Collecting rain water has been put in practice for centuries and is now easier to do than ever before. The process is simple, collect rain water from your roof, deck, or other catchment areas that would otherwise end up in storm drains. To do this, you’ll need to connect a rain barrel or storage container to the end of your roof’s downspout and wait for the next rainfall. Rain barrels come in all different shapes and sizes so you can choose one specific to your preferred style and needs. However, some components you’ll want to be sure and consider are the spigot, lid, strainer or screen, and overflow valve. When retrieving water from your barrel you can pull directly from the spigot, attach a hose bib, or use a pump that will carry water away from the source or pressurize irrigation systems. As for the lid, most barrels hold 50+ gallons of water so, if needed, be sure it can be fastened tightly or locked to prevent children and pets from falling in. Moreover, to keep debris from your roof or catchment area from getting into your rain barrel you’ll want a screen or strainer somewhere in your system. Be sure to position this in an area that can be easily accessed so it can be cleaned to prevent any clogs or blockage. Lastly, rain barrels can fill rather quickly so it’s important to have an overflow valve. This is even more important if your rain barrel is located close to your house and, if this is the case, you’ll want to have an overflow value that is facing away from your foundation.
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