Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Are Rain Barrels?

Rain barrels have gained popularity in recent years. A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores the water from roofs and downspouts for future uses.

Stored rainwater can be used for watering lawns, gardens, house plants, cleaning off gardening tools, and other activities.

Rain barrels can help homeowners reduce their water bills, particularly in the summer months by collecting thousands of gallons of free water at little or no cost.

Rain barrels are also important for our environment because they help reduce water pollution by decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff reaching streams and rivers.

The average rainfall of one inch within a 24 hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. While it’s running from homes and lawns, this stormwater picks up anything on the ground such as litter, excess fertilizer, pet waste, and motor oil and transports it to storm drains that do not treat the water before dumping it directly into waterways.

In Delaware USA, the state's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) are sponsoring a rain-barrel painting contest as a fun way to educate the public on the benefits of using the barrels. Artists from throughout the state will be selected and invited to paint creative designs on a rain barrel for public display.

source: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)