This week on the Summer RAIN Blog—rain barrels! Can you believe it’s almost August? Unfortunately, that means we’re nearing the end of this series—but not without some exciting news. If you’re new to the Summer RAIN Blog, you might want to rewind a bit for a refresher on the hydrologic cycle, wastewater management, and the importance of having green infrastructure in our watersheds. Last week, we got a bit more specific with rain gardens. Today we’re going to talk about why rain barrels are so awesome while we show off our recent rain barrel upgrade at EcoHouse!
Why do we love rain barrels?
Rain barrels are an extremely simple and affordable way to implement green infrastructure on almost any property. Maintenance is extremely easy, and they’re a win-win…-win? I guess what we’re trying to say is, there’s a few good reasons to get one:
Who do you think wins? We think that installing a rain barrel is a no brainer—they’re affordable, they can save you money, and they mimic the natural water cycle, providing many benefits (Wait, did you not take notes on the first three Summer RAIN Blogs?).
Rain Barrel Upgrade at Green Venture’s EcoHouse
At the start of the summer, EcoHouse had one rain barrel on the front of the property, close to the community garden plots. The setup wasn’t ideal—a single barrel was placed directly on the ground.
Our old rain barrel set up (left) and the platform we constructed to elevate barrels and support educational signage (right).
Since rain barrels are emptied by gravity, this made it hard to access the rainwater when levels got low. To solve this, we built up the base with wood and concrete blocks, then cut the downspout to accommodate for the added height.
Green Venture staff cutting the downspout to accommodate for the raised platform. A flexible attachment allows the downspout to be directed around the corner.
We also decided to add a second barrel, which is a great option if you have the space and you find that your barrel overflows after a big rainfall. We wanted to be able to collect more rain, as we have quite a few community garden plots that can make great use of the water! We connected the two barrels with some pipe we had laying around EcoHouse, so once the first barrel fills water will start to flow into the second.
Finally, we brought our educational rain barrel display outside so that it would be more visible. We’re very happy with the final product!
Is your yard in need of a rain barrel?
We’ve received a fair bit of interest in rain barrels over the last few weeks, so we thought—let’s host a sale! Rain barrel sales often take place in the spring, but there’s really no downside to getting your rain barrel set up at the end of a season. We know a lot of people are spending more time at home, giving them the opportunity to make some home improvements. You can get your rain barrel all set up, allowing you to see how it functions on your property before storing it for winter. Come spring you’ll be all set to go, even if your schedule becomes a bit more busy!
Where: Buy online, pick up at EcoHouse (or get it delivered)
When: Sale will start this week, pick up on August 14th and 15th (times TBD)
Cost: $55 per barrel
Optional: Additional $10 for home delivery
** More information coming shortly **
CLICK HERE for information on how to set up and maintain your new rain barrel!
We hope to see you at the sale—happy watering!
Sustainable Water Uses at Home:
Hamilton Downspout Disconnection:
Is Rainwater Better for Plants?
Rain Barrel Assembly, Installation, and Maintenance: