Harvest the Rain
Rain barrels are fun! Rain barrels are cool! You can paint them in distinctive ways and show them off to your neighbors!
And when you use the rainwater you collect in your rainbarrel to water your lawn or garden, you’re doing your part to save money and leave water in the river for the fish, birds, and other animals that live there.
As much as 55,000 gallons of rain fall on a 2,000 square foot roof in Massachusetts each year. Rain barrels allow you to collect rainwater from your roof and reuse it to water your landscape and lower your water bill. A roof area of only 1,000 sq ft can provide approx. 600 gallons of water during a one inch rainfall.
So what is a rain barrel, anyway? The name pretty much says it all — you use a rain barrel (also known as cisterns) to capture and store stormwater runoff from roofs and other big, flat surfaces. You can use the water you capture in your rain barrel to meet household garden and lawn watering needs. Some business use big cisterns can store water for for flushing toilets or washing cars.
We use both a rain barrel and cistern system for watering at Riverbend.
But wait, there’s more! Rain barrels actually reduce water pollution, too, Using rain barrels and cisterns can help to reduce the amount of polluted runoff that occurs during rainstorms, and they and reduce demand on the municipal water system during droughts, too.
Several towns in the Ipswich River Watershed have offered rebates for the purchase of rain barrels. Check with your Town for details. Local rain barrel companies include:
- The New England Rain Barrel Company
- Sky Juice New England
- The Great American Rain Barrel Company
- Aaron’s Rain Barrels
Homeowners looking to install a simple rainwater catchment system using rain barrels can benefit from these tips.
Maximize natural areas and limit paved surfaces. Paved surfaces keep rain from seeping into the ground and helping to irrigate your lawn and gardens.
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