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April 15, 2013

Use rainwater in your garden

by Debra Anchors

Illustration by Don Bousquet

It’s no joke:  Roof runoff can be captured in a rain barrel and used later for irrigation, which not only reduces the amount of polluted water flowing down storm drains, but also helps conserve water.

Consider the benefits of harvesting rain water for your garden:

  • Rainwater is free
  • Rainwater is a clean, chemical-free source of water for plants
  • Rainwater seeps into the soil, pushing salts from tap water down and away from the plant’s root zone
  • Rainwater allows for better root growth and water absorption, increasing the drought tolerance of plants
  • Rainwater harvesting reduces off-site flooding and erosion by holding rainwater on the site
  • Harvesting rainwater reduces dependence on ground water and the amount of money spent on water
  • Rainwater harvesting is an efficient water conservation tool

Please note that, from a public health standpoint, any standing water in rain barrels should be screened to keep mosquitoes from breeding. 

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  1. I use a rain barrel every year. They are just the handiest things for watering plants and the plants enjoy the warm water rather that water from the spigot.

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  3. Thanks for pointing out those rainwater benefits! It just gives people more incentives to keep up the practice of harvesting rainwater. But aside from saving up on your water bills, harvesting rainwater also a good preparation, in case there's a sudden onset or drought, or that the supply is cut off due to technical problems.

    Sharon Strock @ StormChamber®

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