Rainwater harvesting is always beneficial, whether the water is used to water one houseplant or an entire garden. Also, the act of collecting rainwater can be an inspiration to other water conservation activities around the house.
When deciding on a rainwater harvesting system, you will want it to be as large as you can afford and your location will allow. Most homeowners use 55-gallon rain barrels. There are containers that are 300 gallons or less that are affordable and small enough to fit on most residential or commercial lots.
The photograph shows Gwinnett Master Gardener Sue Shaw’s 55-gallon rain barrel that she installed at her home.
Although one 55-gallon rain barrel may not provide all the water needed to sustain your plant material, it can certainly supplement any rain we may or may not receive. Planter beds, vegetable or flower gardens and potted plants can easily be irrigated with the water from a rain barrel. Rain barrels can easily be linked together to increase your water storage.
The water savings from using stored rainwater rather than municipal or well water can be substantial over a period of time. A rain barrel can also help reduce the amount of water that may settle around the foundation of your home. Currently Gwinnett County offers a rebate on the imposed storm water fee if you have rain barrels installed at your house. You can visit their website for more information.
Last, but not least, with a rain barrel you are helping the environment by preventing excess water going to our storm drains and your plants are receiving chemical free water.