How, why and where to get rain barrels for your home

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a large supply of fresh, clean and free water during the summer months when water resources start to get scarce? A rain barrel offers just that, and it does so without a significant upfront investment or changes to your home. Below is a closer look at what rain barrels do and why they are so helpful to keep around the house.

How they work

A rain barrel simply collects runoff water from your roof during storms by sitting below a gutter downspout. It features a screen gate on the top of the barrel to keep out leaves, debris and tiny critters. A hose is attached to the bottom of the collection drum to allow you to water plants or for use in outdoor cleaning projects.

What are the advantages

Because the water collected is free of chlorine and hardening minerals, it is perfect for outdoor cleaning projects and home gardening. During periods of drought, you can cut your water use significantly by using a rain barrel, making it well worth the minimal cost of installation. When there is rainfall, a rain barrel can protect storm drains from excess runoff, keeping the community water supply cleaner and healthier.

Where are they sold

You can purchase equipment to construct a rain barrel yourself, but many hardware stores sell them ready-made. You might also purchase them through the Conservation Foundation, which sells fully constructed systems from recycled food-grade plastic.

For more tips on making simple green upgrades in your home’s outdoor space, contact Great Impressions in Naperville at 630-955-9017. Under the guidance of Jeff Sebert at their parent company, Sebert Landscaping, Great Expectations provides homeowners with beautiful, eco-friendly solutions that boost curb appeal throughout the Chicago suburbs.

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