Saving Rain

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rainbarrel.gifHere in southeastern Pennsylvania, we’ve had a significant amount of rainfall lately and it makes me think about where all that water is going. Our stormwater systems have been overflowing at times and there have been flooding issues along the Delaware River and low-lying areas. Stormwater runoff from impervious paved surfaces is also a problem because of pollutants picked up along the way. Are there any ways to put that water to good use, through rainwater harvesting, rather than having to dispose of it or let it cause problems?

Some options for managing stormwater more productively by capturing the rain are: the use of rain barrels, cisterns, gray water reclamation systems, porous paving, stormwater wetlands, and vegetated, or green, roofs.

Rain barrels (pictured here) are effective, low-cost devices used for residential and even commercial and industrial applications. The water collected can be used for lawn and garden watering.

According to, “For residential applications a typical rain barrel design will include a hole at the top to allow for flow from a downspout, a sealed lid, an overflow pipe and a spigot at or near the bottom of the barrel The spigot can be left partially open to detain water or closed to fill the barrel. A screen is often included to control mosquitoes and other insects. The water can then be used for lawn and garden watering or other uses such as supplemental domestic water supply. Rain barrels can be connected to provide larger volumes of storage. Larger systems for commercial or industrial use can include pumps and filtration devices.”

Stay tuned for more information about the other methods of saving rain.

Tag(s): Going Green, Money Saving, The Great Green Outdoors


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