Conserve water, reduce runoff, and save money on your bills by installing a rain barrel.
What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from your rooftop which you later can use to water your lawn or garden, or to wash your car.
Rain barrels should be used in conjunction with other water management practices, such as rain gardens, green roofs, stormwater trees and porous pavement. But using a rain barrel is a great first step to better water quality.
Why should I use rain barrels?
- Rain barrels help slow down rain runoff so it can drain naturally into the ground. This helps us keep excess water out of sewer systems and keeps rain runoff from collecting pollutants on its trip to nearby waterways.
- Collected rainwater is better for plants because it’s not chlorinated although it is mildly acidic, which helps plants take up important minerals from the soil.
- They can provide water during dry weather, or you can set them to slowly release the water over a 1- 2 day period when the rains have subsided. The slower release of rain will allow the water to seep into the soil and be used by plants
What is a rain garden?
Rain gardens, quite simply, are gardens that soak up rain from your roof, driveway, sidewalk or yard. They are slightly different from your typical flower garden.
Rain gardens are planted with wild flowers and deep-rooted native vegetation, which helps the ground soak up more water. They are typically placed near downspouts on a home to capture water, so the runoff can gradually soak into the ground.
Why should I install a rain garden?
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, rain gardens can absorb 30 percent more water than a conventional, well manicured, lawn. By directing the water into the ground, we’re protecting our rivers and lakes from pollution while cleaning stormwater at the same time.
Rain gardens provide the following benefits:
- They help reduce the amount of water that runs off your yard and into the sewer system, cutting down on the risk of sewer overflows and basement backups.
- Rain gardens prevent stormwater from picking up pollution as it washes across yards, driveways and parking lots on the way to the nearest river or lake.
- Plants, roots, soils and sand from your garden cleanse and purify stormwater as it soaks into the ground. Rain gardens can help recharge drinking water supplies and aquifers.
- They add beauty to your yard and neighborhood while providing valuable wildlife habitat.