Rain Barrels: Common Questions and Benefits

Large rain barrel

With the rain from El Nino making an appearance, we’re hearing all kind of buzz about something called, “rain barrels.” Rain Barrels are a simple a means/vessel to effectively catch the rainwater runoff from your home. The barrels are placed in specific areas where your rain gutter drain spouts are. When it rains, the water runoff is directed into a large barrel to collect all of the rainfall that comes down from your rooftop. San Diegan’s are jumping on the Rain Barrel bandwagon with all of the recent and predicted rainfall we’re said to experience this winter of 2016, and for good reason. So we’d like to offer a little bit of information about rain barrels including the benefits and some common questions about them.

The placement of a Rain Barrel or two around your home offers some worthy benefits such as:

  • You can save some money on your water bill by using rainwater to water your lawn, garden, and potted plants.
  • Rainwater is a much healthier option than tap water for your garden, which can contain inorganic ions and fluoride compounds that accumulate in the soil over time and potentially harm plant roots and microorganisms in the soil.
  • Rain barrels help reduce the flow of storm runoff. Rainwater runoff picks up a host of contaminants that flows directly into nearby bodies of water which can cause a whole host of problems to aquatic environments.

How many rain barrels do I need?

The amount of rain you collect varies from house to house. According to the City of San Diego Public Utilities Water and Wastewater, “1,000 square feet of roof surface captures 625 gallons of water for every 1 inch of rain that falls.”

Where can I get a rain barrel and what type should I get? 

You can purchase rain barrels at your local hardware store. The type of rain barrel you should purchase varies based on your homes set up. You can even find some rain barrels that are more decorative if you’re concerned about the aesthetic of your garden or yard. Ask the hardware store specialist to help you choose. Home Depot offers this really nice Buying Guide as well.

Is there a rebate program in San Diego for Rain Barrel water?

There is! The City of San Diego Public Utilities is offering a rebate on the purchase and installation of rain barrels around one’s home. For more information about the guidelines of this program and how to apply visit their website here.

I don’t know about rainwater harvesting? Where can I find some good information about it?

The City of San Diego Public Utilities also offers this awesome Rain Water Harvesting Guide to get you started and offer some key advice.

Are you using rain barrels for our rainy winter season? If you have any advice, please share it with us on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your insight.

North County Plumbing is located in Vista, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “El Niño and Your Plumbing: Info and Tips to Prepare.

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