What is a Rain Barrel?
A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater that runs off from your roof. This water would otherwise be lost as runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.
Usually rain barrels are made of a 35-55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep out debris and insects, and other easy-to-find items. Rain barrels are relatively easy and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under your gutter’s downspout.
How Is a Rain Barrel Good For Lake Champlain?
The runoff That is diverted to storm drains and streams ultimately ends up in Lake Champlain. Along its path to the Lake the runoff will pick up soil and sediment, which often contain nutrients including phosphorus and nitrogen. These nutrients contribute to ‘feeding’ the blue-green algae blooms that contain toxin-producing cyanobacteria.
Using a rain barrel helps decrease the threat of algal blooms, and keeps sediment from the lake. Also, by decreasing runoff, rain barrels decrease the erosion of your and other people’s’ property.
What Are Other Advantages of Using a Rain Barrel?
Watering a lawn and garden can use almost 40% of total household water during the summer. Rain barrels collect water and store it for when you need it most – during drier periods. Water from your rain barrel can be used to water plants, wash your car, or even to top a swimming pool.
It provides an good supply of free “soft water” to homeowners, contains no chlorine, lime or calcium. This makes it ideal for watering gardens and flower pots. It’s also great for car and window washing.
Rain barrels collect rooftop runoff using a gutter / downspout system, and can save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months. Saving water helps protect the environment and saves money and energy.
Rain barrels are an easy way to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use, for free!
Where can I buy a ready-made rain barrel?
There are a number of companies that offer ready-made rain barrels for sale, including hardware stores and garden supply stores. In addition, local governments sometimes offer them for a reduced price as part of their environmental education programs. Below are a few sources:
35 Gallon Rain Barrel
35 Gallon Rain Barrel / Planter features built-in planter and shut off valve with hose hook-up and screen to keep out debris and insects. Collect runoff from the roof and store it for later use.
Heavy duty rotational molded construction for long lifespan. Made in USA.
Capacity: 35 Gallons. Dimensions: Height: 28″, Width: 24″.
Save water and enjoy great garden function with this durable, efficient and attractive rain barrel. Beautiful design is suitable for quality home and garden settings that demand character rather than castaway appearance. Features include solid brass spigot, aluminum intake screen, wood grain detailing and natural color choices.
Just one quarter inch of rain on a small 500 sq. ft roof will completely fill this 54 gallon water resource, saving precious water for many outdoor needs. Automatic overflow can direct excess collected rainwater to distant plant bed. Securely screened to prevent insect entry, this Rain Barrel arrives fully assembled for quick easy setup. Made in USA. Dimensions: 23″. Dia. x 36″.
Made of UV resistant, anti-fading resin, this rain barrel is linkable to other barrels for increased capacity using separately sold linking kit.
Rain barrel features convenient handles for moving and lifting, and is resistant to rust, mold, mildew, and rotting.
High quality brass spigot for hose hook-up overflow spout, and has screen to keep out debris, insects, animals, and children. Rain Barrel Capacity: 50 Gallons. Manufactured in USA. Dimensions: Height 30″, Width 23″, Depth 22″, Weight 19 lbs.