(NC)-Reusing rainwater is not a new concept. Families have saved water in ponds, cisterns, buckets and barrels for centuries for use in watering, washing and even drinking. In fact, this practice is still common in many parts of the world.
Nevertheless, almost 40% of household H2O in Canada is used to water lawns and gardens. This is extraordinarily inefficient. It’s also unnecessary. “Using a rain barrel to catch water flowing from eaves troughs is a simple, cheap and effective way to water our lawns and gardens,” Derril Linseman, Product Manager at Home Hardware is quick to point out. In fact, if your town bans watering during the dry season, a rain barrel may be the only way to get your greenery the water it needs.
Rainwater is air-temperature, oxygenated and unchlorinated – all of which make it better for plants than municipal tap water. As an added bonus, rain barrels divert rainwater from our sewers onto porous ground. This means that it gets filtered through layers of soil and rock before it ends up in ground water aquifers, lakes or streams. Without rain barrels, this water goes straight into our sewers, often causing overflows of raw sewage into the natural environment.
Setting up a rain barrel is simple. They’re available at most Home Hardware and Home Building Centre locations for anywhere from $75 for a basic model to $150 for the deluxe variety. High-end barrels come equipped with screen filters, overflow hoses and taps.
Once you’ve got your barrel, simply remove the bottom section of your eaves trough’s downspout and set the barrel underneath. Then attach plastic tubing or flexible piping to the bottom of the spout to direct water straight into your barrel. It’s really that simple. And the benefits are almost immeasurable.