Indiana Conservation Partnership

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Rain Barrels

logo_tealIf you’re are looking for ways to save on your water bill, do something good for the environment by conserving water, and ensure that your plants, garden or landscape don’t suffer in the next dry spell, consider an old-fashioned solution: rain water harvested from a rain barrel, a container used to collect and store rain water that is usually placed below the downspout of a roof gutter.

An obvious reason to harvest rainwater is to save money. According to Master Gardener Paul James, the average resident uses 40 percent of household water in the yard during the summer. A rain barrel can minimize the need for water from your city utility or well by capturing rain water to use for your plants. This can be especially helpful during the hot and often dry summer months when the demand for water is at its highest. Depending on the size of your house and the amount of rainfall in your area, you can collect a substantial amount of rainwater with a simple system. This extra water can have a significant impact on your water bill.

houseRaingarden

This house’s rain barrel is bright blue.

Rain water is fresh, soft and low in salt and chlorine – a great way to nourish the landscape. Even if you live in a rural area and have your own well, the fact that rainwater is naturally soft may be enough to justify harvesting rainwater. Even better, the barrel captures water, preventing it from carrying soil and pollutants across the ground (watershed) into the sewer where it impacts everyone’s water supply.

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