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It's Time to Get Your Rain Barrel for Summer Growing Season

Post Date:04/17/2024 9:47 AM

Rain-BarrelsWhat’s a rain barrel? A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores rainwater from downspouts and rooftops for future use — ideal for watering plants and container gardens.

Generally, a rain barrel is made using a 55-gallon drum, a vinyl garden hose, couplings, a screen grate to remove debris and keep insects out, and other materials found at most hardware stores.

Rain barrels can be constructed in several ways, but they all serve the same purpose — to collect rainwater and decrease the amount of stormwater runoff that leaves your property. Using rain barrels is one way to reduce your household’s impact on local waterways and to become a good steward of the local watershed.

Why Use Rain Barrels?

Nearly 40% of household water is used during summer, for lawn and garden maintenance. A rain barrel collects water and stores it when you need it most — during the dry summer months. Using rain barrels potentially helps homeowners lower water bills while improving the vitality of plants, flowers, and trees.

The average rainfall of one inch within 24 hours can produce more than 700 gallons of water that runs off the roof of a typical house.

Much of this water runs from gutters onto surfaces that don’t allow water to soak into the ground. These are called impervious surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, and compacted soil. Even commonly used sod has a very low infiltration rate and can cause increased runoff.
Runoff collects and transports soil, pet waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizer, oil and grease, litter, and other pollutants as it flows. This water drains directly into nearby creeks, streams, and rivers without receiving treatment at wastewater plants.

Polluted stormwater contaminates local waterways. It can harm plants, fish, and wildlife while degrading water quality.

Where to Purchase

Skagit PUD sells ready-to-install 55-gallon rain barrels for just $65 plus tax. We’ve recently changed the style and design of the barrels to help keep costs low. The lid now unscrews for easier cleaning, and we created a simpler set up for the downspout. If you would like more information about Skagit PUD’s low-cost rain barrel program, please visit our rain barrel page or call (360) 424-7104.

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