Collecting the Rain

Ever since I set rain barrels up at my house the rain is no longer an annoyance (especially with all the rain we have had in the past few months). No one likes getting the bottom of their pants wet in the rain or running from the car to the house in a downpour but everyone loves fresh flowers. What better way to water those fresh flowers or herb gardens than to set up your own water collection device? I cannot stress the importance of being able to collect rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost in storm drains and streams. According to the EPA almost forty percent of total household water used during the summer is due to lawn and garden watering. Why not collect that water and use it to water your garden?.

Local farmers markets are always a good resource and even Baltimore City and County hold special events to sell rain barrels and compost bins. The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is also always having rain barrel sales. Check their website for more information. Rain Barrels and More (http://www.rainbarrelsandmore.com/) is a really good online resource if you can’t find something local.

Don’t feel like buying one? You definitely don’t have to even if you aren’t too tool savvy. Most rain barrels are made up of a 55 gallon drum, a hose, a screen grate to keep bugs and leaves out of your water and a valve to stop the water from coming out of the barrel when you want. Make sure the barrel is clean and set up in a flat area under your gutter rain downspout. Cover the top of the barrel with your screen and attach the hose to your barrel (need help figuring that part out, see this great drawing and explanation of exactly how to). After that just sit back and watch the water collect.

You can always make your rain barrel more exciting by adding thick chains to make the rain fall uniformly to create a trickle effect. These are my favorite chains. They add that esthetic look and sound your rain barrel needs.

Rain Barrel