Harvesting Rain

Did you know that an average roof sheds 160 gallons of water per hour during an average rainfall? According to the Georgia Wildlife Federation, during this period of extended drought in the southeastern U.S., rain barrels are becoming a popular, inexpensive and easy source of collecting rainwater for outdoor use. By placing the barrels uphill from your garden you can attached a spigot and hose to the barrels and allow gravity to move the water downhill to your garden. Captured rainwater is often used in landscaping, because the water is free of salts and other harmful minerals and does not have to be treated. Capturing rainwater reduces the demand on our municipal water supplies, reduces erosion, and helps to reduce the contamination of surface water with sediments, fertilizers, and pesticides in rain fall run-off. In addition to benefiting our environment, the use of rainwater also saves money by lowering your water bill!

Viewer Tip: Try a rain barrel in your own backyard! Other water saving tips? Water your garden and plants early in the morning or in the afternoon to prevent water loss due to evaporation during the heat of the day. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to slow evaporation and to discourage weeds. To learn more about how to implement a rain barrel in your yard, visit: http://www.lid-stormwater.net/raincist_specs.htm. Be sure to check local regulations before installation.

Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall

(Source: Rainwater Harvesting: fact sheet. AgriLIFE EXTENSION. Texas A&M System Environmental News from Around the World Forecast Earth. Available at: www.rainbarrelguide.com.; Urban Design Tools: Low impact Development. “Rain barrels and Cisterns”. Available at: http://www.lid-stormwater.net/raincist_specs.htm.)

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