Today I am revisiting a blog I published many moons ago because it is so relevant to our situation here in California. Since I wrote this article, I have discovered that it only takes two or three little rains to fill a good-sized barrel. You might want to have a barrel ready when winter comes. If El Nino arrives this year, all bets are off. Even if we have good rains this winter, when summer of 2016 comes, your parched plants will love chlorine-free barrel water. 550 gallons sounds like a lot, but if I could do it all over again I would go for 1,500.
|Elliot riding the range|
Top 5 Reasons to Harvest Rainwater!
· Protect our rivers and streams from runoff pollution
· Divert water from the municipal storm drain system
· Conserve this vital natural resource and reduce your water bills
· Use the rain water to grow healthy and lush plants
· Control moisture levels around the foundation of your home
I convinced my husband we should install a rain barrel in our backyard because I thought it was a cool idea. Being a lucky person, I was right. Our Big Bubba water tank holds 550 gallons of rain water, collected from the roof of an out-building. I turn the red lever at the bottom of the tank and the water is free to move through one hundred feet of hose, down a slope to my precious plants.
My husband and I installed the tank ourselves through trial and error—or you can follow the easy instructions when you buy the tank. There is a big hole in the top of the tank (with a screw-on cover) so you can look inside and see the water level. A little further down is the overflow port so you can direct excess water somewhere else—maybe another storage tank. At the bottom is an outlet hole where you hook up a hose. It’s all very simple, especially if you are of the male gender. For other genders, the tanks and barrels come in many sizes and colors, but nothing in hot pink or leopard.