My name is Jill. And I'm a rain barrel convert.
It's not that I was oblivious before. I always knew that conservation was important and I tried to do my part: recycling my newspapers, old telephone books, and plastic bottles. But rain water collection? I didn't even wear Birkenstocks!
But then something happened. I started getting more interested in my garden and planting more flowers. All my gardening magazines were talking about conserving water. And during the summer, I watched my water bill soar right along with the temperatures. I remember thinking, "Boy, I sure wish I had some of that good rain we got last week."
Regardless, there was still skepticism about the whole rain barrel thing. I didn't know anything about the process but knew it must be difficult. Finally, I took the plunge, bought a rain barrel, and now I'm a believer! My initial reservations have all washed away.
- I thought it would be too much work to set up the barrel. It really wasn't difficult at all. We just cut the current downspout so we could tuck the barrel right under the shorter drain. After 30 minutes total set up, we were in business.
- I thought it would take forever to fill up. Not so. Just one brief shower (no more than 1/2 inch of rain) and full to the brim!
- I thought it wouldn't make a difference. Mother Nature certainly does her part. Inevitably, whenever the barrel is almost empty, along comes another summer rain shower. Other than two or three days, I used "free" water all last summer and my backyard flower pots looked better than ever.
- I thought the water would get dirty and stinky. All good rain barrels have a screen filter that keeps out debris like leaves AND mosquitoes. Since it is my main water supply for the backyard flowers, it doesn't have time to stagnate and get stinky. I use it almost every day!
- I thought rain barrels were ugly. You know, I don't even notice it anymore. The barrel sits at the back of my garage, right next to my potting bench. Conveniently located exactly where I need it. Now I'm trying to figure out where to put another one! (Lots of styles and designs are available - some even decorative.)
As a rain barrel convert, it makes me feel good to know I'm conserving water while saving money. (But I still don't wear Birkenstocks!)