it has been properly sanitized.  This is especially true of runoff water, which have any number of pathogens along the way.  Greywater is definitely non-potable nor should it be allowed to come in contact with the skin, nor is should animals and livestock be allowed to use it as a drinking water source. 

Related References