Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and using rainwater that falls onto your rooftop or other hard surfaces to water your garden, wash your car or even your pets. Since rain is so rare in our region, rainwater harvesting is a great way to reduce demand on our drinking water system.
Rain barrels can be a start to your landscapes transformation from a water guzzling garden to a water efficient landscape. The storage and later use of free rain water contributes both to a beautiful garden and minimizing stormwater runoff. By capturing stormwater on your property you reduce drainage to streets and storm drains, which ultimately drain into local streams and then the ocean.
You can also reduce stormwater runoff by:
- Creating rain gardens on your property. A rain garden is a concave garden that soaks up stormwater before it runs off to hardscaped areas.
- Installing a cistern. Cisterns are sealed tanks, typically larger than rain barrels. They can be located above ground, partially buried, or below ground.
For a limited time, you can get up to $800 in rebates for purchasing and installing up to four rain barrels.
Illustration credit: Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
photo credit: http://www.rainbarrelsandmore.com/