By Dalton Herrboldt, Pope SWCD Intern
Want a way to utilize all that rain water that runs off of your roof and goes out your down spout? A rain barrel is your solution. It is a perfect way to capture soft water and help to reduce runoff. In the event of a rain shower rain washes chemicals, excess fertilizer, and sediment into storm sewers. You can help reduce this through the process of catching rain water in a rain barrel.
Rain water contains no chlorine, lime, or calcium making it perfect for any flowers around the house or potted plants. Being that is has no minerals in it, rain water is perfect for washing your car and will not leave the streaks that are left behind from hard water.
Rain Barrel Facts
- Can save 1300 gallons of water throughout the growing season
- Garden and lawn irrigation accounts for about 40% of residential water use during the summer
- ½ inch of rain on 200 square feet of a roof is enough to fill a 60 gallon rain barrel
- Reduces amount of water you pay for from the municipal for watering gardens and lawns
With a 32 square foot garden it is recommended to use 20 gallons of water per week. If you saved 1300 gallons of water with a rain barrel you would be able to water a 32 square foot garden for 65 weeks.
To maximize your rain water potential you can connect multiple rain water barrels together. Once the first one fills up to the overflow level it will start filling the second one, or you can hook them together from the bottom of the barrel and they will fill up at the same time. There are several different exterior designs for barrels now to match with your house or garage to your liking.
Now is the time to consider purchasing a rain barrel as the gardening season is fast approaching. The cost is $65.00 plus tax and we do have a limited supply available. If you have an interest in collecting rain water and would like to purchase a rain barrel contact the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District at 320-634-5327.