Last spring we installed some rain barrels. Well actually Chris installed them. I showed him the plans, found suitable plastic nontoxic barrels and he built them, set them and hooked them all up. He was the one who figured out how to set it up so we could disconnect them in the fall. No one needs 55 gallon drums of ice right?
I can not even explain what a lifesaver these are. OK, there is very little financial benefit. It really down’t save much on the water bill. 100 cubic feet of city water is $3.30 one 55 gallon drum holds approx. 7 cubic feet so about $.21 worth of water. That does not include the sewer fee which is tied to water usage per household.
However, they fill (and are used) quickly and we save a couple of bucks maybe by watering the flowers using water from the roof. It seems silly financially but it is a practical thing to do. Flowers, as lovely as they are and as nice as they are for our pollinators, need a lot of water. Especially those in pots. As a result of the rain barrels, we’re able to water all the landscaping without paying for any of the water.
The thing about rain barrels is that depending on where you collecting rain from, they may not be great for all applications. We collect from the garage roof and part of the house. Both are asphalt roofs which we don’t want near the food so we don’t use our water for the garden, just the flowers. But if you have a cedar or steel roof, it would be just fine.
Aside from the economics of collecting rain water, it is also an environmentally friendly thing to do. Why have all that water drain down to the driveway when we can save it and reuse it for our flowers.
So three cheers for rain barrels! If you’re interested in the (mosquito-free) design we used, let me know and I’ll send you a link.