Rain barrels have been a part of my life for about eight years – I have loved the convenience of having fresh water available for the garden which does not have chlorine, fluoride, or any of the other chemical treatments cities use for drinking water. Rain barrel water can be used to water container gardens, wash cars, water your lawns and clean off tools and boots. With this year’s rainy season, many have asked me, “Why do I need to have a rain barrel?”
Why You Need a Rain Barrel
An easy answer is that when you collect rainwater from your roof, it reduces the quantity of storm water runoff that flows into a city’s sewer system. Every time it rains, cities have to manage the storm water runoff and frequently sewer systems are “broken”, so that the more it rains, the more repairs a city has to make as a part of the process of maintaining the system. During excessive storms, raw sewage is sometimes expelled into waterways, particularly if the local treatment plant cannot handle the large capacity of water flow. By holding excess runoff in rain barrels during heavy storms, every day homeowners can help lessen the amount of water that makes it to the sewer system, thereby helping the environment in a positive way and saving your community tax dollars.
I have rain barrels at my place for the above reasons; I prefer using non-chemical water for watering certain plants and, of course, when we do have super high temperatures in August and September, I have the barrels available to help keep up with the watering. This year my rain barrel system was due for an overhaul – I noticed that the rain barrels were draining in a fashion that was causing standing water in areas around my downspout. Mosquito control is a real concern this season (I just did a TV report on preventing mosquitoes on Gardening with Good Day) and I want to prevent any standing water as Mosquito.org recommends. Open rain barrels and rain barrels with improper downspout diverters can lead to water pooling.
Installing a Diverter
I needed to reposition my rain barrels due to my raised cement blocks not supporting the barrels at a level angle, then install a proper diverter kit to enable better collection and drainage from the downspout. RainReserve.com sent out new rain barrels and a double capacity diverter kit which enabled me to feed water from the downspout into both barrels. These diverters are easy to install and prevent standing water (and no mosquitoes) around the rain barrel.
Installation involves using a power screwdriver to screw the system onto the downspout, then screw the hoses onto the rain reserve system. My husband, Luis, helped me with the project (thanks Lu!) — it took him less than 30 minutes to attach everything together and the result is the rain barrels have a tube that leads directly to the retention area. Before we had an open area where water sometimes gathered. I have tested the rain barrel diverter kit most of the summer and it is holding up magnificently with all of the heavy rains in my region.
Making a difference for both your garden and your community is possible when you install a rain barrel – whether you live in a dry area of the country or a wet area of the country. Having double rain barrels is twice the fun and twice the water savings, plus you are helping your community if you do your part to hold rain water on your property. No matter the brand or style of your rainbarrel or rain water collection unit, try this cool Rain Reserve diverter system. My rain barrel diverter kit worked great in the test garden this season and I am sure it will hold tough for years to come. For more information on preventing mosquitoes, please watch the below video.