Thinking About Using A Rain Barrel For The First Time? Follow These Experts Tips For Success
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With water as a scarce resource in so many parts of the Western United States — and in various global locales — it is critical to do everything possible to conserve it. In fact, it has been estimated that by 2025, 1.8 billion individuals will live in water scarce areas. Making a difference can start in your own backyard with the use of a rain barrel. This environmentally-friendly practice allows you to generate your own water source for cleaning, watering your garden, and for many other uses.
Considering using your own rain barrel? Follow these expert tips for success from the team at Evans Family Barrels.
Decide how you’ll be using the water from your rain barrel
Prior to purchasing a rain barrel, it is best to determine what specific ways you’ll be using the water. While this sounds somewhat unnecessary, advanced planning is incredibly helpful. At Evans Family Barrels, we customize every rain barrel for specific applications. Certain variations make tasks such as washing cars, watering your lawn or plants, and outdoor cleaning much easier. Once you've established your needs, be sure to communicate this at the time you place your order.
Clean your gutters
Since you’ll be funneling the water collected by your gutters into your rain barrel, it is smart to clean them thoroughly. When your gutters are completely clean, you’ll be able to collect the maximum amount of water during every rain storm.
Your gutters should be cleaned and inspected twice each year. This helps clear them of pesky debris, dirt, and other waste. On top of having your gutters professionally cleaned, inspections are critical in assessing the state of your system. If a repair or replacement is needed, it will be discovered during the inspection. When searching “gutter cleaning service near me” online, always be sure to read customer reviews and testimonials. You can easily do this on websites like Angi.com, which provide you with extensive information on contractors in your area.
Check to see if your area allows rain barrels
Surprisingly, there are some towns and cities that require you to apply for a permit before installing a rain barrel. Also, some areas and HOAs prohibit the use of rain barrels altogether. Avoid hassle, frustration, and possible fines by checking all local and HOA rules in advance. Conversely, in drought areas, local water utilities may offer rebates for the installation of rain barrels.
Purchase a quality barrel
While you can technically assemble a DIY rain barrel, there are numerous advantages in buying a high-quality, premade barrel. Our barrels can be customized to fit your needs and the climate in your area. For example, for dry climates, we can put the exit spigot about 2" above the bottom of the barrel. This ensures that there is always water left over to keep the wood from drying out and leaking. Regardless of annual rainfall, it’s always a good idea to add screens at the downspout inlet. One is for mosquitos, and the other one is to catch debris. These are just a few of the many custom adjustments we can add to your barrel so that you get the most out of it.
Connect to your downspout
Once you receive your rain barrel, it is time for the simple installation process. To prolong the life of your wood barrel, do not place it directly on dirt or grass – that will shorten the life by rotting the bottom of the barrel. Put on concrete or pavers. You will line up the pre-made inlet hole with the downspout. If this fit doesn’t seem right, you can adjust the downspout by cutting it as needed.
Empty your barrel before the next rain
The water you collect will not last forever. Be sure to drain it into your planter, etc to get the benefit of the process. During long dry spells, you may consider adding a part of a pool chlorine tablet into the barrel through the bung hole to keep bacteria and other unwanted organisms out of your water. Don’t do this during the rainy season as chlorine is not good for plants.
There are many advantages to having a rain barrel in your backyard. Not only will you save money on your water bill, but you can also help conserve water in your area.
Thank you to the guest writer, Thomas Walker!