What are rain barrels?
A rain barrel is a water container which is used to collect and store stormwater runoff. They are conveniently placed under residential gutter downspouts where the water can easily be collected from the rooftop. Rainwater is typically lost and diverted to sewers, storm drains and streams. As the rainwater flows down driveways and sidewalks it picks up sediments, bacteria, oil, grease, fertilizer, and pesticides which decrease the quality of our water supply. The use of rain barrels is an efficient and low-cost method for reducing water pollution as well as conserving water for personal use.
How can I benefit from rain barrels?
The rainwater collected in these barrels are chlorine-free and mineral-rich which provide many household advantages:
- Watering of lawns, indoor plants, and gardens
- Pet care (filling water bowls for animals, providing pet baths)
- Washing of windows, cars, and bicycles
- Reduction of water bill
- Available water supply in times of need (i.e. drought)
- It is FREE softwater for homeowners
How do rain barrels affect the environment?
The use of rain barrels proves to have a dramatic impact on the environment. Rain barrels are very beneficial in the following ways:
- Improvement of water quality in rivers and streams
- Reduction of flooding
- Recharging of water supply
- Reduction of stress on creeks and rivers
- Decreased demand for treated tap water
- Saves energy!
Where can I purchase a rain barrel?
Rain barrels can be purchased in a variety of places. They can be sold through environmental programs as well as your local garden supply store. Check out the sources below to obtain your own personal rain barrel!
The Conservation Foundation New Lenox Township
Conservation Plainfield Soil and Water Conservation District
Home Depot Will County Stormwater Committee
Visit rainbarrelguide.com which provides a comprehensive "why" and "how-to" description about modern day rain barrels.