A rain barrel is a container that is used to collect and store rainwater from the roof of a building. The water can then be used to water plants, gardens, or lawns, or it can be stored for later use. Rain barrels are a popular way to conserve water and reduce water bills, as they allow homeowners to use free, natural rainfall rather than relying on water from the tap. They are also environmentally friendly, as they help to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that flows into streets and waterways, which can help to prevent erosion and pollution.
Benefits of Rain Barrels
Cost savings: Rainwater is a free, natural resource that can be used to water plants, gardens, and lawns. By using a rain barrel, you can reduce your reliance on tap water and save money on your water bills.
Environmentally friendly: Rain barrels can help to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that flows into streets and waterways, which can help to prevent erosion and pollution.
Water conservation: Rain barrels can help to conserve water during times of drought or water shortages.
Easy to install and use: Rain barrels are relatively easy to install and use. They come with everything you need to get started and do not require any special skills or tools.
Durability: Rain barrels are made from durable materials that are built to last. With proper maintenance, a rain barrel can last for many years.
Versatility: Rain barrels can be used in a variety of settings, including homes, businesses, and public parks. They are also available in a range of sizes and styles to suit different needs and preferences.
What Size Rain Barrel Do I Need?
The size of rain barrel that you need will depend on your specific needs and the amount of rainfall that your area receives. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a rain barrel size:
The size of your roof: The size of your rain barrel should be based on the size of your roof. A general rule of thumb is to choose a rain barrel with a capacity of at least 50 gallons for every 100 square feet of roof area.
The amount of rainfall in your area: The amount of rainfall that your area receives will also influence the size of rain barrel that you need. In areas with higher rainfall, you may need a larger rain barrel to capture and store enough water.
Your water needs: Consider your water needs when choosing a rain barrel size. If you have a large garden or lawn, you may need a larger rain barrel to provide enough water. On the other hand, if you only need a small amount of water for potted plants or a small garden, a smaller rain barrel may be sufficient.
It is generally a good idea to choose a rain barrel with a larger capacity than you think you will need. This will give you a reserve of water in case of dry spells or unexpected water needs.
Are Rain Barrels Legal in California?
Rain barrels are legal in California. In fact, the state of California has taken steps to encourage the use of rain barrels by offering incentives and information on how to properly use and maintain them. In California, it is legal to use a rain barrel to collect and store rainwater for non-potable (not safe to drink) purposes such as watering plants, gardens, and lawns. Rainwater collected in a rain barrel cannot be used for drinking or cooking.
It is important to note that there are some restrictions on the use of rain barrels in California. For example, it is illegal to use a rain barrel to discharge water into a street or public roadway. It is also illegal to use a rain barrel to discharge water onto your neighbor’s property without their permission.
Can Rain Barrels Be Used For Drinking Water?
It is generally not recommended to use rainwater from a rain barrel for drinking water in California or any other location. Rainwater can be contaminated with pollutants from the atmosphere or from the roof or gutters where it is collected. These contaminants can include bacteria, parasites, and heavy metals.
In California, it is important to use treated water for drinking and cooking. The California Department of Public Health recommends that residents use water from a public water system or a private well that has been properly constructed and maintained. If you are using a private well, it is important to have the water tested regularly to ensure that it is safe to drink.