Rain barrels are one solution to runoff problems.
As an added advantage, they are a source of natural rainwater for watering gardens during dry weather.
It adds up!
1 inch of rain on a 1000 sq ft roof yields 623 gallons of water. Here's one way to catch it all — in an 850 gallon tank:
A small external or
submersible pump can then be used for distributing the water when the water
level is low. Of course, there are other containers and configurations
that might be adapted to your landscaping. This one cost $650 and was
purchased from plastic-mart.com.
A website user recently pointed us to similar containers at tank-depot.com.
Find out more about rain barrels in our Site Design Toolkit.
Useful runoff solutions!
Rain barrels are a great way to capture runoff from your roof.
Water captured in barrels is a free source of water for watering
gardens and lawns, with the added advantage of helping the environment.
Rain water is softer than tap water; it has no chlorine, lime, or calcium.
It has less sediment and dissolved salts and is warmer than tap water.
It is excellent (some say better) for watering plants and for window
or car washing.
Why is this important?
Runoff from impervious surfaces
adds up. Too much water in the streams erodes their channels and destroys habitat. Excess runoff from
yards and gardens can cause erosion problems
and can wash things like lawn fertilizer into
the stream causing nutrient overloads.
Where can I find a rain barrel?
Rain barrels can be purchased from many garden catalogs or you
can make your own following directions found on a number of web sites.
If you attach a soaker hose to your rain barrel you can trickle water
locations under the eaves or shaded by trees or a garage. This
allows gardens to grow in these locations and saves ever having
to use a sprinkler.
Links for making rain barrels:
Make sure to screen your barrel and elevate it off
the ground enough to allow gravity feed of water to gardens.
The water should be used regularly to reduce the risk of mosquitoes.
To buy a rain barrel or a parts kit, there are many garden catalogs or web sites -- here are some examples: