Yesterday evening I attended a program at our local Amherst Library called “Rain Barrels and More” about the benefits of using a rain barrel, how to build your own with a kit and maintenance and uses for the barrel water. Having been a rain barrel user for a couple of years now, it was a great refresher on all the great things about utilizing such a simple system in my own home and I’m already looking into adding multiple barrels to my already-existing connection.
Here are a couple of take-aways I learned last night!
- A barrel of my size (60 gallons) can collect a full barrel of rain in just 15 minutes of down-pouring
- When creating your own barrel, always use a barrel that contained food matter and never chemicals – the plastic can absorbs those toxins and then leach them into your water
- Never use a white or clear barrel or lid – when light entered in the barrel, algae can begin to grow in your water
- It’s so easy to add multiple barrels to one connection with a simple hose at the base of each barrel
- You can make a compost tea in your barrel that will act as a natural fertilizer when you use the water on your plants
- Rain water (as opposed to faucet water with chlorine) is extremely nutrient-rich and offers your plants & veggies so much more than hose water can
- You can use rain water to bathe your pets, wash your cars, do your laundry, water your garden and even your house plants