Rain barrels easily make a great addition to any backyard. Not only do they help save money, but they can have a great impact on the preservation of the earth's natural resources. Although rain barrels are very low maintenance, it is still very important that they are taken care of properly to keep your water clean and your barrel useful for many years to come.
When you first receive your rain barrel you will want to make sure to use a non-toxic cleaner to clean out the interior of the barrel prior to its first use. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly and to dispose of the water properly. After the first cleaning, you will want to rinse your barrel out with a non-toxic cleaner annually.
It is also important to drain your rain barrel every few weeks. This will help keep any kind of plant or algae growth down to a minimum. Also - if for some reason mosquitoes enter your barrel - this will keep them from breeding.
If you live in colder climates and do not plan on using your rain barrel during winter months you will want to make sure to "winterize" your barrel. What you will need to do is empty your barrel completely and turn it upside down. Any water that gets in there will freeze and expand - causing potential cracking and unnecessary wear and tear to your barrel.
Every once in awhile you will want to check your catchment area and make sure to remove any debris that could possibly be clogging up the entryway into your barrel so that it can be used at its maximum capacity. You will want to remove any debris that is there - to make sure that you capture the most rain that you possibly can.
It is also imperative to clean out your gutters annually. This will help you to maintain your rain barrel and reduce the amount of debris that could potentially enter your catchment area. Maintaining a rain barrel is very simple and won't tear you away from other activities in your backyard, but will still leave you coming home to a beautiful lawn and a lush garden!
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