Rain Barrels use

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Rain Barrels use

Postby TylerM4 » Jul 29th, 2016, 10:54 am

So I setup a rain barrel this spring.

Figured I'd do my part and we're switching to metered water so it might save me a buck or two, tho by my math a full barrel is only worth about $0.25 of water.

Anyway, it's nearly August and the barrel hasn't been used other than me playing with it when 1st setup and the kids getting into it. It's been full/overflowing all summer.

I guess I didn't really think this through...what will I actually use the water for. All my garden beds and lawn are on automatic sprinkler timers. There's not nearly enough pressure to setup a sprinkler for the kids to play in, or to use to wash my ATVs/bikes/vehicles.

Wondering what everyone else actually uses their barrel water for?
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby looking4one » Jul 29th, 2016, 11:11 am

"trickle" feed your plants and reduce the time on your auto irrigation. Fill your kid's pool. Feel good about your efforts to conserve water......The more you use it, the better you feel, the better you feel, the more uses you will find. Good for you and thanks for your effort.
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby Glacier » Jul 29th, 2016, 11:17 am

Currently, I have three rain barrels, and use them to water plants and parts of the lawn that dry out the fastest. Buying that third barrel was the biggest waste of money ever.

Started a blog post on rain barrels last month, but didn't get around to finishing it. The long and short of is that I would have to fill the barrel 800 times to recoup the investment (that works out to 12.5 cents of water per fill-up), and by then the sun will have probably disintegrated the plastic. I should finishing the write-up, but not sure I will be able to handle the backlash...
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby TylerM4 » Jul 29th, 2016, 11:46 am

Glacier wrote:Currently, I have three rain barrels, and use them to water plants and parts of the lawn that dry out the fastest. Buying that third barrel was the biggest waste of money ever.


Yeah, I've come to the same conclusion. You won't save money with a rain barrel. I'll likely never recoup the money I spent on the barrel.

looking4one: Thanks for the suggestions. Where we'd setup a kiddie pool (they don't have one at the moment but they do have a splash table) is uphill from the barrel. Don't have any dry spots currently, I spent a lot of time and effort designing a sprinkler system to avoid that. I'm sure I could dial down the timer (it's only 15min already). But I'm not confident I'll be diligent enough to manually water enough so I don't end up with dead spots. Plus - by the time a brown spot shows up the damage is already done and requires like 5x the water to make green again (or wait until next spring).

I do end up washing ATVs and vehicles fairly regularly. Thinking of buying a pump so I can use the rain barrel water and have enough pressure to wash. But I dunno. That's going to be expensive, and I worry I'm just trading one problem for another (impact on environment of pump/plastic, electricity use, etc.).
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby GordonH » Jul 29th, 2016, 11:52 am

The item that makes most sense (new home construction) is bury big tank for rain collection with pumping system. So homeowner water garden/lawn or wash vehicles etc etc.
When tank has supply of water use it, when it does not use city.
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby looking4one » Jul 29th, 2016, 12:41 pm

TylerM4 wrote:looking4one: Thanks for the suggestions. Where we'd setup a kiddie pool (they don't have one at the moment but they do have a splash table) is uphill from the barrel. Don't have any dry spots currently, I spent a lot of time and effort designing a sprinkler system to avoid that. I'm sure I could dial down the timer (it's only 15min already). But I'm not confident I'll be diligent enough to manually water enough so I don't end up with dead spots. Plus - by the time a brown spot shows up the damage is already done and requires like 5x the water to make green again (or wait until next spring).

I do end up washing ATVs and vehicles fairly regularly. Thinking of buying a pump so I can use the rain barrel water and have enough pressure to wash. But I dunno. That's going to be expensive, and I worry I'm just trading one problem for another (impact on environment of pump/plastic, electricity use, etc.).


Oh well. I did my best to make you feel better and reduce your buyer's remorse.
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby pbear » Jul 29th, 2016, 4:27 pm

I use my 2 barrels in the spring before the underground water is turned on, to water the deck area planters in the summer with 20-20-20 added, and in the fall months when just a few spots need attention.
This is an unusual year as both barrels are fullish. Normally I'm bone dry by the end of July.
My barrels are right beside the plants I use them for, we have joined them together and added a short hose on the lower one to make filling my watering can easier.
I did buy a third barrel for the front yard but it wasn't convenient and I never used it so now it sits behind the shed.
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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby Bman » Jul 31st, 2016, 8:47 pm

My question is, why bother with rain barrels?
The hydrologic cycle is a constant, by collecting 10 cents worth of water one isn't saving or creating any water.
With tiny, tiny exceptions, the amount of water used is the amount of water given back up.

A good example would be your sewer.
Pretty much every drop of water that enters your house enters your sewer. Not one drop gets carried out in your pocket. It's that or evaporation where it ultimately gets condensed again anyway.
Is the world getting stupider, or is it just getting easier for stupid people to have their thoughts heard?

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Re: Rain Barrels use

Postby Bman » Jul 31st, 2016, 8:50 pm

The perceived water shortages that govts is trying to convince Canadians of is merely a water infrastructure shortage and a nafta agreement that with 4 year political terms nobody is willing to stick their necks out to solve.
Canada has the greatest amount of fresh water on the planet.
Is the world getting stupider, or is it just getting easier for stupid people to have their thoughts heard?

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