Have you ever considered preserving rainwater (capturing and storing it for water conservation)? Rainwater harvesting is used in countries around the world and has multiple advantages. Installing a rain barrel (or a few) is easy and affordable. Harvesting rainwater can make your plants and soil heavy and save you money. Let’s examine more details on rainwater harvesting systems and how they can benefit your garden.
Rain Barrels Made of Opaque Material and Sealed
Rain barrels, also known as rainwater tanks, absolutely should keep out any light that allows bacteria and algae to grow. Installation of a screen or filter is vital for filtering out debris from entering the barrel. Add a spigot for easy access and as an overflow mechanism for when the barrel is full. Rain barrels should always be closed and well-sealed to prevent animals, insects, debris, and dust from entering.
Just like with all functioning things in and on your property, a weekly check-up of your collection system is needed for proper maintenance. Is your system running efficiently and draining well? Is there rust or mildew anywhere? Are there any holes or backup of water due to a clog? Check your roof to minimize contamination from animal droppings. Inspect and maintain your gutters twice a year. Also, check your rainwater tank(s) for sludge accumulation once every two or three years. Clean your tank(s) if necessary. Are you diverting your rainwater directly into your garden? Constantly check that the end location is large enough to handle the amount of water it could get during a storm without flooding.
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A well-positioned rain barrel is the easiest way to capture roof runoff. Simply purchase a premade barrel, connect a downspout to it, and you are ready to go for harvesting water. Make sure the surrounding area of your rainwater barrel is free of sharp rocks or branches.
Water Supply for Dry Periods
Storing and preserving rainwater is great if you go through a dry period. Collect rainwater and store it without the worry that it could go bad. As long as your barrel is dark enough to prevent algae or bacteria, you can use the water as an irrigation system. You understand how expensive it is to keep your soil moist during Atlanta’s hot summers. Having a water catchment at your disposal when you need it is a great cost saver.
Low Start-up Cost
A standard 50-gallon plastic barrel for preserving rainwater will run you about $100 at a local hardware store. Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart typically offer a greater variety at the same or lower cost.
Plants Will Thrive
Rainwater is cleaner and softer than most city water. Therefore, preserving rainwater is simply better for your garden. Harvest rainwater to avoid worrying about trace amounts of salts and minerals that can build up in your garden’s soil.
Stored rainwater percolates through the soil which is nature’s way of cleaning the water. Running dirty water through a local water system degrades its quality that can cause erosion and flooding downstream. Preserving rainwater also takes the stress off aging infrastructures.
*Important note: Stored rainwater should not be used for consumption.
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