Bringing in the Rain!

Contrary to popular belief, water is not a sustainable resource.  Fresh, unpolluted water is becoming a rare resource as the world population grows and food production increases.  So, do you want to keep your garden watered but don’t want to waste a valuable resource?  Collecting and using rainwater reduces your carbon footprint (and your water bill) by decreasing the amount of water that has to be taken from our lakes and rivers.

Here’s how you can start collecting rain water in your own backyard:

1. Find a rain barrel.  Make sure to use a chemical-free container, like a wine barrel or a ceramic barrel from a garden centre.

2. Find the right location.  Remember, you’ll be collecting rain water from the gutters on your roof, so a place close to a downspout is ideal.

3. Insert a spigot.  Buy a “Rain Barrel Spigot Kit” and follow the instructions. Place a bucket underneath the spigot, fill it with water, and use as you wish! (You can skip this step and simply use a watering can or bucket to dip straight into the barrel when water is needed).

4. Connect your rain barrel. Your rain barrel will connect to your gutter. Create a route between the two with a downspout water diverter or a rain chain (a decorative chain made from copper). Either of these can be purchased online or at your local hardware store.

5. Keep It Clean.  A lid will prevent leaves and dirt from falling inside and will also prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your water. Occasional cleaning of your barrel is recommended, and if you want to drink it, make sure to filter it first. If the method above is not convenient for you, you can also collect rainwater by simply leaving  items like watering cans or pots outside in the rain.