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May 23, 2018  |  Login

Install a Water Catcher or Rain Barrel

Protect the environment and lower your water bill by installing a water catcher or rain barrel for your home.

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Thought you already recycled everything? Start recycling water by capturing and using the rain water that falls on your house with a water catcher or rain barrel. Catching your water reduces local flooding and improves the quality of nearby bodies of water, which are easily polluted by rain runoff. Rain barrels catch the water from your gutters so that you can use it for flushing your toilet, washing your car, home, garden tools, or watering your lawn, garden and houseplants. Most domestic water is “softened” with chemicals and bad for plants because it contains dissolved salts, but rain water is naturally soft, and free of dissolved minerals, so plants thrive in it. The water is still non-potable though, so do not drink it.

Ready-made rain barrels range from $89 to $135 each depending on size, style and added features. Ask for them at your local home and garden supply store, garden center, nursery, or hardware store. You can also use buckets and barrels that you have on hand to make your own. Just make sure the barrel is closed so that no mosquitoes can get in and lay eggs, or be sure to empty the barrel every seven days. Using larger barrels with spouts, or even several barrels in a series, lets you collect and use a lot more water. This is an especially good idea if you live in a drought-prone area!


Take Action / Next Steps
  • Buy rain barrels from RiverSides , an environmentally-minded NGO.


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Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.



1.US EPA. [2008] “What is a Rain Barrel?” Available from: [18 Aug 2008].

2.Clean Virginia Waterways. [2008] “Rain Barrels for harvesting rain water.” Available from: [18 Aug 2008].

3.University of Rhode Island. [2008] “Rain Barrels.” Available from: [18 Aug 2008].

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