5 Reasons You Should Get a Rain BarrelDated: September 13, 2018
Are you tired of paying high water bills? Rain barrels and a trusty watering can help! Here are five reasons to install a rain barrel and ditch paying for water.
- Help Reduce Stormwater Contamination
During times of heavy rain, water begins to run off the earth and toward storm drains. This excess water carries contaminants, including runoff from your lawn such as fertilizer, oil and debris from automotive vehicles, and litter. Rain barrels help divert and collect this water, reducing the amount that overflows and runs directly into your untreated storm sewer. This also helps reduce erosion in places like riverbanks and lakeshores.
- Repurpose Old Containers
Rain barrels are simple. They’re a container that gets attached to your downspout. The loose requirements for them mean you can repurpose nearly any large container into a catchment system with a little bit of elbow grease. Shipping barrels work perfectly as long as they did not contain hazardous materials, and you can often pick them up secondhand from commercial businesses. Don’t forget to rinse them first and test for leaks. Make sure it has a cover or add a mesh screen on top to help keep out contaminants such as leaves and animals.
- Cut Back On Over Watering
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports 50% of water used outdoors evaporates. This means half of the water you use outside is wasted as the sun or wind whisks it away before it can benefit your plants or grass. In addition, irrigation systems can over water if not properly timed or maintained annually, and you may not notice it if you’re not outside while they are running. Over watering can also have the same impacts as storm water runoff if located near a street or driveway. Rain barrels encourage hand watering, which allows more precision with less water so you can make it count.
- Encourage Groundwater Recharge
Regardless if you are on a municipal water system or a well, your water is coming from underground sources. These reserves can take many years to recharge or refill with water. By utilizing a rain barrel, you can reduce your dependency on extracted water. If you are in Wisconsin, the United States Geological Survey offers an interactive map to help you see the groundwater conditions in your area. If your area is currently in the green, remember conservative use now can help in later months or during times of drought when the recharge slows.
- Start Good Water Use Habits
When you start to see the savings on your outdoor water bill after turning off the sprinkler, you will want to begin making changes in other places, too! The EPA’s WaterSense program will help lead you in the right direction with efficient low-flow swaps for your old faucet, toilet and shower head. Nothing feels better than extra money in your wallet.
Here at Evergreen Credit Union, we’ve reduced our outdoor municipal water consumption to zero by installing and utilizing our rain barrels. They are perfect for hand watering our landscape, filling bird baths and more. If you’re reading this before Oct. 1, 2018, you can enter to win a rain barrel on our Facebook page by commenting on the pinned post! You can also check them out in action for yourself; pop in our credit union office the next time you’re in town.
If you need a new loan or eco-friendly checking account, call (920) 729-2999 or stop by to make your appointment today. Membership is open to everyone who lives or works in Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara, Calumet, or Winnebago counties.