Rain barrels are a low-cost, eco-friendly solution to conserving tap water and making the most of the rainwater that falls on your property. Instead of the water draining away, a rain barrel attached to the downspout of your gutter system will collect runoff that can be used for watering flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, and indoor plants. In addition to practical reasons, when selected to be an accent or focal point, rain barrels can improve the aesthetics of your backyard.
Better Water for Plants
While Metro Vancouver water is not fluoridated, it is filtered and treated with chlorine and UV disinfection. The process is good for drinking water, but not for the vegetation in your garden. Rainwater contains minerals, bacteria, and microorganisms that increase soil health and strengthen plants, shrubs, and trees, making them drought-tolerant.
When summer arrives, and sometimes even before the season officially begins, residents of the lower mainland are subject to watering restrictions. Rain barrels provide an additional source of water not subject to municipal bylaws. One 200L (50-gallons) rain barrel can water quite a bit of urban landscaping.
For the average household, outdoor water usage is approximately 30%. During summer months it can increase by 10% to 20%. By installing rain barrels, a homeowner can save money on water bills. Even having just one rain barrel makes a difference to the bottom line.
Rainwater is naturally soft water. As mentioned above, it’s not treated with chemicals, making it just as usable for indoor use as for outdoor applications. Indoors, water from rain barrels can be used to water plants and cleaning chores. It might not seem like much, but over a year, using rainwater can significantly reduce a household’s municipal water supply consumption.
Amount of Moisture
Installing rain barrels contains runoff. Water deposited from downspouts onto impermeable surfaces such as sidewalks, driveways, and patios can provide places for water to collect. Even water absorbed into the lawn and other landscaped areas can increase the moisture levels around the foundation of your home, promoting shifting, flooding, and the growth of mold or mildew. Rain barrels help control the amount of moisture your home’s exterior and yard is exposed to.