Green Venture is excited to announce that Catch the RAIN has three different green infrastructure projects happening in the final months of 2019! Read on about our first project: a new and improved rain barrel system that stores over 900L of rainwater for this garden loving Catch the RAIN homeowner!
DID YOU KNOW: A 25mm rain storm can produce more than 2600 litres of stormwater from a typical roof!
In a big rainfall a significant amount of rainwater hits your roof and runs off to different areas of your property like your lawn, garden and driveway via your downspouts. The main purpose of a downspout is to direct rainwater away from the foundation of your home. However, that rainwater then rushes to the closest sewer and can overload the sewer system during a big storm. Rain barrels can help address this issue by providing water storage during rain events to be used later. You can repurpose the rainwater on your gardens, reducing your water consumption and water bill. Rain barrels are placed underneath a downspout and have two drainage holes, one at the bottom that is attached to a hose for releasing stored water and one at the top for times when the barrel overflows. This homeowner wanted to collect enough rain water to help sustain their permaculture gardens in the front and backyard. The drainage valve located at the bottom of the barrel was attached to a hose that could be spread throughout their garden. During the RAIN Coach visit it was determined that the current rain barrel system, while serving the purpose of catching and storing rainwater from the roof, wasn’t being utilized to its full potential and the rain barrels were not sitting on a stable surface. A sketch was drawn up to illustrate a new and improved rain barrel system at three downspouts that included four rain barrels. The first two downspouts were located at the front of the house. Before the rain barrel was placed below the downspout, the ground needed to be prepped. First, the site was cleared of plants, mulch or rocks to expose the soil. Next, the soil was levelled out and High Performance Base (HPB) was added for a patio stone to sit level on. Because the homeowner wanted easy access to the bottom valve, the rain barrels were placed on cinder blocks to elevate them. This was also necessary to allow the overflow hose to fit underneath the barrel. The rain barrel was placed on the cinder blocks and the downspout was customized to reach the rain barrel’s lid opening using elbow attachments. The backyard received a double rain barrel system as the homeowner needed to store a lot of rainwater for their backyard garden, including a newly established vegetable garden.
Connecting with Nature
A striking feature about this property was that the homeowner had most of her property naturalized. More than 70% of the property is planted gardens, a mixture of native and non native plants, vegetables and herbs. Their gardens were filled with beneficial plants to attract different insects, like bees and butterflies. For lunch, the homeowner prepared a meal for us with most of the ingredients from their own garden! Not only was the food DELICIOUS, but also a beautiful example of how people can connect with nature from home. And with the new rain barrel arrangements, more rainwater can be directed to grow the lovely gardens.
How do you connect with nature at your home? Do you use rainwater to lower your water bill and conserve water? Show us your rain barrel set up!
Take action to protect your property, protect your drinking water, and increase biodiversity in Hamilton!
Visit our Catch the Rain Page to learn more about our program, or visit our EcoHouse and we can show you residential stormwater solutions in action! Thanks to our program funders and partners: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Sustain Our Great Lakes, City of Hamilton City Enrichment Fund and Green Communities Canada.