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Use Rainwater to Save Money and the Environment

rain barrel greyterracotta rain barrel

April 27, 2017.  We have just received a new supply of rain barrels, in both terracotta and grey from www.rainbarrel.ca.  We also have several 1000 L rain tanks.ail

Available at the REAL Deal Store, 85 William St. W., Smiths Falls, Phone (613) 283-7999

200 litre Barrels

 Price: $55 + tax = $62.15

*  Recycled food grade barrels
* Four foot overflow hose to divert overflow away from house
*Available in grey or terra cotta

Fittings include: a filter basket, overflow and interconnectivity outlet, overflow hose, nipple and spigot. you can easily attach them yourself.  Replacement parts available via www.rainbarrel.ca. 

They are easily transported in the passenger seat of a car.

rain tank

1000 L Rain Tanks

Price:  $175 + tax = $197.75.

These used, food grade tanks are comprised of a galvanized metal frame with a pallet (metal, plastic or wood) and a plastic HDPE bottle. Not to be used for potable water.  See rainbarrel.ca for more details.

Sorry, we cannot deliver.

Benefits of Using a Rain Barrel

  • conserve water
  • protect the Rideau and other rivers and lakes
  • promote healthy plant growth
  • save money

40% of water used in the summer is for lawn and garden maintenance.

Rainwater Helps your Plants

Rainwater is naturally soft water. It does not contain chlorine, fluoride, lime, calcium or any other minerals found in our water supply. Hard water and chemicals are damaging to plants because they weaken the plants immune system by creating an inbalance in the soil. Plants also do not respond well to cold water. Water stored in a rain barrel is warm and will not shock your plants.

Rain Barrels and your Community

A rain barrel will help your community by:

  • decreasing the amount of water going to water treatment plant and storm sewers. This will prevent water pollution as there will be less runoff collecting oil, grease, sediment, and nutrients from roads going into sewers. it will also prevent sewage backup in basements.
  • decreasing the use of water therefore preparing the community for emergencies
  • residential irrigation accounts for 40% of summer water consumption. If residents use rain barrels their dependency on treated water will decrease.
  • decreases your community’s water treatment plant costs

For every inch of rain that falls on a 1000 square foot roof, 600 gallons of water can be collected.

Saving Rainwater Saves Money

Smiths Falls has added water meters to monitor residential water consumption. Water costs $0.42 a cubic metre and sewage another $0.42 per cubic meter. You have the potential to save money if you use water from a rain barrel than from the town.

If you Use a Well

By using a rail barrel instead of your well you will:

  • extend your water pump’s life, as you will be using it less
  • save money on electricity used to run the pump
  • help prevent your well from running dry during summer months

Rainwater Uses

Use collected water to:

  • water plants, lawn and garden
  • clean windows, doors, patio furniture and walkways
  • wash your hair and your pet
  • wash wood floors
  • fill ponds, pools and hot tubs

Keep your roof clean and free of debris and contaminants to maximize water purity.

Rain Barrels and the Environment

Rain barrels collect runoff water, which would otherwise be running onto the impervious surfaces, such as paved sidewalks and roads. There it would collect grease, sediment, oil, chemicals and nutrients from fertilizers.

In Smiths Falls many of the storm sewers are combined with sanitary sewers, causing an increased quantity of water to head to our water treatment plant during storms. The water treatment plant must then work harder to clean the water. After being treated, the water will still contain some pollutants that will reach our waterways.

When the runoff water is being collected, it helps prevent sewer systems from overfilling, which could lead to sewer backups. Reducing the amount of water runoff from hard surfaces also helps reduce erosion in lakes and rivers.

The average rainfall between April and September for Smiths Falls is 18.3 inches.

What to Look for When Buying Rain Barrel

  • Childproof Lid – to prevent children from falling into the barrel.
  • Screening – will prevent leaves and debris from entering your rain barrel. It will also prevent mosquitoes from entering and breeding. Screening also helps keep out small animals.
  • Overflow Hose and Elbow – will direct the excess rainwater away from your house and foundation. it could be directed to another rain barrel or to your lawn.
  • Spigot – will allow you to collect water conveniently and safely without having to reach into the rain barrel.
  • Instructions – which will help your properly install and maintain your rain barrel.

If your rain barrel was recycled, make sure it is a food grade barrel and was not used to store anything other than food.

How to Install a Rain Barrel

  1. Choose a downspout where you can place your rain barrel.
  2. Disconnect the downspout and keep the screws and straps to reattach the downspout.
  3. Level the ground beneath the downspout and use concrete blocks to create a base for the rain barrel.
  4. Place your rain barrel on the base and measure the length you will have to cut the downspout so if fits in between the eavestrough and the rain barrel.
  5. Cut the downspout to the required length.
  6. Reattach the downspout.

How to Prepare your Rain Barrel for Winter

You must drain and disconnect your rain barrel in the fall to ensure your rain barrel and the overflow hose do not crack. Store your rain barrel in a garage or shed over the winter and store your overflow hose indoors. If you must store your rain barrel outdoors, drain it and put it upside-down with the water valve left open.