We’re well into spring and we have rain in the forecast… that means it’s a good time to install your rain barrel! Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water and save on your water bill. You can attach one, two, or even three to a downspout to catch the rain from your roof to be used later in your gardens.
If you don’t already have a rain barrel, there are a couple great sales happening right now – the City of Hamilton is currently having a sale that ends on May 9! Find the link to City of Hamilton rain barrels here: https://www.hamilton.ca/home-property-and-development/water-sewer/rain-barrel-sale. The Grace Anglican Church is also having a rain barrel sale, and you can find it here: https://rainbarrel.ca/graceanglican/.
A common response we get when talking to community members about rain barrels is, “I have a rain barrel, but it isn’t connected”. Why is this? Here are some tips to help you get that rain barrel installed:
- Be sure your rain barrel is installed on a sturdy, level base.
- Elevating the rain barrel with cinder blocks or a wooden rain barrel stand makes filling a watering can from the spigot easier.
- Your overflow hose should be directed 10ft away from your home. When your rain barrel is full the overflow becomes your downspout, so you want to make sure the water is directed away from your home.
- Finally, make sure you drain your rain barrel before the next rain! This ensures your rain barrel is always diverting the most rain water possible from our sewer system into your garden and soils.
If you haven’t already, consider disconnecting your downspout today and directing it into a rain barrel. It’s a simple project that has a big impact on alleviating excess storm water in our sewer system, improving water quality, and saving you money on your water bill!
If you already have a rain barrel, that’s great! Here are some tips for keeping it working well:
- Every season be sure to check that all hoses and pieces of your rain barrel are functioning properly.
- Be sure to clear leaves or debris from gutters and downspouts – your gutters will work better and your rain barrel will stay cleaner!
- Clear out any leaves or debris that does make its way onto the mesh filter before and after a rain event.