Your rain barrel will help slow runoff and encourage infiltration.
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Your rain barrel will help conserve water.
Q. How much rainfall is needed to fill a typical 55-gallon rain barrel?
A. The typical home has a roof area of 1,200 sq. ft. and four downspouts, each collecting from an area of 300 sq. ft. A rainfall of only 0.3 inches will fill the rain barrel.
Q. If I place a 55-gallon rain barrel at the bottom of each of 4 downspouts
of my 1200 sq. ft. roof, how many times will they fill up?
A. From May 1 to September 30 each barrel will fill up about 15 times.
IMPORTANT: Do not use rain barrels for drinking, cooking or bathing. If moss killer has been used on the roof, let a few rain events bypass the barrel before collecting water.
Waterwise gardening with the rain barrel: Rain patterns occur so that more rainfall events occur during April, May and June, just when you are establishing your vegetable garden and working in perennial beds. A waterwise approach could be to water annuals and perennials with rain barrel water and mulch heavily to retain moisture during the dryer months of July and August. However, don't despair, rain showers can occur in July and August to refill the barrels.
Increase your capacity of rainwater storage: Connect more than one barrel together at each downspout. Remember to raise your barrels off the ground by placing them on cement or wooden blocks to ease access to the faucet.
Manage heavy rains: It is essential to consider impact of heavy winter rains on your drainage system. An overfull rain barrel has the potential to erode your home's foundation. In all cases your rain barrel should have an overflow spigot near the top on the side. Management ideas include:
Please Protect Water Quality
Do not send overflow across parking areas, driveways septic drainfields,
bare soil, or storage areas for pesticides or heavy equipment
Keep Pollutants out of our streams