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A rain barrel was once a common piece of irrigation equipment used in farms and homes, and now many people are rediscovering the benefits of rainwater harvesting.

Rainwater harvesting is one of the simplest ways to cut down on your water consumption, and a rain barrel is probably the best piece of irrigation equipment you will ever buy. Not only is the water you collect in a rain barrel free, but rainwater harvesting gives you naturally soft, uncontaminated water. The units are surprisingly inexpensive, and you can buy them from good irrigation equipment suppliers.

The idea is beautifully simple. You use the roof of your house as a catchment, collect the rainwater in a rain barrel, then pump it onto your garden or your lawn later when it’s needed. Most barrel designs include some kind of mesh system which allows water in, while keeping insects and garden debris out, and most importantly, keeping your children and your pets safe.

How much water can you save with rainwater harvesting?

You’ll probably be amazed at the amount of water your roof collects during an average month. Every inch of rain falling on a 1000 square foot roof will yield an incredible 625 gallons of water. You can calculate the area of your roof using a little geometry. If you need any help, irrigation equipment suppliers will give you the precise method for making the measurements and calculations. Information on the average amount rainfall your area receives should be available online.

Most rain barrel products range from 50 to 80 gallons, and of course it’s possible to connect more than one. If you use municipal water, you can check your bills to determine how much water you use each year. It’ s then easy to calculate how much water and how much money you will save from rainwater harvesting.

For more information rain water conservation, please read this article on making your own rain barrel.

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