Seriously. You really can make a difference by using a rain barrel for supplemental water in the face of McKinney’s stage 3 water restrictions.
Now, why would you want to do that?
Well, consider this: a quarter-inch of rain falling off the section of roof that drains into your rain barrel can easily yield 200 gallons of water. That will fill a 55 gallon barrel in a matter of minutes during a good downpour.
Annual rainfall in McKinney is about 43 inches. That’s more than 20,000 gallons of water a year off your average size roof.
It adds up.
Collecting rain water is a smart thing to do
The obvious and most common reason to collect rain is for watering your lawn and garden. Plants love rain water.
But it also saves tap water which in turn saves you money. Rain is free, right?
Plus, it’s naturally soft with no chlorine or other chemicals, making it a preferred choice for washing the car.
Rain barrels are also convenient in places where there is no water spigot on the outside of the house.
Once you have your rain barrel
Don’t forget to raise it off the ground so gravity can do its thing and pull the water through a hose. For you can waterers, just dip the can into the barrel.
Now that your rain barrel is in place, decorated and landscaped, if you’re into that, I’ll bet you’ll have a few curious friends and neighbors. What a great time to talk about water conservation and inspire them to get in on the act.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Never drink the water in your rain barrel.
- Algae won’t harm your lawn or garden but you should clean your barrel periodically.
- Clean out your gutters twice a year to minimize debris in your rain water.
- Unhook your rain barrel for two weeks if you put pesticide on your roof.
- Use a larvae tablet to keep mosquitos and other pests at bay.
- Disconnect your barrel in the winter, for obvious reasons.
- When not in use, store your barrel upside down.
A healthy lawn and garden requires less water than you think. Go the rain barrel route. You’ll be serving your landscape and McKinney.