Green Friday presents:

Save the Rainwater!

Many people are looking for ways to go green nowadays. Some people want to save the environment while others are looking for ways to save money on their bills. One of the latest trends is rain barrels. They are called many different things and people have been using them for thousands of years. They were phased out for a while because of advances in water technology. Now people are seeing the need to conserve water and be resourceful. New washing machines use one-third of the water that older style machines use. New toilets, faucets, and showerheads are saving millions of gallons of water a year. In this article we will cover how you can save on your water bill using rain barrels. We will also talk different types of rain barrels as well as how they are installed.

So how much water can a rain barrel really collect? Could installing a rain collection system actually pay off in the long run? Listen to this statistic; On a residential 2,000 square foot (single-story)house, a whopping 1,250 gallons of water are collected on the roof from just one inch of rainfall. How much of your lawn could you water with 1,250 gallons of water? How much water could be added to your pool with all the droughts we have been experiencing this year? You could water your entire garden without all the chemicals that are contained in public water. This is a great option for organic gardening. It doesn’t get any more organic than rain water. There are many other benefits to collecting rainwater, and the possibilities are left up to your own imagination.

An elegant above ground rain barrel

Rain collection systems work very simply. They are similar to cisterns that people used in the last century. The only difference is people don’t generally drink the water from rain barrels. Most systems collect their water from gutters. The reason for this is because there is so much surface area on the roof for rain to hit. Systems can also collect rain for yard or patio drains. There are many different ways to harvest rainwater and store it in reservoirs.

A traditional  green "rain barrel"

Now you have a better understanding of the benefits of rain collection systems and how they work. You are now equipped to decide which system is best for you. For below ground installations, do not hesitate to contact Rochester’s most trusted plumbing contractor. The employees at Mark Porretta Excavating Inc. are committed to providing you with the best and most knowledgeable articles about plumbing, excavating, and everything in between.

There are two basic styles of rain collection systems. The first are above ground rain barrels. The second are known as below ground or buried rain barrels. The benefits to above ground systems are that there is no installation cost and they can usually be gravity fed to water an area. The downside of above ground rain barrels is that they can be seen, and they take up space. Another downside is that the pressure might not be as significant because you are not utilizing a pump. The benefits of below ground barrels include the fact that they are hidden, they don’t take up any space, and you can tie all your gutters into one big storage barrel (above ground barrels generally only allow you to collect water from one gutter). You can collect much more water with below ground systems. The downside of below ground barrels is that they cost more for installation and electric is needed to pump out the water.

A rendering of an underground rain collection system.

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