When it comes to lawn care, water is an important part of keeping everything green and healthy; everything from the grass, to the trees, to those prized azaleas. If you’ve to suffer through a sweltering summer while trying to keep everything on your lawn hydrated, you know that keeping everything green takes a toll on your water bill or well water supply. Rain barrels offer a great “earth friendly” option to help offset the cost of watering and keep wells equipped for water usage inside of your home.
Rain barrels are barrels or tanks that are used to collect rainwater runoff. The barrel is placed at a downspout and the rain filters in. A screen is located at the top to keep out debris and insects and a spigot is located near the base of the barrel. The whole system itself consists of only a few elements and there are numerous styles which can be purchased online, at hardware stores, and at garden centers. You’re sure to find something that fits your style or you can always construct one fairly easily.
Watering lawns and gardens take up nearly 40% of household water use during the summer. If your water supply is from a well, that can pose a problem if you have concerns about your well drying up. If you are on the city water system, it can be a matter of cost. Rain barrels are a great way to utilize free water and reduce rainwater runoff. The rainwater is an excellent source of “soft water” containing no chlorine, lime, or calcium which makes it great for gardens and lawns, washing your car, cleaning off decks. Using rain barrels will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water throughout the summer which cuts down on environmental strain, energy usage (distribution of water), and cost to you.
When it comes to maintaining rain barrels, there’s very little work to do. Occasionally, you’ll need to check for leaks which are most likely to be found at connection points and spigots. Also, be on the lookout for clogs on the filter screen. You should also periodically scrub the inside of the barrel with a non-toxic cleaner. With these steps, you should get around 20 years out of your rain barrel! It’s a great investment that has the potential to pay for itself within a season; conserve natural resources and keep some money in your wallet.
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