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5 Benefits of Rain Barrels

Collecting and reusing rainwater is an age-old practice that offers many benefits to gardeners and homeowners. The simple act of installing a rain barrel conserves and uses a natural resource in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way. Not only do rain barrels help you save money on water bills, but they reduce pollution and are a sustainable choice!

Harvesting rainwater is one of the easiest steps you can take to make a positive economic and ecological impact. There are a lot of advantages to using a rain barrel and it’s a quick way for every person to help combat climate change.

1. Reduce Water Bills While Beating Droughts

Saving money is the biggest draw to using a rain barrel. Most water bills increase during growing season because landscape watering can account for up to 50% of household water use. A typical gardener saves 1,300 gallons of water during growing season by switching to a rain barrel.

Having a rain barrel is particularly helpful during droughts, when many towns and cities enact water restrictions. You won’t be as dependent on your local water supply, meaning you can water your garden without facing higher usage fees or drawing from limited communal resources. This results in you saving money while increasing your water supply!

A drain pipe directing into a rain barrel Get prepared for heat waves and save money by repurposing rain.

2. Keep Gutter Runoff out of Foundations, Municipal Drains, and Nature

Whenever it rains, runoff from roofs and gutters pours all over the ground. Over time, this erodes away the soil around your home and can damage your foundation. Runoff also picks up soil, fertilizers, oils, and other contaminates and pushes them to different areas. This pollutes your lawn, garden, and surrounding natural environment.

Beyond your own property, runoff is a huge problem in suburban and urban areas because it pollutes waterways with pesticides, fertilizers, and other contaminants. When these pollutants accumulate, they add to algae growth in nearby lakes or oceans and create dangerous environments for humans and animals. Running water also collects leaves and other debris as it flows, which causes blocks in storm drains. This can lead to major flooding of polluted water!

Material and Durability

The rain barrel will be outside in all types of elements, and depending on your local climate, could range from high heat to below freezing. Heavy-duty molded plastics are the most popular because of their maneuverability, affordability, and ability to resist UV light and other elements. Some people make their own out of wooden barrels, but natural materials are likely to rot.

3. Boost Lawn and Garden Health

Both municipal and well water contain iron and heavy minerals that are harmful to plant growth. These elements accumulate in the soil and harm microorganisms that are needed for healthy crops. Rainwater is better for your lawn, landscaping, garden, and potted plants because it’s highly oxygenated and free of fluoride, salts, and inorganic ions. Rainwater also helps clear the soil of any previous salt buildup and enhances root development.

Water draining into smaller buckets on a lawn Nature has always thrived from simple rainwater and doesn’t need fluoride or iron!

4. Switch to Rainwater for Most Outdoor Uses

Rainwater isn’t only beneficial to your lawn – it can also be used for all types of outdoor projects! Since it’s free of calcium, chlorine, and other hard elements, rainwater is great for washing your car, patio furniture, windows, and other household areas. The soft water won’t damage paint or windows and frees up extra tap water for drinking. Rainwater is also a great way to keep ponds, fountains, and other outdoor water features filled.

While excellent for household purposes, the one thing you shouldn’t use rainwater for is drinking! It’s never a good idea to drink stationary water, including for pets or livestock.

5. Help the Environment and Improve Local Water Quality

The best thing that storing rainwater can do is help our environment. It takes massive amounts of energy to collect, purify, and direct water to our faucets. The majority of household water uses don’t actually need the purified water we drink, so it’s a waste of energy to pour potable water over flowers or wash your car with it.

Having your own water source for outdoor projects and during times of drought reduces limited resource consumption and energy pollution. And most importantly, you’re reusing water that would normally just run off your house. On average, a rainfall of one inch within 24 hours can produce over 700 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water to consistently waste!

Plus, as we covered above, keeping soil, pesticides, and lawn debris out of local rivers improves the overall water quality for our communities. Polluted runoff from properties and storm drains causes significant downstream damage. Preventing so much pollution keeps all of us healthy!

Learn More!

For more tips on optimizing your water usage, check out our project guide for watering solutions. And keep an eye on our ever-expanding collection of watering and irrigation products. You can sign up here for new product alerts and we will deliver them to your inbox!

Last updated: 8/3/2023


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