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Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Rain Barrel Workshop
Rain BarrelAs water conservation continues to gain momentum across the Nation, communities are becoming more creative in the programs and activities they develop.  The Columbus Water Works has been exploring ways we can help homeowners conserve water and protect the watershed. Through this research the idea of rainwater harvesting for the purposes of garden irrigation caught our eye.  This concept is simple; in fact many homeowners are already practicing rainwater harvesting to supplement their outdoor watering needs.

The idea behind rainwater harvesting is to collect rainwater runoff from your home by connecting a water collection system or barrel to the down spout of your gutters.  These rainwater systems can range from being a simple barrel to a multi-barrel system with complex filtering processes.  If a family uses the water for garden or flower bed irrigation, there is no need for a complex filtering system.  These barrels or systems also have a spigot to connect a hose or fill watering cans.  When set up properly, the system will provide enough water pressure for simple garden or flower bed irrigation, as long as there is a sufficient water level maintained.

Some may be asking how this process really saves or conserves water since you’re using water either way.  In principle, water is still being used; however, the water that is being used is from a different source, which has a different impact.  Harvested rainwater simply delays the use of water that nature would be using in that same area.  When using water from a traditional irrigation system, you are using water that is pulled from your drinking water source, in our case the Chattahoochee River.  This water is not being returned to the river for others to use further downstream.

Can I use rainwater for other purposes? Rainwater can be used for other purposes, if treated and filtered properly.  It is very important to understand that the water collected in the standard rain barrel should not be used for drinking water since it may contain some particles from your roof or even grow algae in the barrel.  Drinking water needs to be tested and properly treated to ensure that it is safe for you and your family. For these reasons, the Columbus Water Works does not recommend using rainwater for drinking purposes.

If you are interested in building your own Rainwater Barrel, Columbus Water Works, Oxbow Meadows, and Habitat for Humanity will be hosting a Rain Barrel Workshop on May 3, 2014 at Oxbow Meadows.  During this event, the participants will build their own rain barrel!  Everyone will leave with a fully assembled rain barrel and instructions to set it up at their home.

For information on the workshop and how to register, please click here.
Collecting rain water and re-using it for watering your garden to washing your car is the way to go! Thanks for posting this article!
Comment By C. Ullmer At 12/13/2014 6:30 AM
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