The leak inside our house may be the one we notice, but if you look outside, you’ll realize there’s another leak we always ignore-the rain itself. It falls on the roof, runs along walls and, once thoroughly polluted, ends up down drains. It’s a lot bigger than a roof leak but it has an equally easy fix: a rain barrel.
Capturing rainwater isn’t a new idea. Even Thomas Jefferson harvested rainwater to brew his beer. Today, however, our interest is more of necessity than curiosity. This year’s unexpected rain may have helped to ease some of the effects of our ongoing drought but water remains a limited resource, and an essential one at that. As our population grows, more people need more water. A rain barrel is a great way to do your part to conserve water.
Rain barrels are easy to set up and can capture water in a variety of circumstances. In addition to rainwater, you can collect water from the showerhead as you wait for your bath to heat up and then add it to your rain barrel. It takes only a week of collecting bathwater to fill a 58-gallon rain barrel. You paid for that water-don’t just let your money go down the drain!
Residents without rain gutters can simply attach a 4-foot stainless steel chain (or rain chain) where the roof angle comes together. The water will runs off straight into the barrel below.
Many municipalities are adopting rainwater catchment as a legitimate option for water storage and management by turning it from a liability into an asset. The Metropolitan Water District has been taking a proactive approach by offering a Rain Barrel Rebate program. Residents of Orange and LA County qualify for a $35 rebate per barrel with a limit of 2 rain barrels per household.
The Environmental Nature Center has partnered with Rain Barrels Intl. to offer their own $30 rebate-your $85 rain barrel just went down to $55! These rain barrels have a retail price of $129 – $169. You can purchase rain barrels during the Rain Barrel Truckload Sale at the ENC’s Native Plant Sale on Sunday, April 9th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rain Barrels Intl. will donate $20.00 from each to sale to the ENC.
Adjusting in hard times, especially during a drought, might present a challenge, but those who adapt are often the same ones who flourish. As poet Wallace Stevens once said, “Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.” We, too, can adapt to changing circumstances by adopting new, creative practices. We ask every resident to tell your family, neighbors and friends to join in on Saving Our Environment…One Drop at a Time.
Water Conservation-It’s For Life!
To pre-purchase a rain barrel, visit RainBarrelsIntl.com.