Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use such as on lawns, gardens or indoor plants. Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property. It's a great way to conserve water and it's free water for use in your landscape.
Uses for Rain Barrels
Water your plants
Protect the oceans - as soon as rain falls off of the roof, it begins its journey to the ocean and along the way collects trash, chemicals, fertilizers, and pollutants from lawns, driveways, streets, and rivers, eventually finding its way into the ocean.
Passive solar hot water heater and home cooling - using a dark-colored rain barrel can be beneficial on hot days where the water will be heated by the sun's energy rather than the inside of your home.
Trellis for plants
Block out noise or unsightly views - position your rain barrel to block any unwanted features or noise
Birdbath - use harvested rainwater in a birdbath
Household chores - because there is no hardness in rainwater like tap water, it is ideal for cleaning stainless steel appliances and fixtures. The water can also be used to wash dishes, fill the back of the toilet, and scrub produce.
Do I Build or Do I Buy?
Rain barrels can be made from food-grade plastic barrels or heavy-duty trash cans for as little as $15.00. Rain barrels can also be purchased pre-made from commercial manufacturers and retailers.
Below is a link to an instructional video from Our Old House on how to construct your own rain barrel.