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You see them virtually everywhere - those adorable
barrels outside homes that have a distinct country appearance and
make homes look even more appealing. Rain barrels can add a lovely
appearance to your home’s exterior, but they are definitely more
than just a pretty sight. Rain barrels are used to collect and
store rainwater that runs down from rooftops through rain gutters.
Many people use them to harvest rainwater in order to save on the
cost of water. Rainwater that is collected in rain barrels can be
used to water gardens, lawns, and for other water needs.
Commercial sized rain barrels can present a very high cost.
Many residential homes however, use a much smaller rain barrel to
collect and store rainwater because they have smaller needs. The
smaller barrels are typically recycled from food storage, whiskey
or wine barrels, and other transport barrels and can be found for
a much lower cost in many cases. Many homeowners make their own
rain barrels from inexpensive drums that were originally used to
carry pickles, juices, or other food products. These drums are
very inexpensive and typically begin at about ten dollars from
many suppliers. When purchasing a rain barrel, be sure that you
are selecting a heavy grade of plastic that will block out light.
Clear barrels can lead to the growth of algae, which can clog
pipes and cause other potentially hazardous incidents.
One of the potential risks of collecting and storing rainwater
through rain barrels is the collection of mosquitoes and other
insects. If you are considering the installation of a rain barrel,
you should ensure that proper filtering systems are used in order
to keep out potentially dangerous insects and to prevent the
breeding grounds for larvae. Using water barrels for drinking
water can present health risks if maintenance and precautions are
not exercised properly.
If you purchase a new rain barrel, you will likely receive
instructions for the installation and use of the barrel.
Typically, the rain barrel is placed under the downspout from the
rain barrel, about six to eight inches below the downspout. You
may need to cut your downspout in order to achieve this distance.
Once you have placed the barrel in the correct position, you
simply add an elbow, which will connect the downspout to the
barrel using two to three screws. Installation is not difficult
and the results of collecting and storing rain water can help you
to see a much lower water bill, particularly if you are planning
to use this water for irrigation purposes. Millions of homeowners
have found that using rain barrels provides them with an efficient
and economical way to collect, store, and reuse rain water.