Warning: DO NOT drink water from a rain barrel.
Rainwater harvesting has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason. Droughts in states like Texas and California give homeowners a reason to learn how to use a rain barrel to conserve water. Read on to find out whether or not a rain barrel is right for you.
Is Rainwater Harvesting Legal?
Despite persistent rumors on the internet regarding rainwater harvesting being illegal, there are very few states that have strong restrictions. In fact, there isn’t a single state in the U.S. that considers rainwater harvesting by individuals (homeowners) in a direct manor, “against the law” for anyone and everyone. There is also no evidence that states are becoming more restrictive on rainwater harvesting. Some state and locales have restriction in place because of drought, acid rain etc. It’s always best to check with your local laws before building a rainwater harvesting system. In fact the USDA (http://www.usda.gov/documents/7-31-09_Garden_Tips_Rain_Barrels.pdf) recommends rain barrels for saving water, and reducing pollutants in streams through runoff.
Do You Have Enough Space?
The first step is to figure out whether or not you have enough space to harvest rainwater. Ideally, rainwater should be kept and collected underground and pumped up to the surface when necessary. However, if you do not have room for an underground collection you can still collect rainwater.
If you decide to press forward and use a rain barrel to collect fresh water, there are a couple ways you can do so. Primarily:
Portable Rain Barrels
A portable rain barrel is perfect if you live in a small home, or if would like to move your barrel around your property. You can easily place the portable unit underneath your drains outside your home to catch rainwater and move it wherever you need to around the garden. It’s convenient and super easy to use.
DIY kits are readily available and extremely easy to put together. If you’re looking for a straightforward way to harvest rainwater, then this is for sure the easiest way to do so above ground.
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