Rain barrels collect and store rainwater from a rooftop. Without rain barrels, rainwater drains out of the downspouts and across lawns or paved surfaces and eventually into storm drains.
Rooftop runoff picks up excess fertilizer applied to lawns, trash on roadsides, or loose soil and other contaminants such as pesticides, oil, gas or antifreeze from vehicles on its way to a storm drain. These contaminants enter our waterways, threatening water quality and wildlife. By harvesting rooftop runoff, we can help conserve water and protect Virginia’s water quality.
Rain Barrel Benefits
- Free source of water
- Reduce reliance on municipal water and groundwater
- Protect environment from stormwater runoff
- Reduce erosion
- Promote water conservation
Water that is safe to drink is called potable water. Non-potable water is not safe to drink but it can be used for many other purposes. Nearly 60% of the water used in and around the house is for non-potable needs. Rainwater harvesting is ideal for non-potable uses like:
- Watering indoor and outdoor plants, gardens, and lawns
- Washing vehicles
- Filling swimming pools and fish ponds
- Washing pets
- Flushing toilets
Rain barrels conserve water and save money. Piedmont SWCD has rain barrels for sale and sponsors several rain barrel workshops, open to the public, throughout the year. Contact us for more information.